Your homeowner's association is responsible for a number of maintenance and administrative tasks, and you may decide that hiring a property management company is the right option for your association to handle these responsibilities. A good property management association can collect dues, list properties for sale, handle repairs and maintenance, and deal with day-to-day operational functions. Before you hire a property management company, you'll want to do some research to ensure you hire the right company to fit your needs. Here are just some of the things you should look for when hiring a property management company.
Real Estate Licensing
If your property management company will be listing properties for rent or sale, you'll want to make sure that you have a representative who is a licensed real estate agent. In some states, such as California, require property managers to be licensed real estate brokers. Even if your state doesn't have this requirement, it's a good idea to ask about this licensing. A real estate broker or agent can have a better understanding of what goes into leasing and selling property, which can help to attract and keep great homeowners or tenants in your association.
There are may different fee structures property management companies use, and you'll want to make sure your association can afford the cost of this service. Ask how the fees are assessed, such as price per unit or a fixed fee. Charging a fee by the unit gives the property management company an incentive to keep your unit's occupied, which in turn leads to a more vibrant and bustling community. A fixed fee typically benefits property owners who have no tenants, so this might not be the right option for you. Be sure to compare rates with different companies, and ask which services are included for the fees you will be paying.
Some property management companies today use online property management software, which can be a benefit to both the people living in your homeowner's association and the board of the HOA. Your tenants/homeowners can use the online software to request maintenance and pay fees, and you can also use it to request services for the common areas of the association. Having this high-tech option can make communicating with your property management company easy. When interviewing different companies, as about which types of online property management software they use, and ask to see the software in action. Because this is a tool you will be using often, it's a good idea to see how well you think it works.
Discuss any concerns you might have with the rest of the association board, and create a list of questions to ask as you interview different companies. Once you are satisfied that a company has the licensing required, the prices you can afford, and the services you need, you can make a hiring decision that works for everyone involved.