What do board members really want from their HOA management company? As it turns out, the answers are pretty universal. We survey our client board members on a daily basis to better understand what they want from a community management company. Based on thousands of responses we obtain over the course of a year, board members want a management company partner that is accessible, responsive and follows through. 

It might seem obvious, but when you hire a community management company, you should be getting the very best service for your community. Above all, they should be committed to helping you and your board succeed by delivering outstanding service that helps enhance your community and improve property values. So what qualities should you be looking for? We’ve narrowed it down to six traits that your community management company and community manager should epitomize.

Your community management company should…

1. Prioritize accessibility and responsiveness. Board members and residents want to be heard, not ignored. A great HOA management company will employ standards and technologies to ensure that your community manager is there for you. For example, FirstService Residential provides a 24-hour customer care center to supplement the community manager’s role after hours.

2. Communicate professionally. As part of a “people industry,” your community manager (and consequently, your community management company) should be building great relationships based on trust and respect. To do that, they need to be actively listening to your board and residents and communicating clearly. In addition, a great community management company will sets itself apart by offering state-of-the-art management and communication software. 

3. Do what they say they’ll do. Communication without timely follow-through is not good enough. Your community management company should follow through quickly with all of your board or resident concerns. One of FirstService Residential’s global service standards is to respond to all communication by the end of the next business day, ensuring communities can rely on their community managers to provide quick and effective responses.   

4. Deliver superior service. A community manager may intend to provide excellent service, but if they aren’t supported by the right resources, they may not have the bandwidth to deliver. FirstService Residential supports associates with specialists for roles like financial and IT along with time-saving technologies like FirstService Residential Connect. That way, your community manager can give your community the attention and service it deserves.

5. Have a low turnover rate. Your community management company should provide community managers with a great work/life balance and small portfolios (to reduce manager burnout). On the other hand, change happens and it’s important to prepare for manager turnover. To that end, FirstService Residential has a robust in-house HR and training team, recruiters and a network of 16,000 associates to draw from when a position needs to be filled and provide your community with the right candidate.

6. Pay attention to details. It may seem pretty obvious to work with a community management company that is detail-oriented and knows your property from the inside out. But that’s not always the case. Your community management company should have the resources to provide you with detailed knowledge and insight about your community. And your community manager should also have the bandwidth to monitor, manage and quality control vendors to ensure they respect details as well. As a board member, you should not be managing vendors or taking care of property issues. Your focus should be on building a better community and enhancing resident life through effective policies. The best community management companies emphasize service, have the right people in place, and give your community the responsiveness and follow-through it deserves.
Tuesday January 16, 2018