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Community Management Services help associations manage projects through various channels: external expertise, on-site expertise, and internal expert advice. For example, a homeowner association might appoint an expert homeowner organization manager to run the community marketing strategy. This person would be responsible for generating new members, maintaining current membership levels, and ensuring that no one is excluded under any provision of the agreement. The board members would then have an opportunity to discuss and perhaps approve strategic decisions that affect the association as a whole or a section of its members. Board members may also request this type of assistance with areas of expertise or special needs such as disability or legal status.
Another type of community management services is professional management. This involves assisting the non-profit or government sector in the provision of appropriate programs, projects, consultation or training that addresses issues affecting the local community. This professional might be employed by a client association, non-profit organisation, government sector or a landlord. Examples include homeless initiatives, economic development and anti-social behaviour among others.
Professional property management services deal with the day to day issues of maintenance and ownership of residential real estate in a community. These include issues such as land use and planning, scheduling of inspections, repairs and upgrades, and budgeting. These issues are usually best handled by the association’s property management department. In some cases, the association’s independent professional manager may also handle these tasks. Either way, the duties and responsibilities of each member still remain the same.
Non-profit organizations and other government agencies often seek the help of professional management companies in order to ensure their projects are carried out according to their agreements. For example, a homeowner association might hire a community management firm to oversee the completion of a master plan it has developed in response to information it received from a third party. The board members who oversee the project could then discuss it with all the property owners in the association to ensure that they are agreeable with the master plan.
Property owner associations often employ association managers to monitor the success or failure of an ongoing project. For example, a group of homeowners may be renovating their homes in order to turn them into more energy efficient spaces. However, there is one homeowner who may not be enthusiastic about making any structural changes. So, the association managers will want to ensure that this person does not have an overwhelming desire to tear down walls or make other changes that would have a negative impact on the overall renovations. By hiring a professional management company, the association managers can ensure that this person does not get his way.
Another example involves a late fee or invoice being sent to the property owner by the professional management firm. Some homeowners pay these fees without even knowing they have been charged. Unfortunately, some property owners will not take the time to read these documents carefully or understand why they have been assessed a late fee. And when this happens, the association managers may come into conflict with the property owner and end up having to impose a late fee anyway.
Community management services are beneficial for several different reasons. First, it allows these communities to save money on legal fees. By utilizing a group of volunteer management staff, it is much less expensive for a community to hire a legal team to handle all the tedious work. Second, these management services are beneficial because they allow associations to better monitor the effectiveness of projects. Since the project manager is paid only if the project is successful, the service provider ensures that the homeowner actually receives the payment. It is an investment for everyone in the association.
Community management services are readily available in almost every city. However, one must be careful before hiring a management company. One must make sure that the professional management services company offers fair and competitive rates and has experience managing similar projects. A reputable association management services provider will work hard to create a lucrative contract with the association that will benefit everyone involved.