The Importance of Having a Partner to Manage and Activate Community Amenities
Having a swimming pool, a fitness area, or a clubhouse for residents are perks that can make any community stand out. But how does a community association board handle and operate those features?
Considering the many responsibilities of association board members, hiring the best community association management company can help ensure that the available amenities run a lot smoother. A good management company has people with many years of experience operating and maintaining these types of features, and they can offer many helpful ways for you to get the most for your community.
Below are some ways your community can benefit from the experience of a community association management company, and make your job as a board member a little easier.
Maintenance: This is one of the most diverse issues facing boards because just about everything contained within a community has maintenance requirements that must be considered. From swimming pools to decks to roofs to fitness facilities, there are continual issues to be addressed. A great community association management company can prepare you for these things, whether it’s knowing when a wooden deck needs to be resurfaced or what types of chemicals and equipment must be purchased for a pool and how to use them. These companies will also be on top of preparing your community financially for various types of issues, helping you plan in advance to fund repairs. They can help you earmark the annual budget and help you develop a reserve fund to address areas that arise suddenly, such as a pipe leak in your swimming pool.
In addition, a good community association management company will be on top of knowing compliance and building codes within your municipality; helping you schedule health inspections (if required); organizing social events for the community; and even soliciting opinions from residents to determine if there is something your community would like to see added such as a bike trail or movie theater, and if the budget or community association documents will allow for those things.
Size and Location: Your board is thinking about adding a bike trail to your community. With more and more people taking up biking, it seems like a worthwhile endeavor. But do you have the space to build one that will provide enough room for leisurely rides and to satisfy others who seek exercise? If you don’t have the knowledge to scope out these things, you could end up throwing money away and building a trail that satisfies very few. An effective community association management company can help you research and manage these issues with the goal to be pleasing as many residents as possible, and an experienced management company can help you determine if you have enough room and budget for that bike trail. Or perhaps there is interest in community gardens or additional gathering areas where people can get together to host a cookout. Your community association manager can help you assess each item on your wish list and figure out the logistics. Maybe you have your mind set on a new multi-purpose room. Your community association management company can help you determine how to maximize that space and plan suitable events, be it parties, yoga classes, or even cocktail hours.
Setting the Rules: This is an area where having an experienced, reliable community association management company always comes in handy. Let’s say you have to ban a community member from the pool area for bad behavior or because they are delinquent in association fee payments. How do you go about this in a way that won’t get the association board or community into legal trouble? The best community association management company should be knowledgeable of regulations for how to address community members whose privileges must be revoked. They can organize the action needed, whether it’s holding a board meeting to vote on privilege dismissal or penning a letter to said community member to outline the actions taken and how to remedy the situation. Sometimes there are privileges such as assigned parking spots that go along with property ownership. A lot of times, these are rights that cannot be revoked, and your community association management company should be aware of the rules that apply to these matters, which could vary by state, city and county and know when to involve the association’s attorney.
Trends in Amenities and Programming: Staying on top of what’s popular among communities and their residents might not be the easiest thing for an association board. But a good community association management company will have its finger on the pulse since they’ll know what’s popular in the other communities they manage. Perhaps more natural fitness areas are becoming highly desirable for health-conscious residents. Storage areas also are in demand, as they can potentially generate revenue for the community with fees while giving residents a place to store bikes, extra furniture, decorations, or whatever is taking up too much space in their homes. Community association boards should be asking themselves and their community members what types of amenities will improve people’s lives and be used with regularity so that the expenses will make sense. Your community association management company can help you determine these things and assist you in making the community the best it can be.
Your community’s amenities should provide better, more pleasing lifestyles for you and your residents. These amenities and programs are attraction points for people considering a move into your community. But choosing them wisely, knowing how to fund and operate them, and using space effectively goes a long way towards getting the most out of whatever you have or whatever you decide to add. For more information on amenities, programming and community management, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s residential community association management leader for master-planned communities.