Written by Spectrum AM
Board members invest in making their community a great place to live. They voluntarily sacrifice their personal time and burden the stress that comes with running a homeowners association. Fortunately, management companies were created to help alleviate that stress. Their main job is to make the lives of the board members easier.
But, what happens when a management company isn’t fulfilling their end of the bargain? Suddenly, the company that the board members turned to as solution to their stress becomes their biggest source of it.
Together, let’s review the signs of poor performance in your management company and the steps you can take to get the help that you need!
Signs of Poor Performance
The signs of poor performance are all too easy to spot. While it can be normal to see a mistake crop up periodically, likely due to human or technical error, it’s when the small issues start becoming a pattern when you need to start questioning the performance of your management company.
Here are some of the main performance issues that can impact your association:
-Issues not addressed
-Lack of communication
-Not taking ownership or accountability
-Lack of solutions
Any of the listed behaviors above can hurt the running of an association, especially if these behaviors are repeated on a regular basis. If you’re able to check off multiple items from this list, or if your management company has a history of repeating these behaviors, then there is definite room for improvement with their performance.
Why Is This Happening?
By now, you’ve likely identified whether your management company is performing up to the needed standards. Even if you’re just now starting to see these issues with your management company, it’s always good to work to a solution early, rather than let the issues escalate.
But, why are these performance issues happening in the first place? Here are some reasons why you might be seeing a shift in your management company’s behavior.
While growth can be great for a company, it can sometimes impact customers in a negative way. If you feel that your association is not getting the time and attention that it needs, ask yourself, “Has this company experienced significant growth? Is my community manger or site manager stretched too thin across multiple accounts?”
As work demand grows, sometimes the team’s roster doesn’t. When this happens, multiple accounts can end up landing on just one desk. Even the best, most efficient community manager would have their performance impacted when faced with too much work to juggle.
Lack of Company Morale
If you’ve ever worked for a company that puts an emphasis on your happiness, you’ve probably felt more motivated to be a good employee. You likely were happy to go the extra mile to perform well because you felt that you were contributing to something worthwhile.
A good, productive management company is one who invests in the happiness of its associations and the happiness of their team. Without this, you’ll likely see a lack of motivation from the company representatives that you interact with.
Steps Toward an Effective Solution
Now that you know how to identify poor performance and some of the causes behind that behavior, what can you do to get past it? Here, we’ve compiled steps that you should take when facing poor performance from your management company.
Sometimes a good, constructive conversation can help clear the waters that have been muddied with bad communication. Switching management companies can be stressful, so before going through a process that can be costly and time-consuming, see if the current partnership can be salvaged. Set a meeting with your community manager to address the performance issues and use that time to address the kind of changes you’d like to see going forward.
Once you’ve established your expectations going forward with your management company, now is the time to hold them accountable. See if an effort is being made to correct the performance issues that you noted. Not all changes can happen overnight, so allow them some time to show if they are willing to rise to the occasion. Hopefully, at this point, you’ll start to see some positive changes. If not, it’s probably time to either escalate your concerns with your current management company or move forward to the next step.
Research Other HOA Management Companies
Sometimes the grass is truly greener on the other side. If the performance of your management company has become detrimental to the running of your community, or if your attempts to reach a resolution have gone unanswered, it’s time to start exploring your options.
Research other management companies in your area to see if they might be a better fit. When looking, keep the issues that are causing you current stress on the forefront and interview the new management companies with these concerns in mind.
Set Clear Expectations
When you enter a working relationship with your new management company and community manager, discuss your expectations up front. If you had a bad experience with your former management company, share what your frustrations were with that partnership and what your new management company can do to help this new relationship run smoothly. Build a foundation of open, flowing communication starting on day one!
Shared from Spectrum AM