A Billion-Dollar Market Begging for Innovation

The property management sector is a multibillion-dollar industry. Despite its vast size, it's surprising that this sector has witnessed minimal disruption over recent years. Numerous Homeowner Associations (HOAs) persist in their reliance on conventional management companies. Many of these associations remain blissfully unaware of the covert costs and restrictive conditions that this traditional approach typically carries with it. The time is ripe to highlight these less-visible issues and bring forward more cost-effective and efficient alternatives.Home Stats.jpg

Navigating Management Company Fees

As an HOA member, you've likely grappled with high fees and complicated invoices, not to mention inefficiencies in your current system. Expensive software that seems counterproductive and time-consuming administrative tasks add to the challenge.

HOA fees are a common component of community living, typically covering the upkeep of shared spaces like lobbies, landscaped areas, pools, and clubhouses, along with utilities such as water and garbage disposal. These fees also contribute to property maintenance and repairs. The range of HOA fees varies widely, spanning from $100 to $1,000 per month, with an average falling between $200 to $300 monthly. The amount fluctuates depending on property type and amenities offered.

Here's a breakdown of average monthly fees by property type:

  • Single-family homeowners: $200-$300/month
  • Condo owners: $300-$400/month

Factors influencing fee variations include location, community association type, and amenities. For instance, in high-cost-of-living cities like New York City, basic maintenance fees may exceed those in areas with lower living expenses. Keep in mind that these figures are general estimates, and actual fees can significantly differ based on the specific community and its amenities.

While it's unrealistic to expect management companies to cut their own fees, the responsibility falls to HOA members to find ways to reduce these costs. Here the findings after a quick search for HOA Fees on Facebook:

de hoa fees doubling.jpg


Miami Hoa Fees.png

Personnel Expenses

An unavoidable aspect of traditional HOA management is personnel expenses. The hiring of property managers, administrative staff, and maintenance personnel inevitably impacts your HOA's budget. Salaries, benefits, training costs, and potential turnover expenses can quickly add up, creating a cycle of escalating costs.

These expenses tend to rise rapidly, particularly for larger communities, creating a significant burden on the HOA's budget. Many roles can now be effectively managed from home, potentially reducing the need for physical office space and associated costs.

Software Licensing

Management companies frequently depend on specialized software for financial management, accounting, and communication tasks. However, this reliance carries a cost. The software licenses needed come with additional expenses often transferred to the HOA. Especially if your HOA requires extra features or customizations, these fees can become substantial. 

Administrative Costs

The traditional management model also incurs significant administrative costs. Expenses related to office space, utilities, office supplies, and even miscellaneous administrative tasks can strain the HOA's budget. This strain intensifies if HOA Management Companies levy extra charges for administrative tasks beyond their basic services. Some of these potentially delegated tasks could include:

  • Responding to complaints and suggestions
  • Facilitating board meetings
  • Preparing reports

All of these costs factor into the overall financial burden that HOAs carry under traditional management systems.

Legal and Consulting Fees

HOAs frequently need legal and consulting services to navigate a variety of matters, such as interpreting governing documents, addressing compliance issues, and resolving disputes. Traditional management companies often add charges for these services to their regular fees. In some instances, these services may be outsourced to third-party professionals, which can lead to additional costs. These costs add another layer to the overall financial burden of the HOA.

Extra Charges for Special Assessments 

Management companies may add extra charges and markups for services such as maintenance and repairs, vendor management, and project management. These additional costs can further strain the HOA's budget and limit the funds available for community improvements.

An editor at Kaplinger just got dinged $80 by his HOA for excess snow-removal costs in his community this winter. Other special assessments can be in the thousands for major repairs at HOAs with inadequate reserves.

Lack of Control and Flexibility

When HOAs rely on external management, it often results in the HOA board losing a degree of control and flexibility. Involvement in decision-making may become limited, and any changes or modifications to services may necessitate additional fees or negotiations. This reduced control can slow down the efficient operation of the HOA and obstruct the execution of initiatives that are driven by the community.

For instance, 35 communities are currently suing a property management company in Naples for lack of access to their own bank account information. The property manager failed to add their names to the bank accounts, effectively locking them out. This situation underlines the potential risks of surrendering control when relying on external management.

A Different Approach

It doesn’t have to be this way. instead of Hiring a New HOA Management Company platforms like Neighborhood.Online are working to address these pain points. They offer a transparent pricing model, streamlining operations and reducing the need for additional personnel.

They harness the power of technology to offer cost-effective solutions, eliminating the need for expensive software licenses by integrating all essential functionalities into one system.

In addition, they work to enhance traditional management approaches by offering community engagement features such as a community directory, event management, and communication tools. This means you're not just a member of an HOA, but part of a community that encourages engagement and participation.

Traditional HOA management can feel like an uphill battle. But by embracing modern, cost-effective alternatives, it's possible to alleviate these pain points, streamline operations, and enhance community engagement.

Get Your Free HOA Management Screening Checklist Today!

Are you part of a Homeowners Association looking to streamline your management processes? We've got just the tool for you! Download our comprehensive HOA Management Company Screening Checklist and take the first step towards more efficient, effective, and organized community management.

Share This Article

Previous Article

July 13, 2023 • 5:30PM

Next Article

July 31, 2023 • 6:01PM


Get the latest

The best tips on HOAs

From Our Blog