You and your neighbors have finally decided that “volunteering” to be the neighborhood bad guy wasn’t as grand as it may have seemed at the time and have committed to hiring a professional management company. You’ve searched, asked friends for recommendations and requested quotes from management companies. The Board of Directors has made the decision and have selected ABC Association Management. It’s time to start enjoying your life again.
As the title suggests, what kind of Board member are you going to be now that you’ve hired a professional management company? Are you going to be the micro-manager that over analyzes every specific detail of your community? Or are you going to take the non-communicative approach and never let your intentions be known?
Understanding the role of the management company is important when interacting with your association manager. The association management company
- Enforces the restrictions as set forth in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
- Solicits competitive bids for contract services
- Prepares annual (biannual, quarterly or monthly) statements sent to all owners and collects all association fees
- Prepares and annual budget,
- Serves as an intermediary between residents and the Board of Directors
- Provides monthly financial statements to the Board of Directors and keeps all association accounting in order.
Refer to your specific management contract for more details, but as a general rule, that’s what a management company does.
The best relationship between the Board of Directors and the association manager occurs when the Board President or designate interacts routinely with the association manager. This interaction could be twice weekly at the beginning to monthly once an association gets settled in to its routine. Exceptions to this are when there’s an issue that needs to be addressed in a timely fashion such as a covenants violation or financial issues. A good association manager will perform routine inspections of the community, review the financial statement to note the financial status of the association and when needed, solicit competitive bids for services, most all of this is done without the Board members being aware of it. All of this information will then be given to the Board of Directors for them to render a decision.
That’s your role as a member of the Board, to make a decision at a properly called meeting of the Board of Directors (refer to your association documents). Your association manager has done all the grunt work-they’ve collected the bids, they’ve written the letters, they’ve threatened the legal action. Its now time for the Board of Directors to make a decision. That decision is then relayed to the association manager and it will now be their job to execute the decision of the Board of Directors, be it proceeding with legal action for a delinquent owner or chronic violator of the deed restrictions, or contracting for new landscape maintenance.
Association managers are only as good as the directives they receive from the Board members. Managers want well thought out directives with clear instructions so they may deliver exactly what the Board of Directors is looking for. Developing an open line of communication, either by telephone or email, helps to keep your association running as smoothly as possible.