How to Change HOA Management Companies and What Your Association Can ExpectPerhaps your homeowners’ association has decided it’s time to change community management companies. You might be looking for a company that offers community management services that better suit your needs, or maybe your contracted partnership with your current management company is coming to an end.

If you have already decided to break ties with your current community management company and are in the process of beginning a partnership with a new one, you may want to understand and be prepared for what happens behind the scenes during that transition period.

To start off, your Board must notify your current management company or agent that the contract will not be renewed. Your management contract should state how much advanced notice is required – usually, it is 30, 60 or 90 days – so it is important to contact them as soon as possible, once the decision has been made. We have found that it is easiest to transition your homeowners’ association to a new community management company at the very beginning or end of the month.

Once notified, your outgoing management company will work in tandem with the new company to ensure that all documents and information are transferred as seamlessly as possible. Both companies should have open communication with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding the transition process.

Chances are your association’s new community management company has a clearly defined process – including a transition checklist to follow, or even better, a dedicated team or individual to manage the process and act as liaison between the companies and you. Working hand-in-hand with your Board, your new community management company will create an appropriate plan that corresponds with the unique nuances of your community, condo, or high-rise building.

As part of a transition action plan, most community management companies will perform the following:
  • Obtain and review all legal documents, contracts and operating agreements
  • Review all financials, budgets and reserve funds
  • Ensure all legal, compliance and operating safeguards are valid
  • Communicate to homeowners, including welcome letters, website information and events
  • Order statements or coupon booklets for assessments
  • Review current service contracts and negotiate/renegotiate the scope of services, fees, licensing, and insurance with current and prospective vendors
  • Provide continuous status updates to Board members
“A thorough transition process is critical for homeowners’ associations and community management companies because starting off on the right foot is what creates a long-lasting relationship,” said Steven Parker, president of FirstService Residential in Nevada. “It’s also an opportunity to review and significantly improve the association’s current procedures and sets the expectation of what the Board and residents should experience going forward.”
FirstService Residential’s transition process includes additional items that are essential to a successful and seamless transition, including but not limited to the filing and scanning of HOA documents, opening and closing of association bank accounts, creation of a personalized community website, and the generation of a Board book, as well as introducing value-added services and support through its proprietary community association management software, FirstService Residential ConnectTM, and its 24/7/365 Customer Care Center available for all residents.

The transition and setup team should also works closely with the association’s current vendors and other service providers to make for a smooth transition and little-to-no stress for your community and Board.

For more information about the best practices for transitioning to a new community management company, please contact FirstService Residential.
Wednesday March 09, 2016