Exposing the 8 Biggest Myths About Partnering with a Community Management Company

Posted on Wednesday June 18, 2014 |

In the interest of transforming myth into a portrait of the industry’s reality, you’re invited to consider (or re-consider) the following about community association management companies:

1. Myth: It’s an unrewarding job, so no real professionals want to do it.
Answer: False. There are thousands of community managers who are highly trained and licensed according to the requirements of their state or jurisdiction. The discipline of community association management involves long-term planning, project management, nurturing relationships and conducting extensive analyses to uncover ways to save clients money. That makes it a job that involves the art of people-skills as well as the science of strategic thinking. Together, that’s just the kind of challenge that many of the professional world’s most ambitious career-builders seek. A successful community manager is backed by a strong internal support team, which helps them manage every aspect of the job focusing on compliance, preventative maintenance, administrative duties, safety and insurance.

2. Myth: The management company makes the decisions on how the community is run.
Answer: False. The board of directors of a community association sets the rules for the community. This elected body (of homeowners and/or developer representatives) sets all of the policies, which are provided to homeowners at the closing of their home purchase and are called your Governing Documents. It’s the responsibility of the community association management team to ensure the policies are consistently and fairly enforced throughout the community.

3. Myth: All community association management companies are the same. Therefore, all that really matters is the manager that is assigned to you.
Answer: False. While it is important that the specific manager assigned to your community is a proper fit and able to effectively execute the vision of the board, their impact could be limited if the community association management company they work for doesn’t support them with staff, resources and technology. You know the difference between trying to do a job with a company that invests in your success and one that doesn’t. It’s the same for community association management companies; the best ones combine high-quality individuals with a broad depth of professional resources. That way the best people can achieve their goals and provide the best service to your community.

4. Myth: Hiring a community association company will make us lose control of our assets and staff.
Answer: False. Actually, the opposite is true. When you partner with a reputable community association company, you benefit from deeper resources. That means a greater ability to affect the policies set forth by the board. Therefore, by partnering with a great community association company, the result is more control and enhanced effectiveness.

5. Myth: Community association companies hurt your bottom line.
Answer: False. The core mission of the best community association company is efficiency. They’re there to implement the board’s policies more effectively so that members can focus on the importance of policymaking. The result is always a savings of time. In most cases, the community manager will also conduct contract analyses and leverage relationships to negotiate lower fees for services, which will more than pay for the community association company’s costs. Either way, through time or cost-savings, a good community association company will bring added-value to your community.

6. Myth: We will be forced to use certain vendors that are partnered with the community
management company, or that are affiliated with them.
Answer: False. It’s no secret that these kinds of relationships can yield cost-saving benefits for communities. But the fallacy here is the idea that the community association company can force a board or a community to do anything. The best community association company will recommend a selection based on a variety of options, but the ultimate decision lies with the board.

7. Myth: Boards are too unprofessional to get anything out of a licensed community manager.
Answer: False. Most boards conduct themselves according to strict codes of professionalism. Because these are volunteer positions, members tend to commit themselves to the role with the highest standards of dedication. This involvement is enhanced further by a great community association company that helps clearly define roles, offers respectful advice and is steadfast in implementing the policies set forth by the board.

8. Myth: A small community association management company gives better service than the big guys.
Answer: False. Great service is more than personalized attention. It also involves the ability to achieve the positive changes you want to make in your community, which takes resources. So when choosing a good community association company, look for one that combines the best of both worlds: local market knowledge and national backing. That way you get real community insight, along with the leverage to negotiate contracts in your board’s favor and the resources it takes to enforce your policies fully and efficiently. Furthermore, while a smaller company is forced to operate as a “jack of all trades” to all community types, a larger company offers specialized services based on those community types (such as master-planned communities, active-adult communities, high-rises, developer communities, etc.) and is thereby more suited to offer services tailored to your community’s specific needs.

Myths have no place within your community association– that’s a fact. For more information on what the right community association management company can do for you, contact FirstService Residential in Nevada today.
While debating on whether your current management company is the best fit for you or if it’s time for a change, you find yourself influenced by other’s opinions, media, newspaper articles, costs, etc. Self-managed, unmanaged, professionally managed, over managed or undermanaged, it is easily assumable that you have believed at least one of the eight myths listed below, at one-time or another.

