Thinking of hiring a virtual assistant to replace an HOA management company?
An HOA management company plays an important role in the daily details of managing a community. The job requires a lot of heavy lifting, especially administrative work. There’s a great deal of face-to-face interactions with residents, so the job demands a hands-on approach.
The idea of replacing an entire HOA management team with a virtual assistant sounds like a great idea simply because you’ll save a lot of money. Having someone working remotely to handle day-to-day HOA management tasks seems ideal but solutions that worked for some people might not work for others. Especially for a job that requires a hands-on approach.
Sure, a virtual assistant can take phone calls or do the paperwork on the HOA’s behalf but what about dealing with resident complaints in person? How would a VA solve onsite maintenance issues? Because a VA is working remotely, s/he can’t talk to residents in person and deal with issues that affect the community.
Cheaper Is Not Always Better
VAs are popular because the service is cheap as chips. But it has its limits. Say, there’s a new rule that prevents residents from using a certain paint color and now they’re angry.
How will a VA working on the other side of the world explain the new rule and sort out the issue? He has to be there to explain the rule and soothe frayed nerves. A zoom call with a roomful of angry residents during an HOA meeting may not cut it. How will a VA keep tabs on maintenance workers who are cleaning up the park or community areas?
These tasks seem mundane to some but these are essential in managing a community. HOA management companies are more efficient in dealing with residents in person than a VA. Cheaper is not always better.
HOA Management Companies Interact With Residents
Interacting with residents is one of the most vital parts of maintaining a community. How can you run and maintain an entire neighborhood if you’re thousands of miles away from it? How will you know about the issues that residents deal with every day if you’re not there to share the same experience?
HOA management companies know these problems because reps have the first-hand experience to get the job right. HOA management professionals are trained to handle frustrated residents with patience and professionalism. It takes experience and proper training to settle resident-based customer service issues.
A VA cannot answer complaints and sort out resident issues immediately because they’re working remotely. These tasks are just impossible to settle when the virtual assistant is lives in a different timezone.
Some problems are best handled immediately, especially if it involves irritated residents. Most times, irate residents just want to be heard and understood. With an HOA management company, issues are handled right away so the situation with the residents won’t worse.
HOA Management Companies Work With HOA Boards In-Person
Routine HOA board meetings are essential in solving community issues and prioritizing certain projects. An HOA management rep should be present during these meetings so everyone is on the same page.
A virtual assistant may be called into a board meeting and take notes but they don’t have an established relationship with the rest of the board members. It’ll be hard to navigate complex politics sometimes at play 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. VAs are not there in person to form relationships with local residents and the physical separation affect how they respond to community problems. It’ll be hard to relate to resident issues if they have no clue where the people are coming from.
On the other hand, HOA management companies have representatives who interact with the communities they serve. And most times, these reps live in the communities in question to establish a rapport with the residents and get to know what issues they face on the daily. This strategy makes community management easier and more effective.
HOA Management Companies Can Make Changes As Needed
Will a VA be there to work on a quick document or policy changes at the last minute? A management company can deal with last-minute tasks from HOA board members, no matter what they are. VAs are always at the mercy of their own schedule. The assistant might not be available to make quick changes in a document or policy because of the timezone they live in.
Reliability Is Key
No matter how dependable a VA is, the distance will affect their performance at work. There is nothing that binds a person who is miles away from the community to the position. The assistant could leave for a vacation or drop an account at a moment’s notice and the HOA board cannot do anything about it. And in emergency situations when the board needs the VA to handle a situation, there are only a few options available if he is away.
Reliability is important when you’re managing a community. Contracted HOA management companies like Silvercreek Association Management understand what tasks to prioritize to ensure that the community is running smoothly.