Homeowners Association Management – Texas

Homeowners Association Management – Texas

Homeowners Association Management is changing. Typically, a Homeowner Association (HOA) is in charge of managing the common areas, operations and annual budget while balancing the wants and needs of the residents in the community. However, these responsibilities and the newfound challenges of COVID-19 are often more than volunteers can or want to do without professional support. 

 

Before 2020 and COVID-19, Texas was known as a rapid growth state and following suit, a state with new and growing HOA’s. As of mid-year 2020, a downturn in population growth was expected. However, we believe that the pandemic has helped our internal company projections, and the properties we support – with steady growth and movement into communities run by a successful Homeowners Association (HOA) and their partnering management company. That’s where we shine.

 

Texas research shows that COVID-weary Texans are looking for staycation and lifestyle based options. A properly run HOA can step up in a community where there may be an absence of local leadership to present appealing and secure options for its residents. These options offer peace of mind during unprecedented times, along with the ability to still live an active and fulfilling life. HOA’s, on the other hand, are looking for the right property management companies to help them fulfill the promises they make to their residents and to create the proper protocols needed to withstand any future situations, COVID-19 or otherwise. That’s where we step in.

FAQ’s

What is the Homeowners Association Management?

HOA management offers tailored and specialized services to meet the individual needs of each community. A professional property management company can save an association money, manage vendors, improve relationships between neighbors, and more. Selecting the right management company is cost-effective and brings a plethora of benefits to your community. Communities with HOA’s are usually called planned developments. Planned developments have many comforts, like shared amenities and services, that all generations have come to love and seek out to maintain their lifestyles. Communities can provide and maintain a certain standard of living through rules and regulations that govern the community. Potential residents are encouraged to fully understand what their HOA manages so they can weigh the positives and negatives before buying.

 

Because the HOA board makes important decisions for the homeowners and must be available to pivot with legislative changes and residential needs, many HOA’s will contract with professional management companies. 

 

There are a variety of reasons why this could be an impactful decision for your HOA. Associations should look for a property management partner with a proven history of expertise in condominium, high-rise, and master-planned communities, combined with a team of highly trained professionals allowing them to provide specialized services.

Is there an accreditation or other criteria we should look for in selecting a management company?

Yes, we believe that there are several key things to look for in making a decision. For example, Worth Ross is one of a select few in Texas that actively holds the Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) designation granted by the Community Association Institute (CAI). This accreditation proves our commitment to providing the highest level of service that community associations deserve. By maintaining this designation, we ensure that our team has the required experience, education, and integrity to guide and advise our managed communities expertly. We also believe that you should look for proven examples of specialty and concierge services. Each HOA community and board is unique. After doing this for 20 years, we know what to expect and how to handle new and individual needs. We rely on a vast network of contacts, partners, and vendors to take the guesswork out of these unique needs. Ultimately, you get a partner that truly is an extension of your team.

Do you provide Administrative Services and Association Governance?

Yes, we cover all administration services for our board partners. Our standardized processes and procedures keep things organized and efficient. From mailings, meeting preparation, resale and status letters, and much more, our team is here to help with any need you may have. These services include navigating your association documents quickly and efficiently to provide recommendations and areas of concern. Our standardized process for compliance tracking and enforcement makes it easy for Association Boards to stay informed.

Risk Management is critical to our board. How can you help with that?

We take risk management very seriously! Whether you need a policy review, property inspection, or hands-on assistance in navigating a claim with our in-house licensed insurance adjuster, we work as an extension of your team to ensure you are covered. We believe having the right employees and partners is a big part of risk reduction and risk management. Our Human Resources team mitigates most risks associated with personnel management. Our team takes on the challenges related to payroll and benefits administration. You no longer have to worry about recruiting, performance reviews, compliance, and all other aspects of personnel management. We are also very proud to offer a comprehensive benefits package to our entire team.

We are worried about COVID-19 continuing. Are you anxious, and do you think you can help us remain prepared?

Whether a community is new or has been around for decades, unprecedented changes lead to the need to make further decisions. And there is one common theme providing a safe, healthy quality of life to owners. 

 

High-rise management has taken on new meaning – and topics like changes to guest and vendor access, sanitization, and mask-wearing are increasingly part of the conversation. Board members and building management alike are paying closer attention to day to day issues. Because (COVID-19) recommendations and requirements change often, and from county to county, understanding how to read and interpret new information is high on the list in all board members’ minds. For example, some cities are limiting visitors in residential buildings, but the underlying concern is how to enforce restrictions.

