First off. Why would a management company bring up this topic? Well, we like to be honest. The truth is, some communities don't always need an association management company to run their neighborhood. During our initial consultation we like to find out the needs of a community and at times we have recommended communities to manage themselves. In most cases we recommend full-service management but other times an accounting-only model may be best for their needs or for their budget.
Here are the 3 reasons you may need a management company.
1. You're spending too much time on your community
-This is the biggest benefit to board members (especially after serving as one). It is tough to get involvement on the board. Owners love to bring up issues but when in comes to solving them, only a few stet up to the challenge. By hiring a management company you can task your management company to do the busy work by soliciting bids, facilitate meetings, send collection letters, conduct violations, and more.
2. There are challenges collecting from delinquent neighbors
-We have worked with a large number of communities that have been self-managed where this has been their main issue. People tend to take notices on a company letterhead more seriously. This is also because they know that an outside management company uses a systematic approach and will make decisions based on numbers and not as neighbors. We always say, we'd rather owners who are behind to be mad at our logo, not their neighbor.
3. Documentation and record keeping is lacking
-There can be a lot of turn-over on a board over time. And documents such as owner balances, ARC approvals, owner rosters, violations, and minutes are not always turned over and documented properly. That's where a management company can help to keep a record of everything that has happened and properly document events in your association.
In conclusion. You don't always need "full-service" management. Try asking your potential HOA management company if they offer accounting-only support, trimmed down management, or a full-service management. Having the right level of service can save you a lot of headache or save your community money.