Choosing a community manager can make or break an HOA. A good community manager will ensure the community excels, making the neighborhood more pleasant. Check out these steps in choosing a qualified community manager.
1. Do Your Homework
Before considering anyone, it’s important to learn more about the community manager’s history. This first means learning if they have the necessary licensure. Next, determine their level of education and experience in managing property. Make sure the experience meshes with your own property (high-rise, detached, etc.). Finally, check references to find out what previous and current clients have to say. Doing all this pre-legwork will avoid wasting time and hiring someone who doesn’t work out.
2. Focus on Customer Service Skills
Great customer service is one of the most important qualifications a community manager must have because they deal with so many people. Many of those people may be angry or annoyed, and good customer service skills means the community manager always stays calm and listens to the other individual.
3. Find Out How They Deal With Problem Tenants
Problem tenants are difficult to deal with, so you want to make sure any community manager you hire can successfully handle one. Find out if the community manager has any policies in place regarding difficult tenants. This includes policies regarding late rent, violations and complaints. If they don’t have any policies, the policies don’t fit with your HOA or you disagree with the policies, it’s best to find another candidate.
4. Ask Financial Questions
Finances are a big part of the community manager position, so it’s a good idea to chat with potential managers about finances and accounting. First, ensure the community manager actually understands accounting and has some experience. Besides that, however, find out some of their financial policies, such as how late fees are calculated.
5. Learn Their Maintenance Policy
Maintenance is another major part of running a community, so get a handle on the community manager’s maintenance polices, so you can be sure that if something goes wrong, it gets fixed quickly. Don’t just ask about routine maintenance, however. Find out if there is a policy in place for emergencies, and ask if they have a list of approved vendors. This is a great way to determine if the manager can hit the ground running when it comes to fixing maintenance issues.
Picking the right community manager takes time. However, with the right questions, you are sure to find one that is perfect for your community. Don’t just hire someone to run your day to day operations. Find someone who can make your community even better.