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What should you expect from your association management company?
April 11, 2019

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Running a condo or community association is like running a business - it should be a well-oiled machine with all the parts functioning correctly. There are legal concerns, administrative functions, accounting requirements and personnel issues. The responsibility of an association management company is to assist its clients - each property and its board of directors - to run their property as efficiently as possible, maintaining or increasing property values, limiting risks, and creating a positive and pleasant living environment for its residents.

A management company's responsibilities fall under two basic functions: Guidance and Support

While specific budget, personnel, or other issues can be decided solely by the board, a management company should provide the information and help needed to make these important decisions, and get the job done! To that end, the management company should provide a dedicated team which includes a Management Executive, an Administrative Assistant, an Accountant, and when needed, a Payroll Specialist. In addition, there should always be a "backup team," who is familiar with your property, should any of the primary team members be away.

Your Management Executive is the first line of service to the client. He or she provides guidance to the board of directors in an advisory capacity, and should be the "go-to" person when the board has questions or concerns. In addition, the Management Executive:

a. Provides support and guidance for the site manager;

b. Prepares an annual budget to assist board members in finalizing their actual budget;

c. Prepares a long-term budget and reserve monies guide;

d. Makes property inspections;

e. Supervises maintenance of the Common Elements;

f. Facilitates enforcement of House Rules, Bylaws and Declarations, as directed by the board;

g. Organizes and attends the Annual Meeting as well as other scheduled meetings;

h. Prepares agenda for Annual Meeting, provides parliamentary guidance to the meeting chair when needed, and prepares Actions Checklist after meeting;

i. Facilitates communication with owners, whether by e-mail, letter, newsletter or other means;

j. Handles Risk Management by soliciting insurance bids, and coordinating coverage and claims for the property.

Your Management Company provides Fiscal and Accounting functions, including:

a. Provide a dedicated accountant (and backup);

b. Compliance with State Law regarding fiscal matters;

c. Maintenance of bank accounts and fiduciary responsibilities;

d. Prepares maintenance fee coupons and billing statements;

e. Prepares monthly financial reports;

f. Processes invoices;

g. Enforces delinquency reporting and collection system;

h. Pays required tax payments;

i. Sends fiscal mail-outs.

In addition, associations with Payroll and Benefits as part of their contract should have a dedicated Payroll Specialist, a Benefits Specialist and a Human Resources consultant available.

The Payroll Specialist will prepare AOAO Payroll and Employee Payroll Taxes. Insurance and other benefits can be handled by the Benefits Specialist

Your Management should provide a dedicated Administrative Assistant who works in concert with the Management Executive. Administrative functions include:

a. Maintaining property files and records;

b. Standard Mail-outs;

c. Maintaining lists of owners;

d. Maintaining change of ownership.

While the primary fiduciary responsibility for a property rests with its board of directors, their Managing Agent should help them make the very best decisions for the property - not only for the present, but for the long term.

Mike Hartley joined Hawaiiana Management Company in 2007 and has served as president since 2010. He has over 30 years of experience in both residential and commercial property management. Hawaiiana is Hawaii's largest association management company, with over 725 properties under contract, on six Hawaiian islands. Hawaiiana serves the island of Maui with an office in Kihei and a new West Maui Satellite Office. For more information, please call (808) 593-6827 or e-mail meleh@hmcmgt.com.

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