In the first few years of this new century, the view was pretty rosy; it seemed like property values would do nothing but rise forever. Monthly HOA meetings actually attracted crowds. HOA boards even had extra money in their budgets.
Thanks to the recession’s continuing reverberations however, things are different nowadays. In most South Florida associations, you can consider yourself lucky if the whole board—much less the residents—shows up for the monthly meeting. You are luckier still if you can actually hold an annual meeting, or have enough residents who care enough to show up and make a quorum. Arrears and foreclosures continue to menace the bottom lines of many associations, while maintenance costs rise irrespective of residents' and boards' ability to pay.
Given all that, it's a big job for volunteer board members to deal with the day-to-day maintenance of a condo or homeowners association, let alone handle complaints from disgruntled residents.
That's where the property manager comes in. It is for the above-mentioned reasons—and many more, of course—that a competent, experienced property manager is an essential part of every HOA's administrative team.
Explainer & Enforcer
According to Joseph West, president of the Community Associations Network LLC, a nationwide online resource for community associations and those who work with them, “The role of the manager is to carry out the policies and directives of the board, and to serve as an effective conduit between owners and the board and vendors. Managers provide advice and counsel regarding the maintenance and upkeep of the common areas, and provide accurate information for the board to use in making decisions. They also handle the administration of association matters and oversee the actual maintenance and repair to the common areas.”