Deciding between self-managing your community or hiring a professional property management company can sometimes be tough. On the surface, it may seem beneficial to forgo a property management company because of the cost savings, but don’t let that be your only focus.
In addition to considering cost, we’ve identified the following items to think about when choosing between self-managing your community or hiring someone. As you make your decision, ask yourself:
- Are you comfortable handling CC&R violations and homeowner requests without the buffer a management company provides? Remember, you have to live next door to these other owners, and sometimes having that buffer is extremely helpful in maintaining good neighbor relations
- Are you familiar with the law as it relates to community associations? If not, consider these questions as they may help you identify legal issues that may come up:
- Are you willing and able to hire an attorney to help with CC&R enforcement and amendments as needed?
- Do your directors and officers have sufficient liability coverage?
- What do you know about land acquisitions, easements, and recalls?
- What happens when the Board changes? Will new Board members have the same amount of time, patience, and expertise?
- Do you have the time to follow through on the daily operations and financial affairs of your community? Although the day-to-day business is most likely very straightforward, you may be surprised at the amount of time each request will take.
- What size is your community? If your community only has 15 homes it might not make financial sense to hire a full-service management company. But if you live in a community with hundreds (or even dozens) of homes or condos, attempting to self-manage can often be a frustrating uphill battle.
- Do you have the expertise to help your community navigate unexpected problems ranging from broken water pipes to natural disasters like floods or fires?
Although not all communities should choose to use a management company, consider the above information and the ways a professional manager can help manage your HOA.