Why Florida community associations should consider hiring a Community Association Manager.
What good is an outsider when your board is composed of community residents with a clear, deep seated, investment in their neighborhood? Since it's likely few or none of your board members are experts in association management, investing in a Community Association Manager (CAM) can reap huge benefits.
7 reasons to welcome a Community Association Manager
In general, CAMs serve as ambassadors for your community association. They help manifest the needs and desires of a community in relation to legal and financial realities, while at the same time, presenting a professional front to association activity. Here's what they bring to the table:
- Elevated standards. CAMs not only understand what it takes to make neighborhoods beautiful, they're tapped into a network of reputable vendors. This helps lower costs, maintain property value, and establish consistency in the quality of community maintenance.
- Financial administration. Past due association payments can cause a rift between board members and their neighbors. The independence of CAMs helps mitigate the volatility of personal situations. Since your CAM is there to enforce community policy, you can eliminate potential conflicts of interest created by the collection process.
- Financial savvy. From understanding an association's financial statement, to finding cost effective solutions to unexpected expenses – Community Association Managers can be crucial to a community's financial health.
- Community communication. Writing newsletters, responding to inquiries and complaints – in general, keeping everyone informed – they all take time. Without proper management, effective communication is likely to fall victim to busy board member schedules. In addition, homeowners often feel more comfortable expressing their concerns and thoughts to CAMs.
- Morale boosts. Sometimes it's difficult to keep board members, and others in the community, actively involved. CAMs can suggest community events and activities that allow everyone to get to know their neighbors, while at the same time improving participation, and a general sense of connection.
- Consistency and clarity. Community Association Managers know how to make sure policies are easy to understand and how to enforce them. This responsibility includes ensuring the absence of favoritism and other unfair treatment when applying community policy.
- Vendor relations. What happens when a landscaping company damages a resident's property? Community Association Managers understand how to respond to vendor conflicts without causing unnecessary drama. Furthermore, vendors often recognize that community associations under specialized management tend to be better run, and, therefore, are more inclined to engage in business with them.
Should your community association hire a CAM?
While the size of a community often plays a key role in determining the necessity of a CAM, the factors affecting that determination are more universal. The ultimate question is: does your association have the resources to properly serve your community?
Elements such as the number of buildings and amenities, volunteers, and which skills board members may bring to the table, should be taken into consideration. Even if all your roles are accounted for, members might have limited time to contribute.
Of course, finances also come into play. CAMs can offer supplementary assistance at a lower cost than taking on all of the management duties.
Regardless of if, or how, you hire a manager for your association, it's important to stay on track, both in maintaining the value of your neighborhood, and adhering to laws affecting community associations. PeytonBolin has over a decade of experience in Association Law in Florida. Our friendly attorneys can help your community with everything from establishing your management needs, to full legal support for your association.
If you're considering bringing on a Community Association Manager, or need assistance navigating the complicated world of community association law, we're here to help. Connect with us today to schedule a free consultation and strategy session.