In the interest of transforming myth into a portrait of the industry’s reality, you’re invited to consider (or re-consider) the following about community association management companies:

1. Myth: It’s an unrewarding job, so no real professionals want to do it.
Answer: False. There are thousands of community managers who are highly trained and licensed according to the requirements of their state or jurisdiction. The discipline of community association management involves long-term planning, project management, nurturing relationships and conducting extensive analyses to uncover ways to save clients money. That makes it a job that involves the art of people-skills as well as the science of strategic thinking. Together, that’s just the kind of challenge that many of the professional world’s most ambitious career-builders seek. A successful community manager is backed by a strong internal support team, which helps them manage every aspect of the job focusing on compliance, preventative maintenance, administrative duties, safety and insurance.

2. Myth: The management company makes the decisions on how the community is run.
Answer: False. The board of directors of a community association sets the rules for the community. This elected body (of homeowners and/or developer representatives) sets all of the policies, which are provided to homeowners at the closing of their home purchase and are called your Governing Documents. It’s the responsibility of the community association management team to ensure the policies are consistently and fairly enforced throughout the community.

3. Myth: All community association management companies are the same. Therefore, all that really matters is the manager that is assigned to you.
Answer: False. While it is important that the specific manager assigned to your community is a proper fit and able to effectively execute the vision of the board, their impact could be limited if the community association management company they work for doesn’t support them with staff, resources and technology. There is a major difference between trying to do a job with a company that invests in your success and one that doesn’t. It’s the same for community association management companies; the best ones combine high-quality individuals with a broad depth of professional resources. That way the best people can achieve their goals and provide the best service to your community.

4. Myth: Hiring a community association company will make us lose control of our assets and staff.
Answer: False. Actually, the opposite is true. When you partner with a reputable community association company, you benefit from deeper resources. That means a greater ability to affect the policies set forth by the board. Therefore, by partnering with a great community association company, the result is more control and enhanced effectiveness.

5. Myth: Community association companies hurt your bottom line.
Answer: False. The core mission of the best community association company is efficiency. They’re there to implement the board’s policies more effectively so that members can focus on the importance of policymaking. The result is always a savings of time. In most cases, the community manager will also conduct contract analyses and leverage relationships to negotiate lower fees for services, which will more than pay for the community association company’s costs. Either way, through time or cost-savings, a good community association company will bring added-value to your community.

6. Myth: We will be forced to use certain vendors that are partnered with the community management company, or that are affiliated with them.
Answer: False. It’s no secret that these kinds of relationships can yield cost-saving benefits for communities. But the fallacy here is the idea that the community association company can force a board or a community to do anything. The best community association company will recommend a selection based on a variety of options, but the ultimate decision lies with the board.

7. Myth: Boards are too unprofessional to get anything out of a licensed community manager.
Answer: False. Most boards conduct themselves according to strict codes of professionalism. Because these are volunteer positions, members tend to commit themselves to the role with the highest standards of dedication. This involvement is enhanced further by a great community association company that helps clearly define roles, offers respectful advice and is steadfast in implementing the policies set forth by the board.

8. Myth: A small community association management company gives better service than the big guys.
Answer: False. Great service is more than personalized attention. It also involves the ability to achieve the positive changes you want to make in your community, which takes resources. So when choosing a good community association company, look for one that combines the best of both worlds: local market knowledge and national backing. That way you get real community insight, along with the leverage to negotiate contracts in your board’s favor and the resources it takes to enforce your policies fully and efficiently. Furthermore, while a smaller company is forced to operate as a “jack of all trades” to all community types, a larger company offers specialized services based on those community types (such as master-planned communities, active-adult communities, high-rises, developer communities, etc.) and is thereby more suited to offer services tailored to your community’s specific needs.

Myths have no place within your community association– that’s a fact. For more information on what the right community association management company can do for you, contact FirstService Residential in Nevada today.

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