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Subject: Recommendations for HOA management company in Seattle area
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Author Messages
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/04/2018 11:29 AM  
Our association manager just moved out of state after 7 years managing our property. She was excellent and pretty much the only reason our HOA stayed with the management company. The new manager the company assigned to us is not promising, so we're looking to interview other companies. We're fairly large, 204 townhomes in our HOA, in the Seattle area (Eastside). If anyone has a recommendation of a management company in the area, please message me or let me know how I can send you my email address. Thanks.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2225


01/04/2018 2:00 PM  
Posting rules here prohibit naming names, LeilaH. However, if you care to post an email address then someone may get back to you with helpful information. I suggest setting up a "throwaway" email address if you don't want to reveal your "real" email address to the entire internet at large (usually a bad idea). Good luck! There are posters from WA here.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2734


01/04/2018 2:05 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 01/04/2018 2:00 PM
Posting rules here prohibit naming names, LeilaH. However, if you care to post an email address then someone may get back to you with helpful information. I suggest setting up a "throwaway" email address if you don't want to reveal your "real" email address to the entire internet at large (usually a bad idea). Good luck! There are posters from WA here.



I really don't think posting your email address is going out to the WHOLE internet, but nice try.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2225


01/04/2018 2:21 PM  
Ask Leo about it. You are essentially (LINK) publishing your email to the internet at large, and most particularly spammers and would-be identity thieves, when you post it in a public forum. You WILL start receiving more and more unwanted email spam.

Another source, One sure recipe to end up with an Inbox full of spam is to openly publish your email address on the Web.

People who dismiss the danger with cracks like "nice try" are fall into 1 of 2 camps. Figure it out yourself which one you're in.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2734


01/04/2018 2:34 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 01/04/2018 2:21 PM
Ask Leo about it. You are essentially (LINK) publishing your email to the internet at large, and most particularly spammers and would-be identity thieves, when you post it in a public forum. You WILL start receiving more and more unwanted email spam.

Another source, One sure recipe to end up with an Inbox full of spam is to openly publish your email address on the Web.

People who dismiss the danger with cracks like "nice try" are fall into 1 of 2 camps. Figure it out yourself which one you're in.



I figure camp #2 are people who know how not to get spam?
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/04/2018 7:45 PM  
Thanks for the tip about disposable email address. Hopefully I've created this one correctly:
[email protected]

Please send Seattle-area HOA management recommendations here. Thanks!
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/07/2018 10:48 AM  
OP here. I haven't gotten any recommendations for the Seattle area yet (but no spam either!).

So I've read many articles online on how to select an HOA management company. I've asked for recommendations from many others in the community and neighboring HOAs. That's a start but unfortunately their HOAs are not as large as ours (204 units) and their service requirements are different from ours.

So I'm thinking is there any way to search for HOAs in my area as well as their unit sizes? I'd like to find a way to contact the large ones to see who they have and whether they are satisfied, as I think that would be a better way to narrow down the search based on number of units managed. We want to find someone who can competently manage a large size HOA like ourselves.

Any ideas on this or in general searching for HOA management company would be appreciated.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7594


01/07/2018 12:42 PM  
Be sure to look for HOA Management companies versus the ton of Property Managers out there. Also look for a track record managing association your size.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2734


01/07/2018 1:09 PM  
Here is a list of management companies and individual managers from the CAI Washington State website.

https://www.wscai.org/resources/service-provider-directory/listing-category/management-companies-individual-managers/
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/07/2018 3:40 PM  
I'm going to try calling a couple HOA management companies on the list and asking them for references of HOAs greater than 150 units in size that their agents manage. Is this standard practice or will they deny me due to privacy concerns? Hopefully they will be willing to give me some Board member contact info as references so I can reach out to them for an honest opinion.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5376


01/07/2018 4:15 PM  
I think we currently have one poster from WA, Mark.

An HOA your size (same as our high rise) might have an HOA attorney, who might be able to help. Ia free size does mater, but it also might matter whether you're high rise condos with many reserves components & amenities or detached homes with few and with few amenities. r something in between.

The webistes for all the condos around here show who their MC is. Have your searched the websites of HOAs similar to yours for that info?
AmyA1
(Washington)

Posts:86


01/07/2018 8:50 PM  
I agree in asking your attorney for a reference. I'm in a 499 housing unit,we most things in house, using a property management co for finance only.
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/07/2018 9:57 PM  
OP here. Our 204 units are townhomes, not a high-rise, over several acres of land. I spent a couple hours on the WSCAI list of firms, looking only at the ones that were primarily focused on HOA property management (as opposed to rentals, etc), with an office on the Eastside (will expand to Seattle if I have to). Then on the individual company websites, I tried to look for ones that had a list of staff and highly credentialed (any combo of CMCA, AMS, PCAM) agents since we are looking for full-service management. I sent an email to about 3 or 4 companies that met all these requirements and asked for specific references with Board member contact info. We'll see if these companies are willing to provide that at this point.

