If your board has decided to invest in property management services, it’s critical that you’re thorough when doing your research. Handing over the reins to anyone that wasn’t directly elected by the community is no decision to be made lightly, though it can be a wise one in the right circumstances.
You’ll need to find an HOA management company that shares the same devotion to your residents as you do, and that’s only accomplished by asking the right questions. As five-star providers of property management services, Gassen is here to help in your search.
Here are nine questions to help your HOA find its perfect fit!
1. What’s Your Mission or Vision?
Want to know how your potential property management company operates? Their mission statement will condense this down into a few lines at best, giving you a succinct peek into their philosophies and what kind of service you’re likely to receive.
Mission statements are also a great shorthand to use when comparing HOA management companies across multiple interviews. Though it’s a recommended practice to take notes, mission statements can help jog your memory during discussions with your fellow board members.
At Gassen, our vision statement is as follows: “Our passion is building trusting, long-lasting relationships with our clients.”
This demonstrates our commitment to our customers and our drive to be in it for the long haul.
2. How Many HOAs Are You Working With?
The size of your potential property management company is important to consider, but it’s best considered when presented with the context of the company’s portfolio. Large HOA management companies, for example, might have more on their plates, but their portfolio demonstrates how well they handle that large workload.
3. How Long Have You Been Managing Properties?
While age is not always an indicator of quality, knowing how long a property management company has been operating helps you evaluate their experience level. The longer a management company has been in business, the better chances they’ve handled every type of need your HOA community is looking for.
Find out if they’ve been serving in and around your community, too. Again, companies that have managed locally for years will have a good understanding of what you're looking for in management.
Also, with time, there often comes more clients and more references. Speak with some of their current clients to find out more about the company’s procedures, capabilities, and services they provide.
4. What Services Do You Provide?
HOA management companies can provide a range of services, sometimes narrowing in on specific HOA needs, and other times offering every service imaginable. Consider what your community is looking for now and may want in the future, and compare that to what a management company has to give.
Ask for a complete list of services, including:
● Account management
● Financial services
● Loan assistance
● Online and communication portals
● Property maintenance services
● Administrative management
5. What Qualifications Do Your Managers Need to Have?
Most states require HOA property managers to carry certain licenses, like Minnesota which requires a real estate broker license. Check with your state for specific certification requirements and verify that the company meets those conditions.
Additionally, find out how long the managers, accountants, and contractors have been in their roles. You need to know if you will be working with professionals who have consistently upheld good customer service and added to the value of the communities they serve.
6. How Do You Manage HOA Finances?
Confirm that the management company has a succinct and comprehensive plan for helping your HOA manage its finances. That is often one of the most challenging and important parts of being on an HOA board, so having a responsible and accurate financial account manager is crucial.
7. What Is the Process for Maintenance Projects?
If you’re looking for a property management company that can help you negotiate with vendors and provide maintenance and repair services for your property and community, ask about the process they use and who they work with.
Do they keep track of requests, maintain inventories, schedule repairs, and streamline the projects for you?
8. What Is the Emergency Response Procedure?
Even under the most attentive property management companies, life in an HOA remains unpredictable—as life anywhere does. Your property management services should have airtight protocol in place to handle anything that comes your neighborhood’s way, from seasonal weather hazards to conflicts between residents.
You pay them to manage your community, after all; tackling the unexpected that comes with it is just part of the job description.
9. What Distinguishes You From Other HOA Management Companies?
Are there services that one company can offer that others can’t?
Is there better customer service or more attentiveness to your community’s unique needs?
Does being a local company versus a nationally affiliated company make a difference in providing responsive, reliable service?
Narrowing down what each management company truly cares about and can do will help you find just the right HOA management company for your community.
Gassen: Top-Notch Providers of Property Management Services
With our 24-hour emergency response line, online property management and accounting property management services and more, we’d be glad to help your community grow.
Give our Eden Prairie office a call today at 952-922-5575!