Breaking It Down: The Steps to Hiring a Property Management Company You Can Trust
Oftentimes, Homeowners Associations (HOA) are inundated with tons of responsibilities. For a group of volunteers that are elected to the HOA, these responsibilities are often overwhelming and time-consuming. That is why hiring a property management company can be a game-changer. But for a group of people already so busy, hiring a company can be a daunting task. Choosing the best one that is right for your community seems impossible at first, but we broke it down for you. We even made a handy checklist for you included in The Ultimate Guide for Hiring a Property Management Company for Homeowners Associations (HOAs).
Check out these steps to hiring a property management company made easy:
1. Review Governing Docs and Get Member Buy-in
You’ll want to review the governing documents (they usually include the HOA’s rules, regulations, guidelines and other community bylaws) for restrictions on employing a third-party like a property management company for help. Before you move onto Step 2 though, you’ll need to make sure every member of the HOA has all agreed to move forward. Because this is a big decision, you don’t want a few members unhappy with it. Invite everyone to make suggestions about services they prioritize and make it collaborative to ensure that every member is a part of the process.
2. Determine the Scope of Services You Need
You have already reviewed the governing documents in Step 1 and collaborated with members, so now determining the services you need help with should be a breeze! There may be limitations on what responsibilities can be given to a property manager, but there are five important functions the HOA board should take into consideration when deciding which services they want handled by the company:
- Accounting and Collections
- Community Maintenance
- Rules Enforcement
- Board Education
- Legal Advice
3. Narrow Down Your Options
Reach out to other similar communities in the area to see if they have any referrals. Now that you understand what you need from a property management company, find a handful of companies in the area. Talk to these companies (ideally 5 or so), and figure out their priorities, and how they’ll support the HOA. This can help you narrow down your list to a select few that you will then bring in for the hiring process.
4. The Hiring Process
- Now that you have a selective list of property management companies, you can schedule interviews with each of them. (Check out the 20 questions you can ask them here.) This is critical to the process and allows you to engage one-on-one with the company to gauge if they’re a right match for you.
- Does your state require licenses and credentials? If so, check that. You want to make sure you hire a company that not only abides by your community’s rules, but also by state, federal, and local laws.
- By now, you probably have an idea of exactly who you want to hire, but the next step of the hiring process is something that should not be overlooked. Consider checking the company’s background checks. Also, take a moment to obtain a copy of their insurance. You may want to consult with an insurance agent to see if the insurance is adequate for your community.
- During the interview, the property management company should have given you a few references. Talk to them to see if this company is the right for you.
5. Finalize the Deal
You narrowed it down to one spectacular company. Review the contract very carefully. (Check out this blog for tips on what to look for.) Have the HOA’s attorney – and if you don’t have one, find an experienced one in the area – to look over the contract before you sign. Once the contract is reviewed, sign on the dotted line.
Congrats! If you followed these steps, you just hired a property management company. Now it’s time to work on developing a great working relationship between the board and management company so the community can flourish.
Sign up below to schedule your free consultation.
Fill out the form to download the FREE ebook.
We do more than just collect rent
West Property Management offers complete management services from townhomes and single-family homes to Homeowners & Condominium Associations, no matter the size.
In Assets Managed
Chris Westerlund and West Property Management were great. Being a realtor, I deal with a lot of property management companies. I reached out to Chris about obtaining HOA resale documents. He was instrumental in getting the documents delivered to me that same day when we needed them in a rush. In addition, he used his resources to find the contact information for the company we had been trying to find for a couple of weeks. I'd highly recommend anyone/business looking for property management services to reach out to Chris and West Property Management!