The person assigned to run the HOA is called the property manager. However, while the job only has one title, it actually encompasses five different jobs. When you’re searching for the next property manager, ensure they have the skills to perform these five jobs. If they can’t, they won’t succeed as your association’s manager.
Property managers have to communicate with a lot of individuals. These individuals may not share your manager’s same background or beliefs, so the manager needs to have the flexibility to interact and effectively communicate with all kinds of people. Not only do they have to communicate with all the residents, they also need to talk to board members, contractors, vendors and anyone else to help run the HOA.
As stated, a property manager has to communicate with many different people, and not all those people want the same things. Everyone has their own agendas. To be successful, property managers must have excellent negotiation skills, so that everyone can compromise and understand they can’t get everything they want. With a good negotiator, people may have to give up some things they want, but they still walk away happy.
A community manager who is afraid to speak his or her mind, can easily get bulldozed by opinionated residents and board members. Your manager must be a good consultant and not be afraid to speak up to voice opinions. His or her job is to help advise and lead the community, so ensure they have the skills to do so.
Another task performed by the association manager is the budget. Don’t go out and find a professional accountant, but bring someone with accounting experience is a big plus. They need to be able to successfully maintain a monthly, quarterly and annual budget, so they need basic accounting and financial knowledge.
The manager won’t be the one to build a new fence or perform repairs for the neighborhood, but having some contracting knowledge is a huge benefit. They’ll need to work with contractors on a routine basis, and if they have no idea what contracting involves, they won’t be able to effectively understand cost and time frames, which is frustrating to contractors.
Running an entire neighborhood isn’t easy, and as with many jobs, property managers wear a lot of hats. When looking for your next manager, choose someone who can fill these five roles if you want someone who can succeed in improving your neighborhood association.
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