There’s an old saying about how there’s more than one way to…well, let’s say “peel a potato” (we’re kind to our furry friends here at HireSmart Virtual Employees). In any case, the same can be said of community association managers – there are many right ways to do the job. Often, though, managers tend to fall into one of two categories of CAM management style: task-oriented or relationship-oriented. Neither is inherently right nor wrong – both are incredibly valuable in many ways!

While both CAM management styles have advantages and disadvantages, management company executives need to identify which category each of their managers falls into to set up ways for all of their staff and clients to succeed.

Identifying CAM Management Styles

To identify your CAM’s management styles, consider the following:

Once you've identified which CAM management style each of your managers falls into, you can better understand their strengths and weaknesses, how to foster their success, and how to translate that into success for your clients.

Some Managers Are “The Doers”

Task-oriented management is focused on getting things done efficiently and effectively, and these managers know the importance of the timely execution of responsibilities. This CAM management style places a high priority on completing contractually designated tasks and meeting deadlines. These managers are rockstars in efficiently managing day-to-day operations such as paying vendor invoices, posting notices about meetings or announcements to the community, and keeping records appropriately filed digitally and physically when needed. They also tend to excel at quick thinking and decision-making, which can greatly benefit monthly meetings.

However, there is a downside: task-oriented managers may not emphasize building relationships with residents as much. This lack of focus on relationships can lead to communication breakdowns and resident dissatisfaction. They also may not prioritize community involvement or building a sense of community, causing a lack of engagement and participation from residents.

Overall, while a task-oriented CAM management style can effectively manage day-to-day operations, management companies need to give these task-focused managers the tools they need to better their communication skills and foster more successful community engagement and satisfaction.

Other Managers Are “Hand Holders”

Relationship-oriented CAMs build and maintain positive relationships with board members and residents. These managers know every current resident is a potential future board member and stress the importance of every interaction in the community.

This CAM management style prioritizes communication and engagement to create a strong trust between the association and the management company. These managers are great at instilling a stronger sense of community and generating high resident satisfaction. Residents appreciate managers who listen to their concerns and provide timely, friendly responses! These CAMs offer improved communication, transparency, and increased resident involvement and participation.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine, even if their attitudes say otherwise. Relationship-oriented managers may be less efficient at completing tedious, routine tasks and struggle to meet deadlines. Their focus on relationships may lead to long meetings and discussions, which can take away time spent on other important tasks.

So, while relationship-oriented management can lead to a strong sense of community and resident satisfaction, management companies must offer these managers adequate resources to help them succeed in task-oriented respects so that day-to-day operations run efficiently and effectively. Community associations can achieve a successful and thriving community.

Meeting in the Middle

Ultimately, the success of your community association managers (and the communities they serve) depends on balancing task-oriented and relationship-oriented CAM management styles. By identifying each manager's strengths and weaknesses, you can be better equipped when the time comes to find resources and tools that will help them grow in their careers and support their communities.

HireSmart Virtual Employees provides a wide range of services to help managers thrive, regardless of their CAM management style. For task-oriented managers, this can mean offering a helping hand in resident outreach, email communications, and board relationship management. For your managers focused on relationship-building, this can mean creating daily to-do lists to keep management tasks on track, setting up calendar reminders and email alerts to guarantee deadlines are tracked and met, and working with the board or vendors to move tasks when needed.

Regardless of what CAM management styles you have in your management company, a CAM Virtual Employee (VE) can be a game changer in how they support their communities. Click here to set up your free 30-min consultation and learn what a CAM VE can do for you today.


As a community association manager, you are responsible for keeping your HOAs and condo associations running smoothly. That means making and giving them the tools to ensure that repairs and regular maintenance are done in a timely manner and helping to manage HOA vendors and contractors who work on their properties.

But managing those communications isn’t easy. Whether you’re overwhelmed with the sheer number of vendors you have to communicate with for all of your properties and maintenance needs, are dealing with unresponsive vendors, or struggling to connect your board members with the vendors directly, there are a lot of ways communication can break down.

Juggling Acts

Most community association managers today handle multiple communities at a time, often breaching double digits. So, handling repairs or other maintenance needs can often be a real juggling act, especially if most of those HOAs are relying on the same services from a variety of providers.

The key to succeeding here is establishing a call rotation of sorts. Managing how and when you call each vendor by setting up a standing rotation of communications you make per service request can create a system that keeps goals and expectations clear for the vendor and for you to pass on to your communities. Consider setting up a process that lays out when to make phone calls, send emails, or send SMS texts if the option is available.

It can also be helpful to create templates for each communication effort so that you don’t have to type out the same email dozens of times. And having a phone script to rely on when making calls to vendors is a great tool to ensure you hit all the important talking points at once, avoiding the need to make follow-up calls.

