The manager of a homeowners association is arguably the most important job in the community. They are the face that homeowners see, and the person with whom most will communicate. It is important, therefore, that they exhibit the many strong qualities that are necessary for any leadership position. Here are a few things that the Board of an HOA community should be looking for when hiring an HOA manager.
Good People Person
Most of the manager’s job revolves around the people in the community. It is imperative that the manager is a good people person. The candidate must be skilled at speaking with both homeowners and vendors on the phone, as well as sending professionally written emails.
One of the most important leadership qualities is humility. This can manifest in many different ways, but in an HOA management position, this means having a greater concern for the community and individual homeowners than for themselves. They should be dedicated to to making the community a wonderful place to live, and should view themselves as one of the community.
Good With Conflict
This quality is a no brainer when it comes to an HOA manager. It is no secret that homeowners can become difficult at times. The best managers are those that are slow to anger in the face of conflict. It is well known that those who respond with anger only increase the tension, but those who respond with calmness and helpfulness can diffuse anger and send the homeowner away placated.
Hand in hand with being slow to anger comes the ability to be a compassionate listener. People can tell when he manager they are speaking with does not care about their situation and are listening to them just to get them out of the door. A good manager will listen with compassion and make the homeowner feel heard and valued.
Proactive and Quick to Respond
There is nothing more frustrating for a member of the community than not having their issues taken care of in a timely fashion. A good manager will take care of each problem quickly, and will communicate openly and often with a homeowner if that problem is not able to be taken care of within one or two days.
Knowledgeable and Experienced
It seems basic, but the manager of your HOA should have a vast knowledge of homeowners associations as well as experience in the field. Many boards hire individuals who have a lot of experience in managing a business, but not necessarily in the area of HOAs. The field is a very specific one with problems unique to the community, so specific knowledge and experience is important.
The decision of who to hire as your community’s manager is one of the most important that you can make. It is crucial that you spend as much time as you can in finding a manager who fits these qualities and is dedicated to creating a better community.