Community Association Management is a term that often comes up among homeowners, but it may still understandably raise questions in your mind. So, what is community association management? And what does a person with that job description do? Keep on reading to find out.
What Is Community Association Management?
It’s difficult to define community association management with absolute specificity. In many ways, it’s an amalgamation of finance management, project management, and customer service. Understandably, many people confuse CAM with related terms, such as homeowners’ association, condominium association, and property management. Here’s an explanation of the different terms:
1. Community Association vs Homeowners Association and Condo Association
Homeowners and condo unit owners can choose to run their community by themselves, via the board of directors. However, these are volunteer positions and most board members also have full-time jobs to attend to. If they need help, residents can hire a third-party manager to run the day-to-day operations and maintenance of their community.
This is where a community association management company steps in. Essentially, community association management is a term that encompasses both homeowners’ associations and condo associations.
2. Community Association Management vs Property Management HOA managers
Community association management and property management are similar in that they are both third-party companies. These companies do not own the property or community that they manage. HOA management or condominium association managers take over daily operations and other responsibilities that the board of directors cannot handle. They also regularly interact with residents in the community.
The main difference is that property management involves acting as landlords as opposed to just managing the community. Property managers have to seek out renters, manage these renters, and look out for the properties. Meanwhile, community association managers focus on the affairs of the community as a whole.
Do You Need a Community Association Management?
As you can see, community management demands time, a sundry of skills, and proper certification to accomplish. It is also the foundation of a well-functioning community and the grease that allows it to keep going. Without proper management, communities may start falling apart.
If you are a self-managed community that is struggling to keep up with day-to-day operations as well as the maintenance and repair of facilities, it might be time to consider community association management. A CAM company can help ease the burden on board members and residents by taking over administrative, accounting, financial, maintenance, and management tasks.
Just make sure to choose a CAM company that has extensive experience managing communities and is accessible to your location. For example, if you’re looking for community association management in Charlotte NC, you should choose a company that services the area.
Once you decide to hire a community management service provider, you will start working with a community association manager.
What Is a Community Association Manager?
A community association manager is the point person when it comes to all community matters. HOA managers are expected to have specialized knowledge when it comes to community management, accounting, finance, and business, among others.
You also want someone who is personable and can get along with everyone in your community. When choosing an HOA manager, you may want to look for accreditations and certifications to ensure that your association is getting the best quality of service.
What Does a Community Association Manager Do?
The responsibilities of community association managers are all-encompassing. They deal with everything from minor disagreements between neighbors to major pest outbreaks. However, the specific responsibilities of a community association manager will depend on the needs of your community. Their scope of work will usually be detailed in your HOA management contract.
Here are some of the tasks that a community association manager can do for your community:
General Administration and Management
- Answer calls and emails from board members, homeowners, and vendors
- Handle documentation and maintenance of records
- Update information in community databases
- Distribute mail and notices to homeowners
- Keep track of bookings or reservations of communal spaces
- Attend board meetings and take minutes
- Screen prospective owners and compile applications for the board
- Review proposals with board members
- Work directly with the board of directors
- Enforce rules and regulations stated in the community’s governing documents
- Follow-up on homeowner reports or complaints
- Resolve conflicts between homeowners, board members, and vendors
- Deal with community violations
- Schedule and perform monthly inspections
- Process work orders
- Gather bids for upcoming community projects and present them to the board
Maintenance of Amenities and Shared Spaces
- Make sure amenities are working properly
- Handle vendor contracts and contract renegotiations
- Schedule maintenance or repair of facilities
- Communicate with service providers
- Provide keys or access to shared spaces
Accounting, Finance, and Legal
- Collect and process rent, assessments, and vendor payments
- Handle community funds and accounts
- Prepare monthly financial reports and annual budget
- Advise the board on financial matters
- File tax returns
- Communicate with HOA attorney for legal matters or concerns
- Keep track of government regulations and ensure that the community follows the law
Insurance and Loans
- Track insurance coverage and deductibles
- Document property assets and their values
- Handle special assessments and loans
- Prepare documents for loan applications
Not all of these tasks may apply to your community. At the same time, you might have more tasks that were not covered. Your HOA board may also retain some of the responsibilities. That’s why it’s important to communicate properly with your community management company.
Do you need an HOA manager that is available all the time and working on-call in case there are urgent matters? Or, do you need a part-time manager that can help the board from time to time? All of these details should be ironed out before you sign your HOA management agreement.
Is Community Association Management Right for You?
Hopefully, by now, you are no longer asking, “What is Community Association Management?” You have a good understanding of the term as well as the responsibilities of a community association manager.
By knowing your community’s needs well, as well as the issues that need to be handled, you will be able to decide if community management is right for your association. Just keep in mind everything that has been discussed in this article, and you’ll have an easier time making this decision.
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