Missed Connections

Making all the calls is important, but what happens when the people you’re calling are unresponsive or unengaged? When HOA vendors are consistently failing to answer your calls, emails, texts, or smoke signals, you’re fighting a losing battle that your communication strategy can’t fix. It’s important at this point to start documenting what communications are being ignored and start working on a plan of action to address the issue.

One way to do this is by turning on Read Receipts for your emails and text communications whenever possible. This helps to establish a timeline of when you’re sending information to vendors, and if/when they’re viewing those messages. This can also be helpful in determining whether there’s a technology problem – not all unread messages are malicious!

Sometimes emails get sent out and sucked into the Internet abyss. Text messages don’t get delivered, or calls go to full voicemail inboxes with no one the wiser. Implementing and monitoring checkpoints in your communication efforts can help determine which vendors are unresponsive, and which ones are thinking that about you thanks to faulty tech.

Playing Telephone

Vendors aren’t the only ones notorious for missing calls. Your board members are busy, but at the end of the day, it’s their responsibility to do certain tasks, like signing or renewing vendor contracts, settling on service amendments, or issuing payments to vendors. And that can mean a lengthy, discouraging game of telephone.

This is where your communications calendar will come in handy – on top of the calls, texts, or emails you’re scheduling time for to reach vendors, consider adding board members with the authority to make those important decisions. Having the right person on a standing communication schedule can help avoid repeat phone calls or emails being sent out and can streamline the communication process between your HOAs and their vendors.

Maximizing These Processes

Admittedly, while all these solutions have the potential to be highly effective in simplifying HOA vendor communications, carrying them out takes an overwhelming amount of time – more than any one manager realistically has in their day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make this all happen. A Community Association Virtual Employee is a great addition to your team to help ensure HOA vendor communication processes aren’t just implemented, they’re efficient and maintained.

More than that, simple communications like scheduling repairs, verifying payment deliveries, and following up with board members can all also be done by a virtual employee. VEs are a great solution for HOA vendor communication needs. Contact us today for your complimentary 30-min consultation to find a Community Association Virtual Employee to help manage your HOA vendor communications.

The dreaded tax season is upon us once again. As with any business, management companies need to ensure their tax filings are in order. The 2023 deadline to file is April 18th, so there are still a few months to manage your management company’s tax return prep. Here are a few things to remember:

Sort Out Your Timeline

Every year, businesses (and individuals alike, honestly) struggle to submit their tax returns on time. It’s a daunting, cumbersome task, and time can get away from all of us when important deadlines loom overhead.

Knowing application deadlines for all your various forms is an excellent step in tax preparation. Because the 2022 Tax Season officially began on January 23, 2023, businesses can now submit completed tax returns, but not all are prepared to do that.

If you’re not ready, the best first step in your management company’s tax preparation should be to apply for an extension as soon as possible. Businesses can use this extension to file taxes for the company beyond the original deadline of April 18, 2023. Getting in as quickly as possible means one less task on your checklist to worry you’ll forget about.

Once you sort that out, you can build the rest of your calendar. Remember to include the following dates at a minimum:

Get All Necessary Documents in Order

Management company tax documentation can be complicated because your business works with many other businesses. Keeping track of all of those files is, fortunately, less of a hassle in this digital age we’re in, but still not an easy task.

You’ll likely need to go through multiple technology platforms to get the paperwork the IRS requires and find a convenient way to allocate it all in one place. While time-consuming, it isn’t impossible, and hopefully, digital copies mean fewer chances of misplaced receipts or coffee-stained invoices.

A good approach to this hurdle is to start by segmenting the types of documents and paperwork you’ll need to get together to file correctly. Here are a few to add to your list, but remember to check with an accountant for any forms we may have missed:

Your Business Documents

Vendor Documents

The list of documents you need to prepare for vendors can get lengthy depending on the kind of vendors you utilize and how much you’ve paid them. This list can include, but is not limited to:

Overwhelmed? Let Your VE Do It All Instead

What this whole list really amounts to is a lot of paperwork. Paperwork to file, paperwork to send out, paperwork to take in – it’s a lot. And it’s something your HireSmart Virtual Employee can easily handle on your behalf.

Now to be clear, a traditional Virtual Assistant shouldn’t be used to replace an accountant. This is important stuff, and the actual filing and final accuracy checks should all be done in-house by trained staff or an accountant. But having your Virtual Employee (VE) aggregate all of your documents, set your schedules, assist with tedious tasks, and essentially manage your time can make your 2022 Tax Season run much more smoothly.

Tackle Tax Season with a HireSmart Virtual Employee

When you’re ready to take care of your business tax return, a HireSmart Virtual Employee is just a click away. Contact us today for your free 30-minute consultation to see if a VE is the right choice for you.

