Monthly Archives: August 2012

What is the average cost for a property management company in Marietta and Kennesaw?


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HOA management companies often work under a contract for a monthly fee. But how is that the amount calculated? In general, it is based on the estimated time needed to perform the tasks outlined in the Management Contract. There is often a workload of tasks that are not considered routine.

So what goes into the monthly management fee? There are fixed costs such as rent, phones, copiers, computers, insurance, and the internet. The workforce is based on the estimated time needed to perform the prescribed work. Total fixed costs and labor plus profit margin are equal to the monthly management fee. It is common to divide this number by the total number of units / lots. (In Georgia, the average is between $ 10-25/door for condominiums.)  Size and staff required matters: HOA’s pay less per home.

Typically, an Owners Association will be assigned a manager, an accountant, a maintenance supervisor, and possibly an administrative assistant to the account. The administrator can manage 10-15 accounts.

Staff salary levels can have a major impact on management fees. If a Homeowners Association wants experienced professionals, there is a price to pay. A qualified HOA manager attends seminars, has credentials and professional designations and focuses exclusively on HOA management. The Homeowners Association will benefit from this training and experience so expect to pay accordingly.

Managers spend much of their time to prepare and monitor Board and Annual meetings. For a typical board meeting, the manager gathers information and prepares  reports, reviews the financial statements and relevant correspondence.  The Board puts together packages or emails messages to each member.

Most Board and Annual meetings are held in the evenings from Monday to Friday at the Homeowners Association so that the manager is not required to work weekends; which costs money to Homeowners Association, this is incorporated into the contract. After the meeting, the Community Association Manager has a long list to follow-up on which occupies most of the following week. A manager can spend many hours on business related to the meeting.

Another cost savings is in charge of managing insurance claims and damage reconstruction. Insurance inquiries can take many hours of a manager’s time. If the management contract specifically provides that the insurance claim work is an additional cost to the HOA, the management company can collect the insurance claim by the time it takes to manage a claim and the renovation work. A similar principle is the time spent on collections or legal action against a delinquent account. This time, management will be charged to the HOA.
Are disclosure statements provided to homeowners who are selling their homes and lenders to buyers? The management company  bills owners and buyers so that the Homeowners’ Association does not assume the costs.

These are just some ways that management costs can be cut. Be sensitive to the time of your manager and not pile on unnecessary tasks that ultimately increase the costs. While it is important to get what you pay for, it is equally important to pay extra for additional services. The best approach is to establish an alliance with the management company and adjust the time and workload demands.

HOA managers are dedicated and waiting to serve. Put them to work for your homeowners association and actually rejoice in the carefree lifestyle advertised in the brochure.

Homeowners Associations in Bartow and Cherokee County, GA


 

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Real estate developers usually create a homeowners association to control the appearance and managing of common areas in the land being developed. Upon selling a preset number of homes in the developed residential subdivision, it is turned over to the homeowners of the subdivision. There comes a time though that this association would need some form of help from experts to make sure that the subdivision will be a great place to live in.

This is where HOA managers come in. If you are living in Georgia and you think that your homeowners association is in need of professional guidance, you are in luck as there are good HOA managers in the city.  When searching you might want to consider this helpful website.  Before you work with one though, make sure that they offer plenty of services that will satisfy the needs of the association and that you have a good understanding of what your associations needs are so you can communicate those clearly to the community association management company.

Common features include HOA managers attending annual board meetings. This way, they would be able to gauge properly the progress of the association in terms of obtaining its goals. It would also enable them to see in what facet is the association lacking in terms of focus. This would allow them to be able to provide enough input that the whole association would benefit from.

The annual budget of the homeowners association is a delicate matter and it needs to be properly managed. Thus, it would be a good thing to have an HOA management company that would be able to provide professional guidance to the board of directors in formulating the annual budget. This way, the association would be able to make the most out of its budget. With that in mind, all residents of the subdivision would be able to benefit greatly from the money they have put in the association.

On the meeting that HOA managers would attend, they also have to be able to present a recap of the past year’s budget and its appropriations. This would allow the members of the association to see where the money went. This would provide transparency which is a very important thing especially with money involved.

These are the most common things that you should look for in an HOA manager or HOA management company. They would be handling very vital functions and thus should have the right background for the job. Apart from having these most common features as part of their service, they should be able to provide you with enough proof that they have extensive experience in such endeavors.  Also ask them to show you the certifications the staff has from the industry educational organizations.  This educational experience will allow you to understand the time and energy the HOA property management company has invested to prepare to help your Homeowner Association or Condominium Association.

Call Riverside for a free quote for Condo, HOA or POA Management today!
(678) 866-1436

www.riversidepropertymgt.com

 

 

