MY COMPANY IS STRUGGLING IN A CHANGING MARKETPLACE. CAN YOU HELP US STAY RELEVANT?
What do we do?
We target Self-Managed Associations- because we provide occasional services that professional management companies do not provide ordinarily. For example, compare the list below
Management Companies HOA-Consulting-Services
Accounting Services Strategic Planning Service
N/A Strategic Planning & implementation
N/A Marketing Studies
N/A Compliance Issues
Accounting Services cover posting invoices and payments to the correct income and expense accounts, posting funds from the association’s members to each member’s account, and preparing periodic financial statements.
Strategic Planning includes a review of the Association’s past financial statements, the annual operating accounts and reserve accounts. The annual operating accounts should include appropriately named “maintenance accounts” that will cover the cost of services that are performed annually. The “reserve accounts” are not ‘emergency accounts’. They are designed to cover the costs of replacing or repairing real property owned by the Association that normally depreciates over 10-20 years.
One common problem for a self-managed Association is that it may decide to use a Reserve Account as an emergency source of funding which should not occur, unless the funds are replaced within the next budgeting cycle. When the funds are not replaced, the Association is simply pushing forward a major problem and misusing the Reserve Accounts which can become habit.
Strategic Planning and Implementation Services usually occur after the members have decided tentatively to add a tangible feature to their Association (e.g., tennis courts). In many cases, the self-managed Associations vote to add such a feature without considering the costs beyond the initial cost.
In some cases, our our services may require obtaining approval from a state or local planning agency. But , generally, the proposal should require a complete cost analysis of the initial cost, followed estimates of future annual expenses that would be needed to maintain the feature.
Marketing Studies - When an Association’s Board of Directors or its members propose a change to a governing document that is expected to increase the Association’s annual operating costs and possibly reserves, the ideal objective should be that it will improve the market values of every privately owned lot or home in the Association. Therefore, a marketing study should be prepared in order identify if this is the case prior to voting on the proposal.
For example, if a governing document has been changed that has increased Association’s annual expenses by a certain percentage, and if there is at least one other similar HOA (similar in size, location, and amenities), then a prospective buyer of a vacant residential should normally be inclined to choose the lot that has the lower HOA’s dues. Alternatively, the prospective buyer could be inclined to offer a lower price for the lot that has the higher HOA’s dues. Therefore, all decisions to make costly changes to an HOA will not always improve the market value of every lot or home in an HOA.
A marketing study can also assess the degree to which a proposed change in a governing document would benefit certain lots at the risk of causing adverse impacts on other lots. In this situation, the Board or members will either drop the proposal or decide how the costs will be covered.
Compliance Issues Management Companies are usually well informed about changes in state and local laws that can change over time. But, management companies do not usually instruct their clients about procedures for announcing their meetings, for handling their meetings; and for preparing the Minutes of their meetings. The procedures are stated in Roberts Rules of Order. However, some self-managed HOAs disregard reading these Rules. Although a certain amount of latitude is common, deviations from these Rules should be discouraged if they are intended to limit opportunities for members to object to the Board’s decisions that may adversely impact the members’ property.