Community Association Management – How To Start Your Career

Getting a community association manager license means working with communities while caring for the properties and spaces. Naturally, community associations require managers to monitor the association and neighborhood’s projects and growth.

Community association managers are responsible for implementing conditions, covenants, and rules. Their tasks also include ensuring homeowners abide by the association’s rules.

Learn about the career

Your first step is to understand what community association managers do. You probably know the career’s nature, but understanding their roles and responsibilities lets you assess what you need to learn.

Essentially, they provide expert guidance, consultancy, and oversight for the associations’ members and homeowners. These managers aren’t volunteers; community organizations hire them to ensure they reach their goals.

Its usefulness

Community association managers deal with daily tasks and project management. That includes overlooking shared area care, budgeting, and linking the board with homeowners. As managers, they also take care of financial management and communications.

They take a hands-on approach to community management, and this usually means dealing with homeowners directly. Collecting fees, inspecting sites, overlooking resident compliance, and resolving disputes are everyday tasks.

Its place in the real estate sector

While community association managers aren’t part of the purchase process, their performance can affect a home’s value. Their efficiency affects a property’s perceived value.

Furthermore, prospective owners might be interested in knowing the manager. They’ll regularly interact with them, so a good manager can help sell a property.

Understand how you’ll work

Understanding your work environment and schedules after getting a community association management license is vital for tailoring your goals.

Most community association managers work from offices, but it’s not optimal to spend all your time in one. Onsite management is still a crucial side of the job, and it requires working directly on the properties and speaking with neighbors.

You’ll also have to deal with janitors, board members, owners, real estate agents, and prospective buyers. As such, it requires strong social skills, patience, and personal organization.

Organization

Naturally, managers need strong organizational skills. You’ll often have to schedule multiple tasks in one day and different locations. Assessing your time to meet all these requirements is crucial for an effective manager.

What you need

Knowing what skills the community association manager license demands is the best way to prepare for the career. Taking courses and developing these skills before starting your career can make your life easier.

We’ve already mentioned many of the capabilities you’ll need financial knowledge, social expertise, and organizational skills.

Education

You’ll need a high-school diploma (or equivalent) for most positions, but hiring college graduates is also common. A degree in finance, real estate, accounting, or business or public administration can be an outstanding advantage as well.

Of course, work experience in related occupations is also helpful.

Skills

The most common skills mentioned by prospects and sought by employers relate to general management duties. That means vendor, property, financial, and committee management are essential skills.

Learning to use standard digital tools in the industry, social skills, invoicing, and reporting is advantageous.

Pro tip to keep in mind: some states require additional licensing so make sure you research your state’s requirements for a career in Community Associations. 

Community Association Living: What to Expect

The community management association is a fundamental consideration if you plan to buy a home. You’ll likely have to take part in it as well.

 

What can you expect from living in a community association? That’s what you’ll learn today, as well as a few tips on how to build a better association.

It depends on the type of community association

The Community Associations Institute splits community associations into three types in its introduction to association living.

 

The association category depends on space ownership by the homeowners.

  • Planned communities

The most common type of community management entitles homeowners to the property, residence, and its lot. Residents own their interests separately from their neighbors.

However, membership is mandatory, and common areas belong to the association, though members still have obligations with them.

  • Condominiums

In condos, homeowners usually own the space within their homes. However, the land underneath their unit and its physical boundaries are not their property.

However, owners usually act as co-owners for common areas. The association may still own properties, but it depends on state law.

  • Cooperatives

In the rarest community association category, a corporation owns all properties making up the cooperative. Homeowners are entitled to shared interests and occupation rights.

Board members are more similar to shareholders, and the association owns more than common areas.

Rules and fees

Most homeowners relate their community management association with regulation. Assessing your association’s rules is the first step to get along with everyone.

Let’s go through the most common types of rules.

Esthetics

Most community associations are relatively strict with what homeowners can do with their homes’ exterior. It’s more prevalent in condominiums, but you should always ask about outdoor decorations before breaking any rules from your association.

Pets

Not all communities are pet-friendly, but even the ones that are might have restrictions. Check whether pets are allowed and which races are permitted.

Occupancy

Your community association may limit whether you can rent your home for short or long terms. Some communities may also restrict the number of people per unit.

Vehicles

Finally, some associations restrict specific vehicle categories, like food and business vehicles, boats, and trucks.

Governance

Governance depends on the type of community association, but most communities follow the same approach. All homeowners are members of the board, and they’re responsible for partaking in meetings and decisions related to rules and community developments.

Community management

Finally, we can split management approaches into three categories. A community management association can come in many ways.

Homeowners aren’t always direct managers. The association can come from volunteer work or third-party services.

  • Volunteering

Volunteer community associations work from the homeowners’ will. The board manages the association directly, or they can create committees with groups of residents.

  • Association employment

Some associations prefer to employ a dedicated community manager. This manager works under the board’s direction for a salary.

  • Management firms

Finally, the community association can hire a management company. These companies send a representative who acts as the community manager.

An Association’s Impact on Property Value

For many, homeowner associations are necessary for any neighborhood. They help keep everything organized. Today, many prospective buyers look solely for homes tied to an HOA. However, the pros and cons of HOA management companies still require consideration.

You might think that an HOA increases a property value due to its advantages. While it mostly does that, it’s somewhat more complicated.

What does a homeowners association do?

Essentially, HOAs keep neighborhoods organized. They aim to protect homes’ market values from damages and other adverse impacts coming from homeowners. They enact rules to guarantee a community’s cooperation and healthy relationships.

HOAs often impact neighborhoods’ curb appeal positively. Without them and their rules, keeping good-looking properties can be more challenging.

That translates into better communities

HOA rules usually hold communities to higher standards. Many homeowners admit to improvements in the neighborhood after creating or hiring an HOA. That goes beyond the moral and social implications, as property values usually improve as well.

HOAs often focus on property value

Most people believe that an HOA merely works toward harmonious neighborhoods. However, the financial benefit of HOAs is their value protection. Most HOAs focus explicitly on ensuring market values.

 

However, we’re still analyzing the pros and cons of HOA management companies. Therefore, we’ll dive into the negatives in a bit.

Value goes beyond numbers

When a home’s value, we need to consider more than its market numbers. Many people are willing to spend more on a home if they know they’ll get along with neighbors and won’t have to worry about property damages.

Improving properties

Speaking of damage, HOAs protect homes from deterioration—both from the surroundings and owners. HOA companies help guarantee that the property is in good shape for future buyers.

How does the price reflect this?

In the end, supply and demand drive market values. HOA management helps keep properties’ attractive, which entices more buyers. As such, an efficient HOA can benefit homes’ prices noticeably.

HOA and property taxes

When analyzing the pros and cons of HOA management companies, people tend to overlook taxation. The relationship between HOA and property taxes is relatively complicated, but we’ll do our best to summarize it.

 

Essentially, HOAs can result in double transactions due to common areas owned by the association. These organizations can avoid this issue by separating properties and alerting authorities about inequities.

Legally complicated

The tax implications from HOA require study and legal consultancy in most cases. HOAs need to take several steps to ensure the community doesn’t suffer from double taxation, and the process can be lengthy.

Lower property value by law?

A primary law principle is that property values decrease with rights carved from the assets to benefit other parties or properties. The latter would acquire this lost value, and HOAs could account as said third parties.

What can communities do?

The best approach for communities is to appeal to property separation between what’s owned by individuals and the HOA. Additionally, appealing the transfer valuation can help lower property taxes in the community.