What Makes an HOA Management Company Successful?

A successful HOA management company is one that can build positive long-term relationships with its association clients, establish credibility in the industry, and grow over time.  Success, however, doesn’t come without planning, seeing the big picture, and attention to details. What does it take to reach the pinnacle of success in your HOA company? In this article, we discuss what makes an HOA management company successful and how to position your company for it.

Be adaptive to an evolving community landscape

The age-old adage of the only change is constant rings true in the HOA industry as it is constantly evolving.  New technology such as drones, security cameras, the Internet of Things, and mobile devices have become popular among homeowners.  The rise of Airbnb and short-term rentals, electric vehicles, increase in emotional support animals all come with regulations that need to be followed.  With all these changes, HOA management companies must be able to anticipate the impact on associations they manage, as well as on their company.

How you can adapt to the changing landscape in the HOA environment:

  • Keep an eye out for industry trends and events.  The best way to do this is to subscribe to local news outlets, technology news, or industry news sites.
  • Create a risk management plan for your business.  This document should assess trends or events that could negatively impact your HOA company.  Outline a plan detailing responsibility, the budget, how success will be measured, and how the plan will be communicated.  Revisit this plan every 6 months and make adjustments as needed.
  • Connect with your association clients regularly on what challenges they are facing, that may have arisen due to a change in the economic, political, or technological climate.  Identify ways to adapt to those challenges and educate the board about them.

Anticipating changes and adapting accordingly enables management companies to stay ahead of the competition, establish themselves as an industry expert to prospective associations, and better assess and be prepared to handle risks that arise.  

Hire and retain quality staff

According to Unicom’s research, hiring and retaining quality staff is the biggest challenge that management companies currently encounter.  A lack of quality candidates in the market and not meeting the increased demand for community managers are likely driving factors. 

How to build and retain a professional management team:

  • Hire community managers who have obtained certification or are in the process of doing so.  Educational classes help managers to develop the skills and gain knowledge of best practices they need to provide quality services to associations.  Many trade organizations such as the Community Association Institute (CAI) and the California Association of Community Managers (CACM) offer a wide range of programs to get accredited.  These programs cover topics such as finances, governing, ethics, risk management, leadership, and more. Don\’t just stop at accreditation. Provide your employees with professional development opportunities for continuous learning.
  • Having enough staff on board to manage your portfolio of communities is critical so that staff aren\’t spread too thin and they can dedicate an optimal amount of time toward managing their associations. Your average client size, total number of communities, and complexity in managing each community will help you in designating community responsibilities to your staff. Through Pilera\’s community management software, you can now download a ticket analytics report that will help you make informed staffing decisions such as shifting employee workload or if you need to hire another community manager.
  • Build a positive company culture that will help retain employees long after they have joined. Community management is a challenging and demanding job, therefore, a company culture that emphasizes transparency, collaboration, and respect goes a long way.  Positive company culture will better serve your company in decreasing employee burnout, disengagement, and churn.

When you are able to successfully build and retain a professional team of community managers, you’ll experience less employee churn, increased productivity, satisfied managers (because it’s often a very tough and thankless job), and happier communities.    

Make a concerted effort to provide great customer service

Managing HOAs is all about people and community relationships. Thus, a great customer service operations should be at the center of any management company.

How to deliver customer service your associations will appreciate you for:

  • Associations employ your company services to improve their operations.  Actively listen to what your boards and residents have to say, be empathetic toward their concerns, and be responsive.  
  • Asking your clients for feedback and taking action on it, shows that you value their opinion and are flexible in working with them. 
  • An HOA management software helps you to efficiently manage all ongoing items for the associations you manage.  Through Pilera, management companies can nurture relations with clients across their entire portfolio with communication, maintenance tracking, resident portals, and more.

When we asked one of our clients, Hillcrest Property Management, about what excellent customer service means to them, they said it means “treating each of our clients as if we lived on their Property ourselves.” Read more about how Hillcrest Property Management excels at customer service.

Exceptional customer service, when built on trust and transparency, will help your company sustain a positive reputation in the industry, gain clients that will want to stay with you, and increase retention from existing clients. 

About Pilera

Pilera Software is the premier community and property management suite that has helped thousands of community managers and back-office personnel enhance communications, improve customer service, and manage compliance and operations.  May we help your community achieve these success stories?  Book a demo to see how Pilera’s community management suite can help your company. 

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