Evaluating an HOA Manager’s Performance
When an HOA hires a manager or a management company, it’s usually because there are tasks that, while essential for the HOA’s survival, cannot or can no longer be performed by the board members themselves. These include things like:
- Scheduling maintenance and being present for maintenance workers
- Making sure maintenance is completed on time
- Ensuring the quality of any maintenance done
- Inspecting the site for maintenance needs and homeowner compliance
- Collecting overdue fees and assessments
- Communicating with residents
and more. In fact, many HOA management companies will do almost anything except make the decisions that are the responsibility of the board.
Problems arise when residents become unhappy with the manager’s performance. They may begin to call board members to complain, or show up to board meetings to protest the manager. At some point, the HOA will need to evaluate the manager’s performance and communicate the results of this evaluation to the disgruntled homeowners.
HOA Manager Criteria
One of the best ways to avoid an awkward situation between homeowners, the HOA, and the management company is to set up a clear structure under which the management company will operate. Depending on the manager’s level of involvement in administering the HOA, this will look different for different HOAs. Here are some questions that boards can ask to help themselves begin this process.
- How quickly should the management company respond to individual concerns?
- When standard maintenance is required, how quickly should the management company respond?
- For special projects or large repairs, what is the expected turnaround time? What is the best way to communicate this to the homeowners?
- Are there elements of the manager’s job, like newsletters and the mailing of financial statements, that everyone can schedule months in advance so there’s no delay in getting them out?
These are just a few questions to help an HOA determine what they expect from their management company. They should always include the management company in these conversations, as well as do their own research to determine the industry standard for these sorts of things. Immediate responses may not always be possible, even if that is what the HOA desires.
Once these criteria are in place, the HOA should keep records of how well the management company meets them. If they can document that the manager is not keeping up that end of the deal, they should have options for changing managers within the management company or getting out of the contract entirely. On the other hand, the manager should always get a chance to respond to any accusations with documentation of his or her own.
Managers can be of great benefit to many HOAs, simply by taking on many of the tasks that can weigh an association down. Working with a manager involves setting up clear criteria and keeping lines of communication open. Flexibility is always essential, since things can change and unexpected circumstances can pop up. In the end, working together should make the HOA better than it was before.