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Subject: hiring property management company
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Author Messages
JW7
(Tennessee)

Posts:12


12/03/2018 12:09 PM  
Our HOA Board has decided to hire a company rather than the individual resident/s it has previously tasked with property management, and will present us homeowners with their choice this week. As non-Board member homeowners, what questions should we be asking the new management company and the Board? Our HOA has had its share of discriminatory practices and lack of integrity.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


12/03/2018 1:24 PM  
No questions.

The BOD is doing the job for which y'all elected them.

They are TASKED with managing the 'farmed out' shlock work.

If they do a poor job (in your opinion) you simply elect new directors at the next members' meeting,

or

petition for a recall,

or

bring legal action in a court of law.

Y'all elected them, y'all live with them for their terms.



GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:796


12/03/2018 2:05 PM  
Anyone think RoyalP is being helpful and positive?
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:47


12/03/2018 2:52 PM  
RoyalP is telling it like it is. Gather a room of owners and you are always going to get the one's who demand unreasonable expectations from volunteers who have no idea what they are doing.

Everyone has uneducated opinions at meetings. This is a BOD decision and the owners elect the BOD. Opening up ? to the owner's in an open forum is looking for difficulties. Again, it's a BOD decision.

Educate the owners to elect those most qualified to sit on the BOD of the HOA and put faith in them until the next election. Educate owners of all the duties and pitfalls on being on the BOD, and you may never have anyone volunteer.

Of course many will have the "nobody wants to run for the BOD" illness and will get what they deserve.

With that said, we recently hired a national PM firm who failed miserably at servicing our community. At that time a good BOD is faced with even more issues because their owners won't take the time to understand what they got into when they purchased in an HOA and complain that we are changing MC's.


Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


12/03/2018 3:10 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 12/03/2018 2:05 PM
Anyone think RoyalP is being helpful and positive?




I gave the OP the three available options.

? Do YOU have any others to offer ?






OUT OF THIS THREAD
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:796


12/03/2018 3:12 PM  
Telling it like it is is NOT being helpful ...
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:159


12/03/2018 3:18 PM  
JW7,
We still no nothing about your community. Single Family or Townhomes or Condo's How many units? What are your monthly dues? Amenities the HOA maintains?


If you were on the board you would know if you have collection issues or enforcement issues?


George,

I get a kick out of RoyalP most times. He always seems to do these drive by shots.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7865


12/03/2018 3:20 PM  
JW

Management Companies (MC) come in a lot of flavors. Some are basic like collect dues, pay bills, and create Financial Reports. Nothing more. Their range of services and escalate form there and their costs will increase

It is critical that the BOD and MC agree on what the MC's duties are. Most MC's will provide a list of their services and in some cases it will be like pick from Column A, Column B, etc.

We (the BOD) interviewed 3 before we picked one and as long as their costs fit within our budget we did not feel the need to make each owner privy to our selection process. I would only involve owners if it was going to require a dues increase. Otherwise, let the BOD do what it was elected to do. Make management decisions.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


12/03/2018 3:30 PM  
RoyalP is being helpful. It's the Board's job. we too have interviewed three firms in the past for full-time onsite management company. Owners also "interviewing" the vendor candidates is unwise. It IS the Board's job and those directors should make it their business to be knowledgeable about what your HOA needs from an MC.

I don't grasp the OP's: "Our HOA has had its share of discriminatory practices and lack of integrity." Do you mean the Board has shown lack of integrity? And has been discriminatory?

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16045


12/03/2018 3:51 PM  
One question I would ask:

Does the MC receive a portion of any monetary penalties for compliance issues (as this can become a revenue stream and cause a MC to become over zealous)?

PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:47


12/03/2018 4:02 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 12/03/2018 3:12 PM
Telling it like it is is NOT being helpful ...




But for those who it's "useful" to, it means alot.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2311


12/03/2018 4:40 PM  
If your community has had issues with "lack of integrity" and "discriminatory practices," your issue is with your BOARD, not the management company. As others have said, they work at the Board's direction - those problems were likely due from whoever was put in charge. And you and your neighbors should have quashed this a long time ago by holding the board accountable - or replace them. That may not be as blunt as Pain put it, but it's still the truth.

That said, it doesn't hurt to meet the new property manager and get some information on what to expect, so after making the selection, I hope your board sponsors some sort of "meet the property manager" event, where folks can introduce themselves and the property manager can introduce him/herself and perhaps give a quick talk about his/her background and an overview of how he/she works with HOAs.

