What to Look for in a Community Association Management Company
I’m going to assume that any homeowner reading this will already know what a community association management company is and what they do and how they can make your life easier. If your community or neighborhood is currently looking to hire such a company, there are some things you are going to want to find out before hiring. I would suggest getting the companies to bid and then the board or committee can interview a shortlist of the companies and find out the following bits of information.
This is the basics. Start the interview process with asking them the following information. This will help you gauge how suited a particular management company is to your community’s needs.
- Location – Chances are companies will come from far and wide and when it comes to Community Association Management they tend to be localized and so it’s best to find one that is close to you, geographically.
- Age – Finding out the age of a business can be an important factor, but shouldn’t be the sole consideration. Obviously, a company that has been around a while will have lots of experience and might be best for your needs; however a newer company will be urgent to prove themselves and might serve you just as well. Take age into consideration along with the other factors.
- Size – This is easy to figure out; simply ask how many employees they have (and maybe how many clients … if they will tell you).
You will need to know what services they offer as it can differ between companies. Here are some of the things I would ensure is part of their services.
- Strategic Planning – Quite important for obvious reasons.
- Maintenance – You will want the company to arrange (and manage) any preventative maintenance repairs to the community.
- Finance and Accounting – A company will need to arrange and manage the accounts, of course.
It’s also a good idea to ask them if their price is inclusive of all services or if they charge for extra at a later date.
There are some extra services that many companies will undertake as well, so make sure you find out what these are. They aren’t the standards and so might come at extra cost, but you can find that out at the interview.
- HR – Handling HR can be a very useful thing as you usually need experts to manage stuff like this.
- Cost Saving – A well intentioned company will also be looking to cost-save for the neighborhood. Some will do this for free, but it’s always best to check.
Like with any interview, whether it’s for a new employee or a nanny, get references from past clients. It just makes sense as they will be able to tell you whether they worked for their community. You might also be able to find reviews online.
Can They Sell Themselves?
Ask them why they should be hired. Simple. If they can’t tell you then maybe don’t hire them. You will want a confident company that seems to want to tailor their work to your community to make sure they are the best fit for your needs.