 

You have to be able to shift between day to day operations and new demands from owners. They may want to be part of the conversation, too. Health and safety communication and education are regular requests in most high-rise and single-family communities. Owners want to know how you are or will handle current and potential situations.

 

Vendor and personnel management are increasingly important. Robust vendor management programs ensure that vendors have adequate insurance and licensure before stepping foot on the property and match your unique needs. Cleaning protocols and new and changing research impact how the staff treats common areas, elevators, and other high touch areas. There is a lot more to consider than providing hand sanitizers in common areas. With new concerns, HOA board members and other decision-makers are searching for management companies with established networks, experience, and expertise. 

 

One example of these changing needs is maintaining amenity usage in areas like gyms and pools, where cleaning and safety is now top of mind. Regardless of COVID-19, owners want the same experiences they are accustomed to from the amenities and concierge services. Management companies must be willing to take an individualized approach that brings value and enhanced services while maximizing your return.

 

While one may look at the above descriptions with concern because things appear to change daily for community and high-rise living, the prospects remain good, as we mentioned above. 

 

As an experienced management company, we are banking on that. We are deploying innovation across all of our services. We are excited to partner with high-rises and communities ready to embrace COVID- 19 as an opportunity to be a safe-haven in a storm.

We are a relatively new board; what other services do your current HOA Board clients look for in a partnership with Worth Ross?

Most boards get excited about our financial acumen and the technologies we can provide to their communities. As noted in our case study below, we are often hired to manage the day-to-day operations of the property and manage the general maintenance repairs and capital improvement projects. We believe that our accounting department is unrivaled in the property management industry. We assign each of our clients a dedicated property accountant to ensure fiscal responsibility and complete accessibility. This concierge approach is not something you will typically find from other property management providers. As part of our package, each of our clients has access to a resident portal where owners can view records, account history, and more. We utilize a web-based accounts payable solution that provides clarity and transparency on invoices being processed. Our clients are automatically enrolled in our robust vendor management program to ensure vendors have adequate insurance and licensure before ever stepping foot on the property. I would say those two benefits are always of importance to our new clients.

Our Annual Board Meeting is always a challenge, do you help with that?

Yes, our team is an extension of your community, so we help with all association governance, including Board and Annual Meetings. We know it’s a big deal. Usually, it’s the most attended meeting of the year and one with a packed agenda covering past, present, and future initiatives. Because of the high attendance, the importance of the matters to review, and the attendees’ anticipated involvement, preparation is paramount. A defined agenda is necessary to keep everything on track and per expectations.

 

The meeting’s overarching goals are relatively straightforward; to address all major topics affecting the community and residents and to elect member(s) to serve on the board. Throughout the year, I am sure you are holding regular board meetings covering the day-to-day operational matters, but the annual meeting should recap the year and set the tone for the year ahead. We think of the yearly meeting as more “macro” in nature versus the weekly or monthly meetings, which are more “micro.”

 

To help the organizers responsible, we’ve devised an Annual Meeting Checklist that can help you navigate what to do, how, and when to ensure a successful meeting. Our monthly blog is a resource for all members of your team – even now. For more information on this topic, please read our blog entitled, Homeowner’s Association Annual Meeting Checklist: Be Prepared and Ready to Host the Most Successful One Yet.

 

If you enter into a partnership with us, our entire leadership team would be assisting you.

If we select Worth Ross, are we locked in for an extended period?

We value each one of our Texas HOA communities and create long term and lasting relationships. Our client retention remains unmatched in the industry at 98%. We’re flexible on the term length in our agreement, and we include a 60-day termination provision in all of our management contracts. We are very selective in our partners and are looking to work with communities who need the expertise and understand the long-term ROI of working with a company with 20+ years of experience. We will provide you with extensive reporting to best track the return on your investment. Your unique vital metrics are reviewed daily, weekly, monthly, and annually to ensure objectives are being met and action is being taken.

What else would help us in selecting Worth Ross as our HOA management partner?

To start, our mission statement is Dedicated Stewards to Communities.

 

This mission resonates with each member of our team. 

 

We also offer unprecedented training to our board partners. Through years of hands-on experience, we’ve learned that continual training and education are the foundation for our success. Our dedicated training department offers robust programming for our entire team. Our goal is to bring innovative topics, industry-leading best practices, continuing education, and value-added seminars.

