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Seminar Survey Shows that Community Association Board Members Overwhelmingly Appreciate their Manager

We surveyed the in excess of 2,000 board members who attended one of our fall, 2015 seminars held in over 20 different locations.  We asked those board members who currently had professional management what they viewed as the most advantageous aspects of management services as well as those aspects deemed not as favorable.  An overwhelming 95.03% stated they viewed the management company’s handling of the community association’s financial matters as an advantage of being managed.  From balancing budgets to collection of dues, to various accounting services, financial planning, and report preparation, board members value the time and effort that their managers put into this difficult task.  Of second most importance, 90.58% of those surveyed are grateful that management acts as a buffer with the owners, fielding phone calls, emails, and complaints as well as handling the day-to-day association issues.  85.64% appreciate that their management responds to those issues quickly, including the managers ability to answer phone calls and email promptly and efficiently.  Assistance with contractors also ranked high in importance, with 82.77% of those surveyed citing the manager’s ability to obtain bids, suggest contractors, organize and supervise projects, and negotiate cost as an outstanding service.  Many board members (80.77%) indicated an appreciation for the simple guidance and support provided by their management company.  They cited the manager’s ability to act on the board’s behalf and the personal attention that they receive.  One board member said “They make our job easy!”  Board members appreciate the knowledge and experience that their manager has to guide their association.  Some indicated that their managers go the extra mile, keeping the board informed through email and reports.  Other positive responses included record keeping (70.49%), maintenance (68.81%), enforcement assistance (67%) and assistance with meetings (66.65%). Another board member said, “We are very satisfied with every aspect of the services they provide.  They go above and beyond.”  And yet another agreed, saying “No complains, only praise.”

Board members, by and large, seemed to be extremely pleased with their management companies.  However, no service is perfect.  Our survey seemed to indicate the need for better communication as one aspect of management services that some boards would like to improve.  While boards should definitely factor in responsiveness and quality of communication into their choice of a management company, it’s also important that board members have a reasonable expectation of what that response time should be, and to clearly communicate those expectations to their manager.  Availability of management to be physically on the property was also a complaint registered by a few board members.  Be sure to discuss what sort of time on the property a board should expect from a management company and how after-hours issues are to be handled.  Generally, the owners are the eyes and ears on the property and with texting, email, and cell phones, it is important to note that the manager is really a “business manager” and not a “property manager.”

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