Even though you may be aware of the many worthwhile benefits to self managing your HOA, it still can seem like a time-consuming, intimidating venture that may not be worth the hassle. If you’re considering HOA self management, there are many factors to consider before taking the plunge.
You’ll need to put in a lot of time, work, and energy to make your self managed HOA work, but just because it will take effort doesn’t mean you’re jeopardizing the success of your organization.
If you’re already working with a third-party property management company to oversee your HOA, you may be aware of the issues that can come along with them. A third-party company may enforce the rules, but when an HOA is run with too little flexibility, homeowners tend to get agitated.
Why spend a lot of money for an outcome your HOA isn’t happy with?
Even though it may seem like a risk to take the reins from third-party property managers, with the right tools, preparation, and mindset, self-managing your HOA will be all reward.
If you’re considering striking out on your own, but worried about failure, read on to find out why it’s easier to run a successful self managed HOA than you think. Who knows what’s best for your HOA other than you?
Table of Contents
- Learning to Run Your Self Managed HOA
- HOA Self Management Software Saves You Time
- HOA Self Management Makes the Hard Work Easier
- Call In Professionals When You Need Them
- Consider the Reward
Learning to Run Your Self Managed HOA
You may think a third-party management company will know everything about running a property, and thus it’s not worth your time to try doing it yourself. However, these companies will not always know what works best for your HOA.
You may not have the same expertise or experience running an HOA as a third-party company, but in the long run a willingness to grow, learn, and put in the effort is more important than prior knowledge.
Thinking you don’t have all the prerequisite knowledge or skills to run your HOA could be the root of any trepidation towards trying self management.
A self managed HOA uses volunteers from the homeowner’s community to run the organization. When considering your team of volunteers, you may elect or assign roles to everyone, perhaps based on prior experiences or credentials. Your assembled team may be more knowledgeable than you think.
Even if your HOA’s volunteers haven’t had much prior experience with bookkeeping or management, many tasks that comprise an HOA’s workload can be self-taught or learned by doing them.
HOA self management software makes learning these new skills incredibly easy. From simplifying bookkeeping to streamlining communications to creating financial reports, anything you need to learn will be doable and rewarding.
With your software in place, you don’t even need the experience or expertise of a third-party property management company. It is easy to learn and master for anyone already familiar with using a computer – which should be anyone who volunteers.
Not only is learning rewarding on its own, but studies have shown that volunteering is not only good for the cause, but the volunteers themselves.
HOA Self Management Software Saves You Time
You may be worried about the potential workload that self-managing your HOA may create. It will be a time commitment, but with the proper tools, it won’t be a huge one.
Developers create innovations in technology daily, which means there are endless options to choose from when updating your organizational systems.
Self-managing can involve lots of in-person, physical work – from making calls to residents to driving around to pick up and deposit checks, to maintaining the HOA’s bank account and budget.
Using the proper HOA self management software will help streamline managing your organization. By automatically syncing with your bank account and accepting digital payments, HOA management software decreases the amount of time you spend organizing, bookkeeping, and receiving HOA dues.
HOA software helps you reclaim a lot of the time you previously devoted to the HOA.
HOA Self Management Software Makes the Hard Work Easier
No one wants to be the bad guy, but when late fees, fines, and violations crop up, someone has to enforce the rules.
With HOA self management software, you can let the computer handle the weary work of sending out these notices.
Violations and fines can be issued directly from your HOA self management software to the homeowner’s email. This is more efficient for both you and the homeowner, and it depersonalizes the process so there will be less resentment between your HOA and the homeowners.
You can also send reminders to pay the fines and allow the recipient to pay online. With the data easily accessible online, your HOA can analyze any trends that appear. This can help you see which rules are working and which aren’t.
Ultimately, this helps your HOA create a better atmosphere for both volunteers and homeowners.
Call In Professionals When You Need Them
A self managed HOA doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself.
It’s a good idea to take a note from third-party property management companies, who often employ an outside CPA or lawyer to handle complicated accounting or legal matters.
Laws for HOAs vary drastically by state, and while it’s a good idea to be familiar with your state’s particular laws, you don’t have to become a legal expert. It’s best practice for HOAs to keep an attorney on retainer to deal with legal implications and ensure compliance with applicable laws.
While it could seem interesting to learn all your local HOA laws or conduct your own financial audit, sometimes it’s best to leave certain tasks to the professionals. Even though the IRS provides instructions for filing HOA income tax, a lack of knowledge or a mistake could lead to a costly audit in the future.
Self managed HOAs commonly hire an accountant and lawyer unaffiliated with the HOA. Having these expert, outside opinions makes these serious matters easier to tackle. Knowing these matters are taken care of by professionals should relieve a lot of stress from your HOA.
With self management, you get to choose the accountant and lawyer you would like to work with. Third-party property management companies usually hire their first choices, regardless of expense, and charge you for their work.
Investing in a lawyer or accountant can help your HOA avoid fines, legal action, or auditing in the future.
Consider the Reward
Self management is much more gratifying than letting a third-party management company take over. You’ll make all the decisions and develop deeper connections with your residents. Yes, you’ll have to learn new things and adapt, but with the proper tools to help you, it won’t be a struggle.
Besides, what is more rewarding than creating a better HOA for your community?
Doing it all yourself is enticing, but fear often prevents us from striking out on our own. With the right attitude and tools, you can transform your organization into the HOA of your dreams.
While self-managing your HOA will take time and effort, reaping the benefits of your hard work will be completely worth it. Your self managed HOA will have successes to celebrate and only yourselves to thank.