 

WRMC is equally invested and committed to the long-term success of the communities we’re proud to serve, and with that comes a unique and exciting program available to our clients – Worth Ross Master Speaker Series. The Speaker Series is our exclusive Board Member training event designed to educate boards and managers on the topics that help build their knowledge and better equip them in fulfilling their roles. We partner with industry experts to give in-depth training coupled with comprehensive discussions to better prepare you for the challenges ahead.

 

Our training department includes:

  • Resources and training tools developed specifically for our board partners. We give you the tools necessary to manage your community effectively.
  • Dedicated Stewardship. As our tagline shows, this is our mission. Our stewardship revolves around managing and nurturing the communities entrusted into our care and placing the highest importance on accomplishing those communities’ collective good. The results of our actions are evident by way of our long-tenured partnerships. We invite you to speak to our long term partner communities.
  • Master Speaker Series. Exclusive to WRMC clients, these events spark creativity, learning, and best practices led by industry-leading experts.
  • Continued Professional Growth and Development. We are invested in our team just as much as we’re invested in our clients. WRMC is proud to offer continuing education stipends to every internal team member. This investment impacts your results and has proven to be one of our critical differentials over the years. 

 

The fact is, we want to earn your business. The key to our world-class service is understanding, anticipating, and fulfilling our residents’ needs with every interaction, every time. 

 

We can attribute our success to our values’ importance and how we incorporate them into our daily operations. If you’re still not sold, I encourage you to take a look at our values. We incorporate values training and initiatives within our team and our board partners. These values include:

  • Kindness
  • Curiosity
  • Integrity
  • Resourcefulness
  • Unity

 

These five values are part of every training, meeting, and interaction. We vet our responses and interactions to ensure that we live up to our internal value statement. We encourage our partners to bring anything contrary to this to our attention.

Ok, I'm ready to talk; how do we get started?

Our Vice-President of Management, Matt Kopchak, heads up the sales process with a potential new association board. We work with inquiring boards in a variety of ways. Our sales process may include responding to RFP’s, holding discovery calls, community visits, or zoom meetings, and providing references and case studies as needed. Please feel free to connect directly with Matt at matthew@worthross.com or 214.599.7601 to get the process started. 

 

Being the best property management company in Texas is what we strive for daily. Finding the most engaged and caring boards to work with has allowed us to explore this great state. We look forward to meeting you and seeing the unique living experience you provide for your residents.

Homeowners Association Management Case Study

Background and Challenge:

This case involves a garden-style condominium HOA built in the 1970s. 

Before WRMC was hired in the late 2000s, the HOA was self-managed. We are often selected by previously self-managed HOA boards that want to make a change to utilize a management company’s professional expertise. In this case, we were brought on after their previous manager skipped town, leaving behind questions of missing funds, disconnect notices from the utility companies, and a property in great need of repairs and building improvements. WRMC recognized that our first challenge would involve restoring the HOA’s financial health not only to fund the day-to-day operations of the property but also to fund the general maintenance repairs and capital improvement projects. Our second challenge would involve guiding the HOA through the long and tedious process of significant construction projects on the property.

Action and Outcome:

The first course of action was to conduct a forensic audit of their finances. The HOA had not conducted any type of audit in several years. The forensic audit results revealed that several hundred thousand dollars were missing from the HOA’s bank accounts. We proceeded to file an insurance claim that resulted in a settlement, allowing the board to recover a portion of the missing funds. This situation highlights the imperative need for checks and balances and annual audits of financials. This type of audit is a practice we recommend to all the associations we manage. After the HOA had recovered financially, additional funds were raised through special assessments, and we began the capital improvement process. We coordinated several property rehab projects, including replacing all the siding on the buildings, reconstructing the stairwells throughout the buildings, replacing windows throughout the property, overhauling the landscaping, resurfacing the pool, waterproofing the parking structures, and replacing the roofs. The manager, lead of maintenance, and the board worked in tandem to ensure that all the improvements were per bylaws of the HOA. We both properly managed the budget for the upgrades and precisely followed the scope of work. By restoring the HOA’s financial health and improving the condition of the physical property, we have made a lasting positive impact on this HOA and, more importantly, on the residents that call it their home.

Have an idea? We’re here to help you manage your community.