The property manager's presentation may answer a lot of your questions at the start - what are the office hours, address, phone number and email of the management company, how soon should one expect an acknowledgment of a letter, phone call or email being sent? How are emergencies handled? Can assessments be dropped off at the office? What should we do if an association vendor damages our property while working?

And how about this for a question - how can we homeowners help you manage our community better? We often yap about the board or whoever doing this, that and the other for us, but never once think about what WE can and should do to make things better. You've never had a property manager before, so managing expectations is important. Don't nag the property manager about issues you should bring to the board. And be patient - give the property manager a few months to get acquainted with the community. There may be a few bumps at first, but if everyone works together, you may be surprised at the results.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2518


12/03/2018 6:32 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 12/03/2018 2:05 PM
Anyone think RoyalP is being helpful and positive?

He's essentially right. Nothing is so helpful as telling it like it is. You may not like the way he says it, but you can say he's not being helpful just because he's not touchy-feely enough for your taste.

The board can ask homeowners what they'd like to see in a management company, but it's the board who makes the decision. At the meeting where a MC is selected, the homeowners shouldn't get to ask anything. The time for that has passed.

I'm sensitive to this at the moment since, like the OP, we selected a management company for next year after having gone through 20+ years of self-management. Mis-management is more like it. At the October board meeting one homeowner asked the president if the homeowners would get to vote on the management company. The predient replied, "Of course!", to everyone's horror. Well, he dug that hole and we put it on him to dig himself out of it.

It's a board decision, period, unless the governing documents provide otherwise. It's up to the board do decide and if the homeowners don't like the board's decision they can vote them out at the next annual meeting, or recall them if they can't wait that long. That meeting is 6 weeks away and, wouldn't you know it, none of the complainers are running.
JW7
(Tennessee)

Posts:12


12/04/2018 12:36 PM  
Thank you one and all for your responses and insights. They are all helpful.
I especially appreciated the idea of asking what we as homeowners can do to make our community run smoothly. Our Board president dissolved all the volunteer/homeowner committees, so the Board's answer might not encourage homeowner involvement at all, but it's worth asking. Wish us well.
Again, thank you for your input.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


12/04/2018 1:39 PM  
So, JW, is it the president who's shown a lack of integrity? Our bylaws and CA corporations codes make boards responsible for committees, and I think that's typical of most states and HOA bylaws. Boards, then, approve committee formation and dissolution, members and chairs. What do yours say, JW?

Is it your impression that the president will actually make the final choice vs the Board?

We have a clause in our contract with our MC that the property mgr. has no obligation to follow board directives that oppose our governing documents or state laws. I'd like to see it even stronger as in "will not follow...." Anyway, it's the MC's own clause and I think it give boards and owners some leverage when a PM feels pressured to behave in suspect ways. Might ask about that.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:294


12/04/2018 3:35 PM  
I have two thoughts on the subject of owner participation in MC selection, having been (and still am) on both sides of the matter:

1. A few years ago we were asked to bid on a contract to manage a very small, very close (relationships), very long tenured owners condominium complex. Part of their process in selecting the MC was to hold a series of open house type meetings during which a presentation was made to the owners. The were very frank in telling us the meetings were primarily a way for them to see if there was a 'fit' between the MC personnel and the owners. We privately thought the process was flawed, which it was when it became apparent during the presentation and discussion following there were several running their own agendas regarding self-management. We withdrew from consideration due to our experience in the meeting. So much for direct owner participation in the process.

2. We purchased in a new development some years ago which was still under developer control and remained so for about three years. Prior to the turn-over several owners with previous HOA experience suggested we form a committee to consider what exactly we as owners wanted in terms of services from the MC. We polled the owners, which provided some valuable input and some not so valuable. We would suggest using it again when and if we are involved in obtaining the services of a new MC. The town hall meetings we held were very helpful in educating owners new to HOA living what the MC does and does not do.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2518


12/04/2018 3:57 PM  
It sounds like you did the right thing in both cases, BillH10. My HOA hired a MC that's going to start on Jan. 1 and a few of us are very apprehensive. We needed a MC in the worst way, in my opinion, but the board made its selection after only a single perfunctory meeting with representatives of three companies. There were no discussions at all that explored the actual details and, as a result, we have no idea what to expect. As an HOA that hasn't had a management company in over 20 years I think we should have asked more questions. Obviously they haven't started yet and since they do have a very good reputation in the county there's nothing to complain about yet.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


12/04/2018 4:00 PM  
Since the contract has been executed, Geno, you now can at least review it--might be reassuring. I guess in FL you need to make a written request? To whom, in your case?
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