We do have an HOA attorney, but since I am not on the Board, I cannot directly ask. We have 2 neighboring HOAs, both much smaller than ours. One is satisfied with their manager and the other is not. So I put the satisfied one on the list to be considered as well. I do not know of a way to easily find other HOAs in my area and even if I did, I would have no idea who their Board members are.

Thanks to everyone for all the input and hopefully my approach to this will yield some good candidates for our Board to consider.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


01/08/2018 5:27 AM  
Posted By LeilaH on 01/07/2018 9:57 PM

I do not know of a way to easily find other HOAs in my area and even if I did, I would have no idea who their Board members are.




Typically, an internet search for HOAs in [name of city] will provide some results if they have a presence on the internet.

Another option is to ask a realtor. They can tell you what Associations are around you.
Then a simple check to see if they are incorporated can often provide names and contact info of board members.



KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5376


01/08/2018 9:07 AM  
Just curious, Leila: if you're not on the Board, where does your authorization to talk with MCs come from? Does the Board know you're pursuing this project?
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/08/2018 9:20 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 01/08/2018 9:07 AM
Just curious, Leila: if you're not on the Board, where does your authorization to talk with MCs come from? Does the Board know you're pursuing this project?




I used to be on the Board about 5 years ago and managed some projects for the HOA (maintenance-wise) since so I know the current Board members pretty well and worked very closely with the previous association manager a lot before she left. Our HOA president called me to ask me to commence my search for a new management company after our manager left.
TimM11


Posts:166


01/08/2018 10:05 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 01/08/2018 9:07 AM
Just curious, Leila: if you're not on the Board, where does your authorization to talk with MCs come from? Does the Board know you're pursuing this project?




As long as she's not misrepresenting what she's authorized to do, why would she need permission just to talk to them? Granted, I wouldn't think most MCs would want to talk to someone not on the board, since they can't make any decisions, but you never know.
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/08/2018 2:28 PM  
Posted By TimM11 on 01/08/2018 10:05 AM
Posted By KerryL1 on 01/08/2018 9:07 AM
Just curious, Leila: if you're not on the Board, where does your authorization to talk with MCs come from? Does the Board know you're pursuing this project?




As long as she's not misrepresenting what she's authorized to do, why would she need permission just to talk to them? Granted, I wouldn't think most MCs would want to talk to someone not on the board, since they can't make any decisions, but you never know.




I read that it's common for a Board to form a selection committee of volunteers to search for a new HOA property management committee so in this case, I am the one-person committee.

I emailed 4 companies yesterday (a Sunday) that met my requirements above to ask for other HOA Board member references, and 2 have already emailed me with their references. It's easier for them to provide me references than craft a proposal, and if they genuinely do good work, I would think they should not mind to share this info up front. If they don't, then I may or may not pass their name onto the Board to consider. Believe me, getting past me should be the easy part. Wait until they have to be interviewed by our Board.

Getting references from our HOA attorney does seem like a good idea, but I'll wait to see how many good candidates I get first with my own vetting process. I don't know if HOA attorneys charge us if we ask questions like this, and I would need the Board's permission to contact them in the first place.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5376


01/08/2018 5:59 PM  
Thanks for your reply and happy hunting to you, Leila.

If I were you, though, I would want a little written memo from the Board approving your exploration of this topic.

Often Selection Committees are executive committees of boards in these types of searches. I really can't say I've heard of a committee of one, and we also know that boards, not presidents appoint committees. I might sound overly cautious, but sometimes that's a good thing.
LeilaH
(Washington)

Posts:8


01/08/2018 6:10 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 01/08/2018 5:59 PM
Thanks for your reply and happy hunting to you, Leila.

If I were you, though, I would want a little written memo from the Board approving your exploration of this topic.

Often Selection Committees are executive committees of boards in these types of searches. I really can't say I've heard of a committee of one, and we also know that boards, not presidents appoint committees. I might sound overly cautious, but sometimes that's a good thing.




Oh, I do have written permission in the form of an email from the president to the rest of the Board authorizing me to commence the search last week. No objection was received. I know 3 out of the 5 Board members pretty well including the president.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5376


01/08/2018 6:34 PM  
I see i'm being very picky on this general topic today. Boards should make decisions at meetings so they can be entered in the minutes. This protects the Board from accusations that some rogue Owner is running around interviewing MCs.

Presidents don't authorize such an exploration, boards do.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2734


01/08/2018 7:02 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 01/08/2018 6:34 PM
I see i'm being very picky on this general topic today. Boards should make decisions at meetings so they can be entered in the minutes. This protects the Board from accusations that some rogue Owner is running around interviewing MCs.

Presidents don't authorize such an exploration, boards do.



Who is to say that it wasn't done at a meeting that the OP didn't attend?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5376


01/08/2018 9:43 PM  
Please reread Leila's recent replies, Richard.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2734


01/08/2018 9:51 PM  
I have read her replies, have you?
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