Condominiums are an elegant and unique concept for homes. Ostensibly a series of units in either a larger building (similar to apartments) or detached houses in a community structure, condos each have an individual owner and common areas maintained/used by everyone. Homeowners associations often oversee some of the upkeep, general rules, and expenditures. Working as an HOA/condo manager is a tough job, but someone has to do it. That’s where condo managers step in to take on an integral role within the homeowner’s association. Here is a short guide explaining how.
What Does A Condo Manager Do?
Telling someone you’re a condo manager doesn’t actually give them an idea of what the job entails. The phrase “manager” can have an incredibly abstract meaning. It’s just not very specific at all. Here are a few of the responsibilities a condo manager might have to undertake throughout their tenure:
- Maintain the common areas
- Collect dues and payments
- Maintain assets
- Resolve resident issues and complaints
- Carry out everyday operations
- Draft budgets
- Prepare financial statements
- Plan how the reserve fund is allocated
- Stay within budgets
- Project management throughout the association
- Communication with residents about key items
- Conflict management
There is, of course, much more nuanced duties that fall under the umbrella being a condom manager but these are the most likely. It’s quite an extensive job, so finding tools to help automate some tasks or manage things can be a good thing. These include cloud-based technology tools like condo management software and automation. Thumbs down to finding ways to make it easier on both management and residents to pay dues, transfer ownership titles, report complaints, resolve issues, and manage repairs in a timely manner.
In a homeowner’s association, everyone must pay their dues. Dues go toward improving the community, maintaining common areas, repairs, and other expenses that the HOA board typically votes on to approve. Paying dues is just part of living within the confines of an HOA or condominiums. Collecting those dues, however, can prove challenging at times. Instead of going around and collecting checks, it may be easier to implement a automated solution of some kind to oversee dues collecting processes. Dues and fees cover the costs of maintenance and upkeep, so ensuring they’re collected properly is crucial to the role of any condo manager.
Every organization has budgets that they must make and adhere to as much as possible. It’s no different with managing a condo. Budgeting needs to cover quite a few areas in this regard. Budgeting is more complex than simply figuring out how you’re going to allocate funds. It comes down to assessing the community needs, understanding costs, and finding the money to use to cover these costs. It helps to look at reports from previous years to assess the data. Automated solutions make reporting easy, so you can do the accounting and access information from previous years without much difficulty. Then it’s a matter of shopping around for deals from reputable sources. In that regard, it’s not unlike shipping around for life insurance quotes. Budgeting is challenging, sure, but finding ways to make it simpler is only going to benefit the community in the long run.
Finding Vendors For Repairs
Everything breaks down or falls into disrepair after a while. Without proper maintenance and upkeep, Condo properties (and especially the common areas) might require some repairs. Sometimes it’s something simple like a few roof shingles or some plumbing. Other times, you might find yourself desperately seeking maintenance personnel and vendors for major projects. Part of finding the right vendor for the job comes down to assessment and communication. First, the manager needs to find a vendor or a series of vendors that might be suitable for the job. Then there should be a robust vetting process to determine if the vendor is a good fit for the community. Assess their communication skills, their capacity, their reputation. Are other customers happy with their work? What are their rates? Do they have a consistent level of high performance over time that would be beneficial to your community? If so, then they might be worth hiring. If you do decide to hire and onboard a vendor, you’ll need to manage them effectively. If you’re using an automation solution for collecting dues and budgeting, you might be able to use the same system to oversee fender management. Mitigating risk and preventing problems with vendors is just another part of the job for any condo manager, and there are plenty of challenges to go along with it.
An overlooked aspect of managing condos is the owner management equation. Managing who owns which properties is all part of a condo manager’s job. This also covers any changes in ownership or ownership transfers. It helps determine dued assessments and other factors integral to running the community. This is another area where condo management software shines by enabling managers to create and access databases while being able to change information on demand to accurately reflect the community’s current status.