Creating A Successful Board for Your HOA or Condo Association in Georgia


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WHO SHOULD BE ON THE BOARD?
The board should be composed of a diverse group of individuals who are interested in working toward the organization’s mission and have the particular skills that will help to contribute to a well-run organization. For instance, you may want to seek out people with financial, marketing, or legal backgrounds. You may want to consider bringing on someone with an entrepreneurial
background, or someone who is proficient with emerging technologies. You may
also want to recruit members who have influence in the community, work at similar types of organizations, or are representative of the community you are serving. Having this collective knowledge from the beginning will help you make informed decisions. You will also find that as your organization matures, your board composition needs may be very different from those of your founding board. The role of the board tends to change over time as the organization
develops and matures. Early in an organization’s life, the primary need for the board may be individuals who are prepared to give a great deal of time and energy. Later, you may find that as paid staff are brought on, the board focuses primarily on the governance functions of the organization and is less involved with the smaller details of bringing the organization up to speed.
HOW BIG SHOULD THE BOARD BE?
Boards can vary in size from three to more than 50 members.  Each state has regulations that determine the minimum size of the board, but the optimum number of people who sit on the board should be determined by the needs of the organization. Assess the list of tasks that the board needs to accomplish and plan your board around the jobs that need to be done. There should be enough meaningful tasks for the board to accomplish without leaving board
members feeling overburdened or uninvolved.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE BOARD MEET?
As with the size of your board, the number of board meetings each year should be determined by the work that needs to be accomplished. For logistical and practical reasons, larger boards often meet less frequently, leaving much of the work to the board’s committees.
Regular attendance at board meetings is one of the individual responsibilities of board members. Your organization’s bylaws should include an attendance policy that clearly states the number of meetings that can be missed by an individual board member before he or she is asked to leave the board. Develop an annual schedule of meetings determined a year in advance. Circulate clear and thorough information materials, including an agenda, to all members
two to three weeks before each meeting. Maintain complete and accurate minutes of all meetings, and keep meetings brief and well focused. An organization’s bylaws should also state the number of board members required to constitute a quorum. Without a quorum, the board is unable to conduct its official business.
WHAT KIND OF TERM LIMITS SHOULD BOARD MEMBERS SERVE?
There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining board members’ tenure. Many organizations
do, however, limit members to two consecutive terms and require a hiatus of one year before a
board member may be reappointed. Many organizations also stagger terms of service so that
one-half or one-third of board members are elected every one or two years for terms of two to
six years. Such policies encourage institutional renewal because a board can profit from the
experience of veteran board members while welcoming the fresh perspective that new members
offer. Board members on hiatus can remain active in committee service or serve in an
advisory capacity. Term limits are a painless mechanism for rotating inactive or ineffective
members off the board. These policies should be written into the organization’s bylaws.

Directions on How to Run an HOA Board Meeting


 

The Secret to Good Board Meetings.

Board meetings should be productive, efficient meetings where the board conducts business.  Are your board meetings productive and efficient? Does the board meet to conduct business or socialize? Are you getting the most out of your meetings?

Consider doing a few of these things:

Prepare a Realistic Agenda. Five page agendas with 50 objectives set out may be impressive but they are unrealistic and counter-productive.  You need to set a list of priorities for each meeting and focus on those issues.  If you have 50 issues you want to address, spread them out over the course of the year.  You will be more efficient and see better results if you are able to manage your agenda.

Set an end time to your meetings. Meetings should last no more than an hour.  Start the meeting when it is scheduled to begin and get straight to business. If you collectively have the focus to get done in an hour you’ll be amazed with how much you can accomplish. If you have no time limit, the meeting will typically drag on and a lot of time will be wasted. When time is wasted at a meeting then people are less likely to volunteer because they feel their time is wasted.  One hour meetings have a major impact on volunteers. Associations that hold focused, one hour meetings have more people volunteer. It’s also important to note that those volunteers stay active the in the community for much longer. Length of your board meetings may seem like a trivial matter, but it really does have a large impact on how the volunteers of the association view the organization and, in turn, how they view their role.

Be familiar with the Covenants and Bylaws. Key elements with which board members should familiarize themselves are the association’s governing documents that define the board’s authority. If you have a management company, they should provide guidance on your role as a board member, your fiduciary responsibility, specific board responsibilities from decision-making to administrative tasks, and how to conduct and participate in board meetings. Other vital information will include how to avoid personal liability, professional conduct at meetings, parliamentary procedures, the operating and reserve budgets, federal, state and local laws that impact your community, and appropriate insurance coverage.

Come prepared. Be familiar with the issues that will be addressed at the meeting.  If you have questions, ask them prior to the meeting so that your manager (if professionally managed) can have ample time to find the answers. This will help the meeting be more effective and brief. There is nothing more frustrating to those attending the meeting than for fellow board members to come unprepared and want to discuss issues at great length.

Make the meeting a time for action. Next, hold action oriented HOA board meetings.  Don’t just discuss issues, make decisions. Every item up for discussion should end in a vote to move forward in some way or table the issue with a clear understanding of why the item is being tabled and when it will be revisited. When taking action on an item make sure it is clear who will be responsible for getting that task completed. Ambiguity cripples a board.

Don’t be confrontational. Board members should recognize they are part of a team and not take a confrontational position with fellow board members or their management company. No one should have to work or conduct business in a hostile environment. Realize that at times you will not always agree, but take the position that even disagreement can bring compromise and consensus. Be concise with your opinion and thoughts and then be sure to listen to others. Always be respectful of your fellow board members and staff, as well as the homeowners. The tone of the board can set the tone of the community. So, if you want to have a healthy, vibrant and successful community, you should reflect that image as a board member.

Treat your Community Manager with Respect. Your community manager is your agent, not your employee. They act on behalf of the board and facilitate the decisions of the board.  Remember that they are professionals and should be treated as such. It can be detrimental to a board and its community to consistently be at odds with their management company. They are there to offer their expertise based on their experience, training and education to ensure that the board doesn’t compromise their fiduciary responsibility. A board should trust and rely on their management company’s vast experience and unlimited resources.  If your board has lost trust in the management company, have a frank discussion with the company’s CEO regarding whatever problems exist. Perhaps a different manager can restore your trust, eliminating the need to start all over with a new company.

Be a Team Player. If you recognize that, as a board member, you are part of a team of volunteers and management experts, you will be rewarded when you use those resources to make decisions that are based on sound business judgment. This, in turn, will inspire others to serve and build a team of future leaders who will want to emulate your leadership. By doing so, you will find serving on the board is not a burdensome chore, but a rewarding experience that you will value for years to come.

Be determined to have one of the best HOA’s in Atlanta by having an HOA management company that focuses on helping you have effective meetings.