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Subject: Suggestions on Noticing Meeting to Replace Mgmt Company
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JignyaT
(California)

Posts:21


04/02/2021 12:06 PM  
Hi everyone,

We are soliciting proposals on replacing the management company who has given us 60 day notice on our existing contract (long story but they grumble that they are paid too little, so have issued 60-day termination and said they would sign a new agreement at a much higher rate that we don't want to pay, hence the alternate proposals).

The Board would like to meet in executive session (Board only) and discuss the alternate proposals but any suggestions on how to notice the meeting? We don't want to go through the management company for obvious reasons.

We have a bulletin board near the mailboxes where a hardcopy is posted x days prior, and the management company typically sends an email blast. We are thinking skip the email blast and just post the notice on the bulletin board.

Any thoughts on this approach?

Thanks in advance.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10060


04/02/2021 1:49 PM  
Is hiring a new MC an exclusive board vote? It seems to me that any member should be able to make suggestions or contribute to the search for a new MC. Not sure why you would exclude the majority of your membership the right to participate in this decision. This can be handled in an open meeting just like any other open meeting.

Matter of fact, when we were looking for our new lawncare, I accepted bids from membership if they knew someone. No reason why can't get a bit of feedback and suggestions from those whom are going to be dealing with the new MC. Plus may want to find out what everyone wants or needs out of a MC.

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7949


04/02/2021 1:55 PM  
As a "personnel matter," and to avoid giving one potential MC a boost over another. the proposal from the MCs are OK in ES. That's where they should be.

(I don't think Melissa' old HOA had an MC so I believe she's not experienced with them)

But since your current MC gave you toe and your Board will not pay more for their services, why do you want to keep the existence of the Executive session secret from them??

Positng on the bulletin board is adequate meeting notice for members in CA. As you know, you need only two days notice for executive session (in CA).
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10817


04/02/2021 2:08 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 04/02/2021 1:55 PM
As a "personnel matter," and to avoid giving one potential MC a boost over another. the proposal from the MCs are OK in ES. That's where they should be.

(I don't think Melissa' old HOA had an MC so I believe she's not experienced with them)

But since your current MC gave you toe and your Board will not pay more for their services, why do you want to keep the existence of the Executive session secret from them??

Positng on the bulletin board is adequate meeting notice for members in CA. As you know, you need only two days notice for executive session (in CA).



Kerry

Would it be proper in CA to work on new MC proposals in Executive Session alone? To me it would be fine but who knows what CA would do.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7949


04/02/2021 2:38 PM  
Sorry--your current MC gave you notice....
JignyaT
(California)

Posts:21


04/02/2021 4:57 PM  
Thanks! Or Bylaws confirm that contracts can be discussed in executive session.

Thanks for confirming the bulletin board posting alone is sufficient.
JignyaT
(California)

Posts:21


04/02/2021 4:59 PM  
Thanks Melissa, in CA the Board manages vendors/contracts including management companies.

To be honest if we had more time I would love to engage for more feedback but we need to chart our path soon since we have 2 months notice from the prior company.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:544


04/02/2021 5:28 PM  
Posted By JignyaT on 04/02/2021 4:59 PM
Thanks Melissa, in CA the Board manages vendors/contracts including management companies.

To be honest if we had more time I would love to engage for more feedback but we need to chart our path soon since we have 2 months notice from the prior company.




I'd be very careful what kind of feedback you solicited. Most association members don't have a clue what a property manager really does and how the relationship works between them and the board members. There's nothing wrong with sharing info on why you are looking and educating them on the services that they provide. When it comes down to the selection this is a business decision and that's best left in the boards hands.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7949


04/02/2021 6:20 PM  
I agree completely with JohnT.

Yes, you're right, Jignya, this would an agenda item called Contracts in Formation. That's all, as you know, that you need to put on the posted agenda & meeting notice.

Do you mean, JohnC, compose the proposal's wording? I don't see why that would be treated as a a private or confidential matter suitable on for executive session. But I'm not sure about this. Max will know.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7949


04/02/2021 6:20 PM  
I agree completely with JohnT.

Yes, you're right, Jignya, this would an agenda item called Contracts in Formation. That's all, as you know, that you need to put on the posted agenda & meeting notice.

