The Pros and Cons of Self-Managed Communities

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If you’re thinking of switching to a self-managed HOA, you may wonder about the pros and cons of your switch. Making a decision like this is no small feat, and you’ll need to weigh all of the factors before making the final choice. We’ll discuss the difference between a self-managed HOA and an HOA management company and the pros and cons of becoming self-managed.

What is a Self-Managed HOA?

When an HOA is self-managed, the community association is managed solely by an HOA board of directors elected by homeowners. A professional management company is not involved in any capacity. These members work as volunteers to manage and improve their communities.

What is an HOA Management Company?

An HOA management company works with these elected officials to handle an association’s daily operations. This management company will handle maintenance, collect dues, and arrange administrative and legal matters. Naturally, HOA managers from an HOA management company are paid and licensed.

The Pros of a Self-Managed HOA

Cost Savings

As we mentioned, it costs money to hire the services of an HOA management company. With self-managed HOAs, a community can save money on these costs. When board members are volunteers, the community enjoys lower HOA fees. HOA fees also often increase under HOA management companies because these companies often complete more renovations and maintenance than necessary to increase property values. Residents and HOA boards both save when avoiding or cutting HOA management companies.

More Focus

An HOA management company does not typically involve itself directly with the residents of its communities. As a result, these companies likely aren’t aware of the problems faced by residents. This can lead to significant issues being overlooked and the community suffering. Meanwhile, board members live in the community and have a better idea of the status of their community. They are also directly responsible for dealing with resident concerns and complaints. Without a management company, the board can act with more autonomy, more quickly, and more directly to satisfy the residents’ needs.

Fewer Conflicts

Any HOA board member knows that community associations are not immune to conflict. These issues may arise between neighbors or even between members of the board of directors. In these instances, the board has a responsibility to find a solution. When an HOA management company is involved, there could be even more opportunity for conflict, as board members can get caught in the middle between disgruntled residents and demanding managers. In some instances, HOAs decide to become self-managed because they end up in disputes with their management team or they are unhappy with their management team’s service.

The Cons of a Self-Managed HOA

Heavier Workload

Because the typical board does not have access to the technology or experience of a professional HOA manager, there is a risk that they may suffer a greater workload than a manager working at an HOA company would. It may take an HOA board member twice as long to complete a task as it would take a professional. This is because professionals have more tools at their disposal.

Less Experience

Similar to how board members do not have the same tools as professionals, they also do not have the same experience. Professionals often need to have a license to work in their profession and complete continuing education to maintain best practices. Meanwhile, board members may have little or no experience in management or administration. Combined with not receiving any pay or incentive to spend time learning about the industry, the board may become frustrated and unmotivated. At worst, they might become overwhelmed, and the community may suffer.

Decreased Property Value

HOAs have a reputation that precedes them, and sometimes it’s not a great one. Buyers have been known to often avoid properties managed by HOAs. Self-managed HOAs may scare buyers even further. When a company is running your HOA, it may come across as more professional and trustworthy. A self-managed HOA may have to go to extraordinary lengths to prove that they are reasonable, stable, well-managed, and consistent to get buyers to trust them before buying properties.

HOA Management Software to Help You Self-Manage

Don’t let your fears of self-managing your HOA get you down. Lacking the experience, tools, and reputation of a professional HOA company doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying the benefits of a self-managed HOA. Finding a self-managed HOA software solution that can help you manage your community’s needs more easily is a game-changer.

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