HOA management and property management are very similar industries — so much so that most people interchange an HOA manager and a property manager. However, these are two distinct professions with different roles and responsibilities. Though there are some overlaps, it’s important to understand the distinction between the two.
What Does an HOA Manager Do?
An HOA manager, also known as a community association manager, is responsible for managing different types of residential communities such as homeowners associations, condominium associations, townhome communities, golf and country club communities, and seniors communities.
HOA managers perform a wide range of duties and responsibilities including:
- Maintain Common Areas
- Conduct Routine Site Inspections
- Plan and Implement HOA Budgets
- Collect HOA Dues and Assessments
- Handle Accounting and Financial Reporting
- Enforce HOA Rules and Regulations
- Hire and Oversee Staff, Employees, and Vendors
- Assist in Insurance Purchases
- Ensure Compliance with Covenants and Laws
- Plan and Schedule Board Meetings
- Provide Professional Assistance to the Board on Issues
HOA managers also handle the day-to-day operations to ensure that the association runs smoothly and efficiently. An HOA manager and condominium association managers collaborate directly with the board of directors but they work for the entire community of homeowners.
When it comes to maintenance issues, though, HOA managers are only responsible for shared assets such as the HOA swimming pool, basketball court, park, and gym. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their individual properties.
HOA Manager vs Property Manager: What’s the Difference?
A community association manager and property manager may perform very similar duties. However, one key difference is that the latter is hired by a property owner to handle rental properties such as apartment complexes, townhomes, vacation homes, and single-family homes.
The key responsibilities of a property manager include:
- Managing the Entire Property
- Setting and Collecting Rent
- Managing Budgets
- Handling Accounting and Finances
- Screening Tenants
- Advertising and Showing Vacant Units
- Handling Maintenance and Tenant Requests
- Evicting Delinquent Tenants
- Enforcing Rules and Regulations
- Performing Specific Tasks Assigned by the Property Owner
Though property managers frequently deal with tenants in a rental property, they are hired by property owners and answerable to them. One of their main goals is to ensure that the properties or units are rented and profitable.
Can a Property Manager Operate Within an HOA?
There are some cases where a property manager is assigned to handle several homes in an association. In this case, property managers may act as a proxy for the actual property owners.
They are required to comply with HOA rules and regulations, as well as work with the HOA manager to address concerns that they may have. However, if the tenants have issues with the property they are renting, they have to consult the property manager — not the HOA manager.
Importance of Knowing the Difference Between HOA Manager and Property Manager
HOA managers and property managers have become interchangeable to the general public. This is understandable since the two professions have some overlaps. However, the issue is that even in the state legislature, we see that community association management and property management are being treated as one and the same. But why is it important to differentiate them?
HOA managers and property managers have unique responsibilities. As such, they will also require specific training or education. For example, for HOA managers to be effective, they need to be knowledgeable about the different aspects of community association management.
Certified community managers have expertise when it comes to financial controls, reserve planning, risk management, legal management, and human resource. These qualifications provide them with the necessary skills to fulfill their HOA responsibilities.
The same goes for property managers. Since property managers perform renting and leasing duties, some states require these professionals to obtain a real estate broker license as well. This includes states like Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Ohio. Alaska is the only state that requires community managers to also have a real estate license.
By establishing the difference between HOA managers and property managers, individuals who want to pursue these professions have a clear understanding of the requirements and certifications they need. Likewise, homeowners and landlords will know which professional to call on to assist their community.
Do You Need an HOA Manager or a Property Manager?
With a clear understanding of what HOA managers and property managers do, it’ll be easier to decide which is better suited for you. Take time to think about the specific needs of your community. Do you need the services of an HOA manager or a property manager? Whichever professional you choose, make sure that they have the qualifications and experience to serve your community properly and efficiently.
Need help with your HOA management or property management? Condo Manager USA has the tools and resources you need! Call us at (800) 626-1267, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us online to learn more about our management software solutions.
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