Your community management company’s primary duty is to protect and maintain the property values for the residences in your community. As part of this responsibility, top community management companies that provide portfolio and on-site management prioritize ongoing education for community managers as well as HOA board members.
Many management companies employ a Director of Training who facilitates in-house training for community managers so that they may in turn educate residents and board members about issues that affect their community. This article covers the benefits of ongoing training for HOA board members and managers provided by the community association management company.
In-house Training Supports Happy, Helpful Community Managers
The top complaint we hear when we speak to potential new clients is dissatisfaction with the level of service they receive from their community manager. When community managers are tasked with providing service without a deep understanding of the issues that affect the community, the manager will simply be unable to provide the highest level of community management services.
Therefore, the best management companies offer in-house training, mentorship, and helpful tools to their portfolio and on-site community managers, to ensure that they have the knowledge and expertise to best serve a community. Management companies should provide regular education covering topics such as:
- State codes and laws
- Budgeting, contracts, audits, and tax training
- Communication with various cultures and community-building techniques
- Vendor sourcing and management
- Financial statement, investment and portfolio training
Many companies also require their community managers to undergo out-of-office training in accordance with industry standards, including certification by authorities such as Community Associations Institute (CAI). This guarantees that their managers are updated on the latest issues, laws, and trends that impact homeowners associations.
The Management Company Is Responsible for HOA Board Member Education
HOA board members are dedicated to protecting the community for all residents. As volunteers, they’re not expected to understand the nuances of fiduciary responsibility, changing municipal regulations, and other issues that can impact a community. In order to best serve the homeowners association, the management company should provide training workshops that help board members make the most effective decisions for their community. This includes training sessions like:
- Seminars with experts like CPAs, attorneys, reserve analysts, and insurance brokers
- Board Treasurer training (addressing issues specific to this important job)
- Eblasts and newsletters with code changes and the latest changes in HOA best practices
Training Brings Incoming Board Members Up to Speed Quickly and Efficiently
Depending on a community’s bylaws, board positions generally turn over every two to three years. New board members need to be quickly educated about the issues affecting their communities and given tools to make the smart decisions. New board member orientation and training should include things like:
- An in-person orientation and training session conducted by the management company
- Welcome packets that explain the roles and responsibilities of board members and
- Minutes from past board meetings
- Recent contracts
- Community association handbooks
Training sessions ensure that every board member has the same level of knowledge to avoid hiccups or interruptions in the board’s daily activities. For communities with on-site management, we recommend a full or half day orientation session to review the on-site management operations and services.
Ensuring Everyone Is on the Same Page
Training sessions and seminars guarantee that all board members and community managers are working from the same playbook. Rather than disparate approaches to problem-solving, training sessions help everyone operate as a cohesive unit, ultimately saving time and resources. Training also helps clarify the roles and responsibilities of the community manager and HOA board members. When each party understands the other’s role, they can work in tandem without doubling up or stepping on any toes.
Your community association management company should not stop at simply managing the day-to-day operations of your homeowners association. Instead, their role is to provide ongoing support for your community, which includes equipping their team members and members of your HOA board with the necessary information to make the smartest decisions for your community. If your community management company doesn’t offer these valuable services, it might be time to rethink their role in your community.
Joe Winkler, CMCA is an accomplished and creative marketing executive with proven success in marketing projects, public relations, operations and sales with over 10 years of professional community management experience. As Vice President of Marketing for HOA management company, Keystone Pacific Property Management, Joe is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with industry professionals.