There certainly is no shortage of association management companies. And since there are hundreds of management companies vying for your attention and your business regardless of the size of your condo association or HOA, it can be tough for them to set themselves apart from their competitors. Modern management companies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and offer everything from the basics of accounting and project management to more specialized services. There are plenty of differences from one management to the next, so before randomly choosing one, it helps to do some homework beforehand so that you can find the perfect fit for your community.
Hiring a Manager or Self-Managed?
According to the Community Associations Institute (CAI), a nationwide organization providing information, education and resources to community associations, there are about 60,000 community association managers nationwide, and there are 10,000 community association management companies. Only 15 or 25 percent of common interest communities are self-managed and don’t employ an on-site manager or management company.
Therefore, it takes a lot for a management company to stand out in the crowd. Some attempt to do so by marketing themselves as 'boutique' firms specializing in a certain type of building or level of service; others go broad, offering everything from day-to-day administration to capital project management. Still others focus on bigger building complexes, which inevitably need more services than smaller communities.
Beyond renting services, every management company is expected to provide basic services. While what 'basic' is, is different for every particular company, most will offer financial management, administration, insurance administration, board guidance, support and board meetings logistics, site management and vendor monitoring and communications such as social media, says Scott Dalley, senior vice president at Access Property Management in Flemington, New Jersey.
And while the basics typically remain the same throughout the years—collect the income, pay the bills, watch the staff and keep excellent records, new technology has made these transactions much faster than in previous years.