Do you mean, JohnC, compose the proposal's wording? I don't see why that would be treated as a a private or confidential matter suitable on for executive session. But I'm not sure about this. Max will know.

MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:775


04/02/2021 7:39 PM  
As someone who has gone through this process a few times over the years. This is definitely an Executive session item. The membership has no need to be involved in this discussion. It is a Contract and very important one that should be taken serious. There are many questions that need to be asked and 60 days is not enough time to do an adequate search IMO. Some of the questions that need to be asked are below.

1) What type of PMC are you looking for is it Full time onsite or a Portfolio account?
2) What was your issues with the last PMC?
3) What services do you expect them to provide?
4) Do you know what the going rates are for PMCs in your State? You are located in Ca. do you have a per door charge from other companies? You may really need to consider your existing PMC if they are asking for a raise.
5) Lastly once you fond another company you need to find how they ramp up because most want 30 days prior to taking on a new customer to prepare and if so that shortens decision time.
6) I would avoid the larger companies that are usually hired by developers. They are not a good fit for homeowner boards. Trust me on this fact.

My opinion is you need to consider asking your existing MC to give you more time. It takes a good 9 days to do a good search of companies and check references. Pay them the extra fees and make the next choice carefully.

If you do finally find a replacement company make sure you compare the contracts to your existing contract pricing. The devil is in the fine print and can get you into something that ends up costing you more than you even know.

Sorry that I do not have more time to elaborate at this time. You need to keep this at the Executive level and remember you are elected to make these choices. everyone who has ever gotten a letter from the PMC company wants them fired.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4144


04/02/2021 9:36 PM  
Well said Mark

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:385


04/03/2021 7:54 AM  
If your only issue with your current management company is that they want to be paid more than you want to pay them, I might think a little harder about switching. Changing management companies will cost you a good three months of functionality. At least.

Everybody wants top notch service for as little money as possible. Doesn’t happen. You will end up getting what you paid for, good luck.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:775


04/03/2021 8:11 AM  
Barbara,
You are very correct. Changing MCs effects every single homeowner. Here are a few more reasons why.

1) Every homeowner will be effected because the way they pay dues instantly changes.
2) Your homeowners will not All get the message and late fees will be charged and then waived in some cases. It is a nightmare for at least 90 days after the change.
3) Any new MC will come in as a blank slate. They will know nothing about your community and this will require some of the board members to spend many hours getting them on track to succeed. If this is not done they will flounder for months and the answer they will give you is we did not know about that.
4) Accounts that are in collections or with their Attorneys will be stuck with them unless you want to start them over and pay the fees again.
5) Not sure if you have any existing projects in the works currently. If yes you will need to leave money in the exiting MCs account to pay those bills or find a way to transfer. If you get a good new company this can be worked out but everything needs to be managed.

If I were you I would talk to your board and try to tell the company you will pay them what they are requesting and you would like to go month to month. If they do this you can do the due diligence needed to make sure you have your ducks in a row before such a major change.

This is Not a reason to change Management companies.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:544


04/03/2021 8:36 AM  
I think Mark's comments are spot on. We went through this exercise two years ago and interviewed 3 other companies. Our current company was despised by the community and previous boards. It took us a long time (6 months) to do this. We first defined the requirements which is important and then we researched potential companies. Each of them was given a written RFP. I would never suggest searching for a new PM without this.

We ended up staying with the 'despised company'. We found that their price was competitive and more importantly we came to realize what the real problem was. Previous boards didn't define what they wanted the PM to do and their expectations for them were out of line for what we were paying. Many of the problems we had were a direct result of the board. For example, our reserves were inadequate and generally the neighborhood was in a state of disrepair. Everyone, including the board blamed the PM when the real issue is the board would not increase fees and they failed to take any active interest in planning. My point is, I'm suggesting that before you jump ship take a hard look at yourselves and see if any of the issues you have with the PM are really your own issues. As the old saying goes, "be careful what you ask for."
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1673


04/03/2021 8:43 AM  
By all means, have your existing property management company handle the notice for your meeting. You are paying them to do so and it's a requirement of their contract. They will understand the need for the board to discuss the upcoming management change and will likely bid on the new contract.

