Selecting An Hoa Management Company


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Selecting An Hoa Management Company

  1. 1. A Sentry Management EBook
  2. 2. There are many reasons why a community association must select a management company. The association may be displeased with their current management company, they may wish to replace a company appointed by the developer, professional management is required in the governing documents of the association, or the existing management company has resigned the account. Whatever the cause, the selection process can be time- consuming and confusing. There are, literally, dozens of management companies who want your business. Each believes it has the management plan that is right fro your community, but each has its strengths and weaknesses.
  3. 3. So how do you determine which one is best for your association? Where do you begin your search? Is there a definitive plan that ensures you get the best quality of service for the best cost? How do you evaluate each company’s offerings? How do you manage the bidding process? These are difficult questions to answer, but the following guidelines may help in the selection process. By using any or all of these suggestions, you may find it easier to select a management company that will provide your association with quality service at a fair price for a long and mutually satisfying period.
  4. 4. Know what you want and expect from the management company. Be familiar with your governing documents and understand the standards they stipulate for the management company, your Board of Directors, your committees and all of your association members.
  5. 5. Plan ahead and set deadlines for the entire process: submission of written bids, oral interviews, finalist selection, second interviews and, finally, awarding of the contract. Once you have made your decision, allow your new management company sufficient time to obtain your records from the previous company and transfer those records to their systems.
  6. 6. During the first oral interview it is important to use your criteria to ask the questions necessary for the evaluating both the experience and capabilities of the bidding company. For comparison, it may be helpful to ask each company the same standard questions. Remember that you are the interviewer—you control the interview you session. Consider asking the following questions.
  7. 7. How long has the company been in business? What is the company’s ownership structure? Can the company provide a list of references? What is the average tenure of employees? What is the average tenure of corporate officers? Does the company manage any similar properties? Does the company participate in professional property management education? What professional property management groups does the company belong to?
  8. 8. Is the company involved in more than one type of property management service. Is community association management the company’s primary business? How does the company handle a typical complaint or maintenance request, during both work hours and as an after-hours emergency? How is the company staffed? What departments does it have and how do they serve theirs clients? Is the company tied to any particular supplier, vendor or developer group/
  9. 9. How accessible are the officers of the company? What is the management company’s perception of the responsibilities of the Board of Directors and committee members? How does the management company fit in? What problems, if any, has the management company had in the past concerning community management? How were they resolved? What relationship does the company have, if any, with your attorney and/or Certified Public Accountant? Has the company been involved in litigation concerning the management of other properties? If yes, how so?
  10. 10. It is important to know what the management company can and will do for your association. Does it provide services that can save you time, aggravation or money? If so, do any require an additional fee? It is a good idea to take detailed notes or minutes throughout the interview process and incoporate them into the final contract, either as specific line items or an addendum.
  11. 11. It is essential that you do this prior to selecting a company. An on-site visit will tell you a lot about each firm, such as whether they have adequate equipment and staffing to handle your needs, and the attitude and demeanor of their employees Arrange in advance to meet your prospective community manager and to speak with a variety of employees in other departments. Also meet with the corporate officers and have them detail their management philosophy and the company’s structure. Again, ask any questions that you feel will help you reach the best possible decision.
  12. 12. Read and understand the company’s management contract before you make the ffinal decision. Is it negotiable? Are all services you previously discussed outlined within the contract? What is the cancellation clause? Are there penalties? Are there automatic escalation clauses? It is much easier to evaluate the management contract prior to hiring a new company than to select a company only to find that you cannot agree on contract terms.
  13. 13. Typical management contracts are bid on a monthly per- unit basis. Does the company expect you to pay for any extras, such as postage or hard costs? Make a fair comparison of any additional charges for all of the companies you interview. Remember a company with a higher standard fee may offer programs that save you money, making the total effective management fee lower. Be sure to ask how long the fee remains in effect and whether it is negotiable. Also determine whether a lower initial fee can be raised automatically if the management company meets specific performance clauses. By all means, understand the fee structure and know what you can expect to receive for your money.
  14. 14. Selecting a management company is an important decision for every community association. You deserve the best performance for the best price from a firm that embraces your goals and will work with long- you to establish a long-term, productive relationship.
  15. 15. Sentry Management has established a long history of creating outstanding communities for homeowners to live in. For over 30 years, Sentry has placed a priority on individual attention, providing it to each and every homeowner’s association (HOA) that is managed. As a full-service community management company, Sentry couples the individual service with a highly skilled, professional staff of community managers, leasing agents, bookkeepers, administrative and maintenance staff to anticipate and meet clients’ needs. With a staff of over 600 some may think Sentry is too large to deal with each account personally, however, each HOA is assigned a community manager dedicated to the unique and specialized needs that come with each association. What's more, Sentry keeps the ratio of manager to number of associations low, understanding that personal attention and a committed focus create a long term relationship that builds better communities. Every community manager is supported by a team of subject matter experts to ensure that each intricate detail is handled with the highest level of service. Additionally, Sentry has been accredited as an AMO® (Accredited Management Organization) by the Institute of Real Estate Management, providing clients an independent evaluation that Sentry has one of the highest operating and financial standards in the industry. Company President, James W. Hart, Jr., founded the organization in 1975 and has worked in the community management field since 1968. Jim is a REALTOR®, CERTIFIED PROPERTY MANAGER® and is a past President of the Community Associations Institute (CAI). Mr. Hart also maintains membership in the Institute of Real Estate Management, the local and state Board of REALTORS, the Homebuilders Association and the Multi-Housing Association. If you would like a brochure on how Sentry can assist you or if you would like to be contacted by one of our managers, please click here. Whatever your community management needs, Sentry has the solution. Call Jim Hart, President, at (407) 788-6700, extension 224, or e-mail us at