13 Jul What Colorado Buyers are Looking for in an HOA and Property Manager
Colorado metro areas have been surging over the last decade. The state’s largest city, Denver, has seen significant population and economic growth. With the stark increase of employment options and incredible opportunities for outdoor recreation, it’s easy to see why Denver is consistently ranked one of the best places to live in the US. As more residents have found their way to the Denver metro area, builders have stepped up to meet the growing need for housing with highrise condominiums, planned communities, and mixed-use associations. With growing options for residents on where to live, homeowners associations need to accentuate the benefits of community living while also choosing the right property management team to carry out and sustain the high bar set from residents.
The Draw of Denver
The Mile-high city may be known for the Rocky Mountains, excellent sports teams, and world-class skiing and snowboarding, but it’s also a well-established city of commerce. A growing population, a thriving business community, and the accessibility for leading a healthy lifestyle all make Denver a prime destination. Developers have taken note and have been adding more amenities to their properties than ever before. Modern communities will likely offer a fitness center, pool, basketball and tennis courts, hiking trails, biking, running, indoor and outdoor play areas, workspaces, and a community center. Highrises will offer similar amenities like a pool and fitness center and the added luxury of concierge-level service, lounges, and rooftop decks with sprawling views. These amenities are convenient and built into monthly fees while promoting and catering to the active lifestyle so many desire. It also increases engagement among residents and gives neighbors a chance to connect and build relationships.
Why Buyers are Choosing Communities With HOA’s
As Colorado continues to be a sought-after destination, builders meet the demand with new HOA communities. In turn, the HOA must select property managers as stewards for the community. Residents will choose an HOA for multiple reasons: they may want the low-maintenance lifestyle that an HOA provides, the host of amenities offered, the enjoyment of being involved in a community, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing the management team is striving to enhance the quality of life for residents while improving home values. The homeowners association must have a tight working relationship with the property managers to accomplish all of this.
The consistency of property values is a draw for some buyers. Making sure the building or community is maintained correctly and that bylaws are adhered to keeps things in order and provides sought-after assurances by owners. Seeing common areas well-maintained and owners doing their part to comply with bylaws related to personal property help removes the burden of homeownership.
The level of activity in communities is also widely appealing. Various opportunities for community involvement and social gatherings throughout the year create a strong sense of belonging between neighbors. For transplants, this can make all the difference when moving to a new city. The common areas and play found in communities provide an effortless way for new homeowners to introduce themselves. A community offers a quick and easy way to meet new people, make friends, and feel at home. In addition, committees provide a way to make a direct impact on the quality of the community.
Once you’re familiar with the governing documents of the HOA and additional rules, there aren’t many surprises. Homeowners know what to expect. When issues arise, they have the management company and the HOA board mediate disputes and confirm what is allowed. Many homeowners also take comfort knowing there are guidelines in place that keep the common areas, homes, and neighbors’ behavior at a high standard.
Selecting the Right Property Management Company
The homeowners association can’t handle everything in a community. It would require their undivided attention and still require a great deal of outside assistance. Board members need to find a well-established team that can manage the day-to-day activities, deliver on the HOA promises, and meet residents’ expectations.
There are a handful of criteria to consider when selecting a property management company. First is the experience—find a team that manages other associations similar in size and scope that can offer services designed around the community’s specific needs. An excellent way to hear about the experience of a property management team is through references. Ask how long has the partner relationship lasted and how was the community and association elevated through that partnership? Next, learn from the other communities under management. A property management partner that has demonstrated creative solutions to problems can apply successes from other communities.
Property management teams should challenge their employees to constantly educate themselves and earn accreditations to harness that knowledge and apply it to making the communities thrive. Continually seeking new knowledge and keeping tabs on the pulse of changing laws can make a big difference in providing real-time information to the HOA. Management companies that are part of industry organizations and have extensive in-house resources are ready to meet any challenge thrown their way.
The Difference an Excellent Property Management Team Can Make
The first goal for any property management team should be to exceed the expectations of their HOA partners. There is a lot to manage for any association; navigating the CC&Rs, maintaining a high standard of compliance, and enforcing rules and regulations. Taking a hands-on approach to inspecting the property, recognizing and mitigating risks, and ensuring the community is adequately insured should be dutifully managed. Vetting and overseeing vendors and ensuring they are appropriately licensed and insured, and monitoring the community’s financial health all fall under the umbrella of tasks to undertake.
Other main criteria are staying up-to-date with market trends and the latest technologies. Understanding the local real estate market and staying informed of changes to local and state laws help protect the HOA. Offering web-based services like an online resident portal, accounts payable solution for completing payments, personnel management, and vendor tracking make the operation run smoothly.
Another vital part of the relationship is communication. Keeping the lines of communication open with board members, residents, vendors, and others will help the neighborhood stay on task and within budget. In addition, keeping residents informed of any upcoming changes in the HOA and being prepared for meetings helps remove the possible complications.
A good HOA management company provides excellent customer service regardless of the situation. However, working with homeowners can be stressful. Any number of challenges can test the professionalism of the managers. Working in the best interest of the HOA means conducting business in a manner that reflects the priorities and professionalism of the board.
Colorado buyers in metro areas like Denver are discovering the many benefits living in an association offers. Juggling demanding careers, finding time to spend with family, or enjoying recreational activities is a balancing act. A well-managed association can provide an (almost) worry-free ownership experience, meaningful connections with neighbors, unrivaled amenities, and more opportunities to enjoy recreational activities. In addition, the specialized services of a property management team remove many hardships homeowners often deal with and allow them to lead the active lifestyle they crave.