However, the property management company should not attend that meeting nor access any minutes to it, just keep those with the board secretary for now.

This is just business but it can feel awkward. Don't worry about it.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3862


04/03/2021 9:58 AM  
The only thing I'd add to all of the excellent suggestions issued do far is to conduct a homeowner poll on the performance of the property manager AND the board. It should be an annual thing asd you can pose questions like "did you receive an acknowledgement of your email within 48-72 hours of sending it." Note this doesn't ask if you were happy with what you were told - this question simply asks whether you were told the board and/or property manager received it. There could be other questions on receiving any explanation, is the board transparent regarding board decisions, etc,

When I was on the board, we did a homeowner survey every year to help identify the boardand property manager's strengths and weaknesses. Use the responses to identify trends and that could give you insight on what you ask the property manager to do and how well its being done. Sometimes you may find some education is in order so homeowners understand some issues need to come to the board, not the property manager. This way you get homeowner input without having g a meeting.

Something else to consider - is the board asking the manager to do things that aren't in the contract. If so, and a price adjustment is appropriate if they insist on the property manager taking on those responsibilities. And when was the last time the property manager increased your fee. If its been a few years, you need to understand inflation causes everything to go up and so the increase us the cost of doing business.

There's nothing wrong with reviewing job performance to ensure you're getting what's required in the contract, but as others have said, simply deci g to switch because you don't want to pay more isn't a good idea either

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3862


04/03/2021 9:58 AM  
The only thing I'd add to all of the excellent suggestions issued do far is to conduct a homeowner poll on the performance of the property manager AND the board. It should be an annual thing asd you can pose questions like "did you receive an acknowledgement of your email within 48-72 hours of sending it." Note this doesn't ask if you were happy with what you were told - this question simply asks whether you were told the board and/or property manager received it. There could be other questions on receiving any explanation, is the board transparent regarding board decisions, etc,

When I was on the board, we did a homeowner survey every year to help identify the boardand property manager's strengths and weaknesses. Use the responses to identify trends and that could give you insight on what you ask the property manager to do and how well its being done. Sometimes you may find some education is in order so homeowners understand some issues need to come to the board, not the property manager. This way you get homeowner input without having g a meeting.

Something else to consider - is the board asking the manager to do things that aren't in the contract. If so, and a price adjustment is appropriate if they insist on the property manager taking on those responsibilities. And when was the last time the property manager increased your fee. If its been a few years, you need to understand inflation causes everything to go up and so the increase us the cost of doing business.

There's nothing wrong with reviewing job performance to ensure you're getting what's required in the contract, but as others have said, simply deci g to switch because you don't want to pay more isn't a good idea either

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10817


04/03/2021 11:01 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 04/02/2021 5:28 PM
Posted By JignyaT on 04/02/2021 4:59 PM
Thanks Melissa, in CA the Board manages vendors/contracts including management companies.

To be honest if we had more time I would love to engage for more feedback but we need to chart our path soon since we have 2 months notice from the prior company.




I'd be very careful what kind of feedback you solicited. Most association members don't have a clue what a property manager really does and how the relationship works between them and the board members. There's nothing wrong with sharing info on why you are looking and educating them on the services that they provide. When it comes down to the selection this is a business decision and that's best left in the boards hands.



Good advice.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:161


04/04/2021 6:17 AM  
This process is very time consuming and one Executive session will be not be sufficient. There are so many steps that need time and discussion that asking for more time from you current management company is the first step. CIC could be ne source that you could use to assist with the planning with this transition. What are the steps to a smooth transition, what questions need to be asked, and what is the role of the Board in the process? There is much more to this process so seek some guidenance.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4144


04/04/2021 8:42 AM  
Posted By JignyaT on 04/02/2021 12:06 PM
(long story but they grumble that they are paid too little, so have issued 60-day termination and said they would sign a new agreement at a much higher rate that we don't want to pay, hence the alternate proposals)



Only Jignya knows what the long story is.

Yet, most of us know that a 60-day termination notice from an MC is rather rare.

Hard to say if another MC is going to jump at the chance to service this community.