Why being understaffed is bad for your health.

Health is related to stress, that’s what the research and science tells us.

It’s not all stress that’s bad, it’s excessive stress that can tax your body and mind and lead to illness.

Managing a business comes with a certain amount of necessary stress because at the end of the day you’re responsible for delivering a quality product or service.

Add in employees and competition, taxes, and inflation and it’s easy to see how the pressures and challenges can build up.

That’s just the baseline level of stress for a business owner or manager, that’s the amount that comes with the territory.

As a successful business owner, over time, you learn how to delegate, become more efficient and adopt strategies to create a healthy relationship with your work-related pressures.

That’s what I think of as the “sweet spot”, when stress is manageable, there’s support from staff, and you have enough time to devote to family life.

It’s like you’re floating down a river on a fully blown-up raft, enjoying the scenery, paddling just enough to guide the boat and steer clear of major obstacles.

And then, inevitably, something changes.

Let’s say your assistant needs to move somewhere else to take care of his aging mother.

He can’t give you any more than two weeks' notice and that’s nowhere near enough time to find, onboard, train, and get a new assistant up to speed.

That raft you’ve been floating on starts to lose some buoyancy and you have to paddle harder to avoid the obstacles.

Let’s say this all happens when your business is particularly busy, or you have a deadline to get something done.

This is another level of stress, one that starts to move into unhealthy territory.

I hope you don’t know the feeling of being overwhelmed by the demands on your time, losing sleep from knowing just one more crisis or bad break would be devastating to your business.

But you probably do know the feeling – it’s part of the game.

At HireSmart, we want you to know that you’re not alone in those types of dangerous situations when your stress levels are maxed out and you feel like you’re spiraling out of control.

We’re here to help you.

Not only can we find you highly capable, dependable, affordable virtual employees ready to join your team, but we also provide onboarding strategies and ongoing HR support.

Our business is designed to make your life less stressful and your company more successful.

There’s a lot more value to a relationship with HireSmart than simply quality virtual employees.

If you’re feeling stressed out trying to replace staff or build your team, let us be your employment partner and we’ll take care of you.

Click here for a free consultation.

Disaster preparedness is a crucial component of success for all businesses, including community associations and their management companies. From mundane scenarios like planned water shut offs or unexpected loss of power to natural disasters like coastal hurricanes and midwestern earthquakes, it’s important to plan ahead.

But that planning and the interim preparation that should come with it (consistent training and plan updates) can be a huge time commitment – for your boards and your managers. Finding the time to schedule plan reviews, training modules, and document maintenance is tedious. Virtual Employees (VEs) can be a big help to you before, during, and after disasters.

An Extra Set of Hands

A Virtual Employee (VE), or virtual assistant is a great asset when it comes to organization and maintenance. So, it makes sense that for a long-term project like a business continuity plan, a virtual employee is an ideal solution. VEs can help with planning by:

Skip the Scheduling Nightmares

You know how your board members can be – many are in their golden years, galivanting off on trip after trip. Sure, they get together occasionally for the required board meetings, but even those can be held remotely now. Scheduling between multiple concurrent vacations can be dicey, and when your team is spread across the country (or worldwide!), it can be challenging to find time for extra meetings.

Still, maintaining a disaster plan is an important step for the company's overall safety. A VE can create a schedule that outlines when each community’s disaster plan will be reviewed and updated and ensure that all board members are made aware of the schedule once it’s finalized. That way, your boards can either plan ahead and schedule travel time around those meetings or work with the VE to negotiate a new meeting time.

Maintain Your Documents

Having a plan is important, but so is maintaining that plan safely and consistently. A VE can attend each of the scheduled review meetings that the plan to help facilitate any changes that need to be made and streamline the document maintenance process.

They can also be tasked with ensuring the documentation is accessible by all necessary parties – that’s not just board members. Any sort of information that residents might need can easily be generated by a VE:

Ensuring that someone has eyes on this information and is diligently keeping it as updated as possible is the best way to guarantee accurate information and assistance is available when an emergency occurs.

Minimize Recovery Time

Virtual Employees or virtual assistants are often very efficient at helping you plan ahead so that any disruption to your business as a result of a natural disaster will be minimal.

This starts in the planning and preparation phase. Not only can a VE maintain business continuity documents, but they can also help create some of them. For example, a VE can create checklists of assigned duties that each board member needs to handle in the event of certain emergencies.

This can be as simple as making phone calls to residents reminding them of scheduled maintenance that could impact their electricity or water, or as complex as coordinating with local energy providers due to dangerous downed power lines. Whatever the task lists look like, knowing which person is responsible for what tasks will be critical in keeping the community calm and progress moving when a disaster happens.

