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Feb 16, 2024

Understanding the Role of a Community Manager and Dispelling Common Misconceptions

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Orr - CEO, Community Association Management Services

Homeowners' Association (HOA) community managers play a vital role in ensuring the smooth functioning and upkeep of residential communities. Often misunderstood, their duties encompass various responsibilities, ranging from administrative tasks to facilitating communication between residents and the board of directors. Let's delve into the intricacies of their job description and dispel some common misunderstandings surrounding their role.

Defining the Role of a Community Manager
A community manager serves as the liaison between the association's board of directors, its residents, and external parties. Their job description is multifaceted, encompassing various responsibilities to maintain the community's integrity and enhance livability. Key duties include:

1. Working Closely with the Board: Community managers collaborate closely with the board of directors to execute decisions and policies that align with the association's goals and objectives. They attend board meetings, provide valuable insights, and implement directives per board policy.

2. Performing Property Inspections: Regular inspections of the association’s common elements are conducted to ensure maintenance per contractual agreements with service providers to maintain property values.  Inspections may also be conducted for rule enforcement. Community managers ensure these inspections are done per the contract between the association and management company and coordinate necessary actions to address concerns promptly.

3. Facilitating Day-to-Day Operations: Community managers oversee the association's day-to-day operations, from approving invoices and reviewing financial reports to addressing resident inquiries and managing common area upkeep. They ensure that services are delivered efficiently and effectively.

Dispelling Common Misconceptions
Despite their pivotal role, community managers and management companies often find themselves at the center of several misconceptions. Let's address some of the most prevalent ones:

  • Misconception #1: The Manager Makes Money from Collecting Fees
Association assessment income is allocated toward various expenses, such as maintenance, insurance, and amenities, to benefit the community as a whole.  The management company is compensated like every professional service provider for services rendered to the association.
  • Misconception #2: The Manager Makes Decisions for the Community
While community managers play a crucial role in executing decisions, the ultimate authority lies with the board of directors. Managers act as facilitators, implementing policies and directives established by the board in accordance with the community's governing documents.
  • Misconception #3: The Community Manager is an Expert in All Fields
Community managers possess a diverse skill set, and they wear many hats. Most importantly, Community Managers know when to pull in experts and who to contact; they regularly collaborate with professionals in various fields, including attorneys, CPAs, and other service providers, to ensure the association's needs are met comprehensively.
  • Misconception #4: The Community Manager Makes the Rules
Rules and regulations within an HOA are established by the governing documents and enforced by the board of directors. While community managers may be charged with assisting in the enforcement of these rules, they do not have the authority to alter or establish new policies unilaterally.
  • Misconception #5: The Manager is On Call 24/7
While community association management companies often provide an after-hours emergency line for association-related emergencies, community managers should not be expected to be available round-the-clock. Like any professional service, business is conducted during regular business hours.

Conclusion
Community managers are pivotal in fostering harmonious living environments within residential communities. By understanding the scope of their responsibilities and dispelling common misconceptions, residents can develop a clearer appreciation for the vital contributions these professionals make toward the well-being of their communities. Cooperation and mutual understanding between residents, the board of directors, and community managers are essential for fostering a thriving and cohesive community environment.
 
About CAMS:
Since 1991, CAMS has been a renowned community management firm established itself as an industry leader in providing comprehensive solutions throughout the Carolinas. With a commitment to excellence and a focus on community well-being, CAMS delivers tailored management services to enhance the quality of life for residents in diverse communities.

Please visit our website here for more information about CAMS and its services.

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