So the question I would hope Jignya would answer is - Would your HOA have terminated the management company anyway if they hadn't given 60-day notice?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10817


04/04/2021 8:47 AM  
Sometime you are better off with the enemy you know versus an enemy you do not know.
CindyH6
(Florida)

Posts:70


04/04/2021 9:44 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/04/2021 8:47 AM
Sometime you are better off with the enemy you know versus an enemy you do not know.




Really ...what kind of crowds and people do you deal with ?

Keep a bad management company at all costs and keep paying dues to an HOA that literally has no purpose.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:659


04/05/2021 6:24 AM  
Cindy, perhaps you should (re)read the original post.

Little to nothing was said about bad management, there was an inference there have been ongoing issues (" . . .long story.")

The issue presented is how to notice a meeting during which the BoD will review alternative proposals from new management companies.

I know from your previous posts you have an issue with the HOA you have been involved with. However, your issue and that HOA do not mean all HOAs have no purpose or bad management is involved.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:544


04/05/2021 7:15 AM  
Posted By BillH10 on 04/05/2021 6:24 AM
Cindy, perhaps you should (re)read the original post.

Little to nothing was said about bad management, there was an inference there have been ongoing issues (" . . .long story.")

The issue presented is how to notice a meeting during which the BoD will review alternative proposals from new management companies.

I know from your previous posts you have an issue with the HOA you have been involved with. However, your issue and that HOA do not mean all HOAs have no purpose or bad management is involved.




Amen on this. Also the underlying issue in Cindy's case was owner apathy and the willingness to sit by for 15 years and do nothing but whine until their roofs were about to cave in.
JillY
(Colorado)

Posts:1


04/08/2021 12:50 PM  
An annual homeowner survey sounds like a great idea. What kinds of questions did you ask and how did you distribute the survey/collect results?

I was recently elected to my HOA board about 6 months after moving to the community and have found things in disrepair - very low reserve funds, deferred maintenance, sloppy paperwork and what seems like broad community dissatisfaction with the PM. Would love recommendations for starting a survey.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3862


04/08/2021 2:32 PM  
At that time we had a paper newsletter so we put the survey in there, gave people about two months to respond (they could mail them in or drop them off in a small lockbox we had on the clubhouse door). These days you can use Survey Monkey for free (if you want to spend a little money, they have other bells and whistles).

There were some question suggestions on the Survey Monkey website, but we also used questions from an article CAI's magazine ran several years ago. Or you can google HOA homeowner survey or something and get some ideas that way. Generally, we asked stuff like did you attend a board meeting this year, if not why not (e.g. scheduling conflict), have you used the exterior change request process, was it easy to understand, stuff like that. There was also a spot where people could write in additional comments about whatever they felt like.

Basically, you want to keep it relatively short, maybe 10 questions (12-15 may be pushing it depending on how involved your community is), and keep the responses simple - yes/no, rank on a scale of 1-5. Generally, a response rate over 20% is great because the more responses you get, the easier it is to detect patterns.

We usually did ours near the end of the year, as it helped review our performance over most of the year, so we'd publish the results at the beginning of the next year - publishing it alongside the year-end annual financial report. Hope this helps!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10817


04/09/2021 1:35 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 04/05/2021 7:15 AM
Posted By BillH10 on 04/05/2021 6:24 AM
Cindy, perhaps you should (re)read the original post.

Little to nothing was said about bad management, there was an inference there have been ongoing issues (" . . .long story.")

The issue presented is how to notice a meeting during which the BoD will review alternative proposals from new management companies.

I know from your previous posts you have an issue with the HOA you have been involved with. However, your issue and that HOA do not mean all HOAs have no purpose or bad management is involved.




Amen on this. Also the underlying issue in Cindy's case was owner apathy and the willingness to sit by for 15 years and do nothing but whine until their roofs were about to cave in.



We did a dues increase to cover roofing replacement costs. We had several owners ask why we were worrying about 2027? Some even said I will not be here then so let those here at the time pay for it. Got to love them.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3862


04/09/2021 4:23 PM  
Yes, it's always interesting how people forget that time has a crazy way of speeding up or slowing down to where you have to confront things when you least expect it. I remember one person commented that this type of thinking is like people saying "we don't need no stinking college fund!" Or a retirement account or even a Christmas savings account. No wonder people have ridiculous bills and never seem to get ahead.....
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