We feel if you choose an association management company, it can do wonders in saving your HOA on time, headaches, and hassle—but of course, the responsibility of choosing the right association management company is entirely up to you. There are many fine association management companies out there, but they are not necessarily created equal. These companies offer different services and different areas of expertise, and it is prudent to do a little research and ensure that you pick the right company to meet your association’s needs.

The first step toward choosing an association management company, then, is actually identifying what those needs are. You may need a comprehensive suite of around-the-clock management services—or, you may only want some assistance for a one-time project. Because different companies can meet different needs, it is important to know exactly what you are looking for before you even begin looking at different companies.

Another important guideline is to make sure that you have a contract in place. Regardless of whether you are planning for a long-term or a short-term relationship with your association management company, it is good to have the specifics of your agreement in writing, in case a dispute or a misunderstanding arises. A contract can save you money and headaches, in the long run. It is just good business sense.

It is also important to talk with your association management company about the division of responsibilities. Specifically, who should a resident call, when a problem arises—a Board member, or a member of the management company? Come to an agreement, with your management company, about where calls should be directed, and maximize the efficiency of your community association.

A final comment: It is always smart to try to develop a positive relationship with your community manager. Spend some time with the person overseeing your community’s account, and remember that this is a person with whom you may be working closely, for some time—so cultivating a positive, personal relationship never hurts!

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