From leaky roofs and broken seawalls, to poorly written contracts and special assessments, there are many aspects of association management that require experience and a depth of knowledge.
For those of us who are considering the purchase of a single family home within a planned community, a condominium or a townhome, it is paramount to research the financial condition and management practices of the property owners association where the property is located.
Of course, many of us have already heard how a professional management service can have a direct, positive influence on a neighborhood.
One of the chief advantages to working with a company such as Community Association Management Services (CAMS) is that the homeowners association (HOA) board can depend on professional help to determine the initial budget of a new community and the annual budget in years to come. This can ensure there are adequate funds to meet the operating goals of the association and adequate reserve funds to address long-term capital expenses or unforeseen expenditures that may arise.
A professional management company will work directly with a HOA’s board of directors to acquire financial information and establish an annual operating budget. In our case, CAMS will even contact local service providers such as utilities, landscaping and insurance companies to identify material changes or rate adjustments that may occur in a given budget period.
Make no mistake: It takes a combination of specialized knowledge and experience to effectively prepare an annual operating budget and a long-term capital budget for any neighborhood.
This brings me to my next point: A professional association management company will often have connections with experienced specialists from a range of professions. We’ve all heard the adage that it pays to work with a specialist. Working with a professional association management company that has experts in facility management, finance, governing documents, human resources and accounting can provide added peace of mind.
From working in this industry for over 25 years, however, I have to say that one of the biggest advantages such company's provide is simply commitment. A professional association management company will provide a wealth of guidance and a range of services, all designed to support the long-term stability of the association’s common elements and property values. After all, the role of the association management company is to ensure that the residents are completely satisfied.
In the coming months I’ll detail the many other benefits that can be achieved by hiring a professional management company to work with an association’s board.
In the meantime, please visit the CAMS website to find out how professional management can help your neighborhood gain value.