The Best Way to Handle HOA Maintenance in Minneapolis, MN
Tom Sedlack - Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Homeowner Association (HOA) maintenance is something a lot of HOA Board members and managers only think about after the fact. There might be a problem or an emergency like a water leak and it ends up being an extra service that is beyond the scope of the property manager’s service agreement. Many managers will sometimes stumble with handling these issues, through lack of experience, or by claiming that they are out of the scope of their property management agreement. It is a good idea for the Board of Directors (BOD) to screen the manager they are hiring to ensure the manager has the experience and the support of a certified maintenance coordinator to help get projects from their inception to final inspection.
HOA Managers as Advocates
In fact, the HOA manager and their associates and assistants need to be advocates to the Board of Directors by getting advice and multiple quotes when organizing maintenance issues. They need to negotiate with contractors and vet any of the vendors who will be working with the HOA. That includes checking for licenses and insurance, and making sure there’s enough experience in the industry. A talented project or property manager can help reduce the project’s cost by having good communication with the board, by checking the numbers, and by helping the contractors to understand the impact of their efforts on the individual people living in that community. These things need to be taken into account. Ideally, the project manager and/or property manager is part of the HOA team. Being an advocate for the board means working a problem from nose to tail. It is not simply dropping a signed vendor contract in the board’s lap and thinking the work is done. All too often, busy HOA managers tend to do just that, and it results in poor service from the vendor and a poor result that is not appreciated by the HOA members.
Value of a Certified Maintenance Coordinator
Some companies have a CMC or a Certified Maintenance Coordinator. This is a certification from the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), and it effectively demonstrates the credentials that can really make a difference when it comes to engaging and seeing a project to the end while doing it right. Time after time, it seems vendor quality can lapse without good communication, project management, and coordination of all the ancillary things that are needed. For example, on a siding project or a roofing project, you have to deal with a number of small details like where will the dumpsters be placed and in what sequence will the buildings be worked on? The CMC would help to properly notify individuals, manage the cleanup effort, keep the schedule up to date, and ensure supplies are delivered and stored in the right location. All these things will prevent injuries, theft, and make sure the project goes along smoothly without interrupting the HOA members. So it’s important to have good, talented management members on your team.
Another example of a Property Manager being part of the team would be sending our text and e-mail blasts to all of the HOA members in advance of a snow event, and letting everyone know when the snow removal vendors is expected to arrive, that cars must be moved, and where the excess snow will be dumped. Good communication like this from your Property Manager helps improve the services of a vendor, and yields better results for all of the members of the HOA. This good communication and advocacy is what separates good managers from poor ones.
At 33rd Company, we have CMC members that support our HOA team. It’s a critical part of the service we provide, and it’s appreciated by the boards we work with. We offer exceptional communication, and always advocate for our clients. If you have any questions about HOA maintenance or HOA property management in Minneapolis and St Paul Minnesota, please contact us at 33rd Company.
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