An HOA management company plays an important role in the daily details of managing a community. Depending on the location, size and scope of the community, this job can require quite a bit of heavy lifting. While much of it is administrative, there’s also a great deal of face-to-face resident interaction.
A virtual assistant might seem an appealing option to deal with what is largely an administrative job. After all, they’re affordable and their position anywhere in the world means there’s a larger pool of options from which to draw the most talented professionals.
Yet, this is exactly the downfall of going this route.
While a virtual assistant may be able to make phone calls or submit paperwork on behalf of the HOA, they can’t handle resident complaints in person or address maintenance issues on-site. They are not on-the-ground working to make the community a better place. They are somewhere else entirely, without an understanding of the unique elements that serve as the fabric of the community in question.
Cheaper Is Not Always Better
While HOA boards are always on the hunt for more affordable ways to manage a community, sometimes cheaper is not better. This is certainly true when facing a room full of angry residents at the next HOA meeting. For instance, they might be angry because new inclusions in the bylaws prevent them from using a certain paint color. Another example being the community’s maintenance staff is not cleaning up the park area.
HOA management companies take care of this and the mundane administrative tasks. This is just one of many different reasons why hiring an HOA management company is a far better option than going with a virtual assistant.
HOA Management Companies Interact With Residents
Resident interaction is very important for the job. HOA management companies are well-versed with what it takes to get the job done right. A true HOA management professional can deal with frustrated residents with patience and professionalism because it’s their job to do so.
A virtual assistant is more of an unknown quantity when it comes to resident-based customer service issues.
In fact, this is reason number one why a virtual assistant isn’t effective in this role. When residents have complaints or issues they need addressed immediately, they want to talk to someone in person. This is just not something that a virtual assistant can do from miles away.
An HOA management company is prepared to handle the issue in question. They have customer service expertise to deal with irritated homeowners that may not always like the answer they are provided, as well.
HOA Management Companies Work With HOA Boards In-Person
There’s something to be said for having the management company’s representation at routine HOA board meetings. The management company can be on hand to answer questions and help generate solutions to community problems. They also are there to help cultivate practices centered on priorities set by the board.
A virtual assistant might be able to call into a board meeting and take notes to serve as reference points should someone have questions later. However, this person would not have the established relationships necessary to navigate the complex politics sometimes inherent in HOA matters.
HOA Management Companies Are In The Communities They Serve
Technology may be good for a lot, but in this instance, it hurts more than it helps. Virtual assistants don’t have a physical presence in the communities they serve. This can make managing the community difficult, at best. The physical separation can make it challenging for the virtual assistant to know how to effectively respond to resident issues.
By comparison, HOA management companies often interact with people in the communities they serve. Sometimes, employees of the company even live in the communities in question. This helps to establish a rapport with residents, which makes managing the community easier.
HOA Management Companies Can Make Changes As Needed
HOA boards sometimes require changes to documents or policies quickly. Working with an on-site team is beneficial for this reason. Companies working on-site are able to promptly respond and finish last-minute tasks.
Working with a virtual assistant means being at the mercy of their schedule. The assistant might not be available for changes or have the expertise to get the job done the right way. This is one of the reasons that working with a virtual assistant is a risk for HOA boards. A management company stands ready to deal with last-minute tasks from HOA board members, no matter what they are.
Reliability Is Key
This is another relevant factor in opting for an HOA management company over a virtual assistant. The very thing that makes virtual assistants appealing is that they can be located anywhere in the world. This is actually a drawback for HOA boards.
The reason this is the case is because there is nothing binding this person to the position. For instance, not much can be done if the assistant drops the account or leaves for vacation at a moment’s notice. If the board requires services that moment from their virtual assistant, few options will be available.
Silvercreek Association Management is a contracted professional organization through the HOA board that provides certain services. In other words, this is one of the most reliable ways for HOA boards to prioritize tasks needed to make sure that the community is running smoothly.