Also, because they are remote employees, VEs likely won’t be impacted by localized crises like natural disasters, making them ideal to assist in ways those in the thick of it cannot. When a community is forced to evacuate due to flash floods, a VE can be available and ready to field phone calls and emails from scared residents, removing that burden from equally frightened board members.

Let a VE Simplify Your Disaster Preparedness

Being prepared for a disaster is vital to any business. It's also something that can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially if you're just starting out on a board and have never had to deal with emergencies before.

But VEs aren’t just great for your board members’ disaster prep planning – a VE can help management companies in the same ways. That's why we suggest using virtual employees for ALL your disaster preparedness plans, whether they’re for your communities or for your management company.

A virtual employee is there to keep everything running smoothly during an emergency event – for everyone. Click here to schedule your 30-minute consultation today to learn more about how a HireSmart Virtual Employee can streamline your next disaster prep meeting.


An HOA capital expense (CapEx) project can be stressful. It’s a big undertaking, and you must make sure that your community association is organized and on schedule. If you don’t have time or the resources to do this yourself, hiring a virtual employee (VE) can save your community association time and money by helping with a capital project.

Affordable Project Management

Project managers are in high demand for a good reason – doing the work is hard enough without having to PLAN the work you’re trying to do! A HireSmart VE is the perfect asset to help manage your community’s capital project from the sidelines.

Now hiring someone to manage your capital project might feel like you’re adding costs to an already expensive process, but it can help to save you money in other ways. For example, a VE can work without distraction from any other projects which might be going on in your community association right now. This means they're more likely to finish the job quickly, saving time and money long-term.

VEs can tackle just about every component of a major capital project, from research and record maintenance and management, liaising between the board, the vendors, and the community, and handling important timelines to ensure progress and timely project completion.

Research & Records Management

A HireSmart VE is the ideal person to handle research for your CapEx project. They can find out all the information you need about a project to make an informed decision, such as:

When it comes to keeping records, a virtual employee can help you stay on top of the details. Your VE will help keep track of important information related to capital projects. This includes:

Holistic Communication

A key component of project management is effective communication. When it comes to communicating capital project details, your virtual employee can be an invaluable asset.

VEs can act as a liaison between your community association board members for any project components that require their approval, such as changes or delays in construction schedules or new vendors. They can also provide regular status updates on project progress to ensure everyone is always up to speed, eliminating time-consuming games of “telephone.”

Your VE can also handle community-wide communications about the project’s progress. Updates about parking structure clearances, road closures, lighting or electrical updates, or any other information that might impact their daily routine, can all be handled by a Virtual Employee. Emails, phone calls, SMS texts, or bulletin board notices can all be handled by a HireSmart VE.

Vendor and Timeline Management

As a collective board of people, managing relationships between multiple points of contact can get … dicey. Your virtual employee can manage all contractor communications so that they only have one point of contact if or when issues arise during production or installation processes — saving everyone involved time by reducing communication overhead associated with multiple people needing access simultaneously (i.e., notifying multiple parties).

This makes tasks like scheduling and meeting management significantly less difficult. With only one person managing the board’s calendar, there are fewer chances for meetings, installations, or vendors to be double-booked by accident.

Start Your HOA Capital Project Today with a HireSmart VE

Ready to kick off your community’s next big project? HireSmart Virtual Employees are custom trained to handle whatever workload you need and can make CapEx project management seamless for you and your board. Contact us today for your free 30-minute consultation to see if a VE is the right choice for you.

As the end of the year draws closer, management companies are faced with less and less time to plan for “the future.” It’s around the corner, creeping up quicker than any of us are prepared for, and it signals a time for a lot of additional tasks – write-offs, annual reports, and annual budgets for each community, not to mention for the management company, are all coming up due. These are all important, but the biggest task might be planning out the calendar for the coming year.

Now we know that community association managers are the unsung heroes of communities. They're behind the scenes, working hard to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently for each community they serve. So, it can be difficult and time-consuming to manage multiple priorities while still paying close attention to detail. Having an accurate calendar of events is crucial and with help from a Virtual Employee (VE), your community managers can focus less on scheduling and tedious meeting management tasks, and more on the rest of the communities’ needs.

A Man(ager) with a Plan

Whether you manage one community or fifty, scheduling conflicts are just a fact of life. As a community association management company, your managers are expected to attend many different types of meetings.

Nearly all associations have regular monthly board or committee meetings. That’s at least the full board, anywhere from 3 - 7 people or more, plus the additional faces on any committee (like architectural committees), which means there are a lot of schedules to consider when finding a time and day of the week that works for everyone required to attend.

Associations also have special annual or semi-annual events such as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where members vote on important issues like electing a new board member and setting the budget for next year.

All those meetings should be scheduled relatively far in advance so you can give the legally required notice to community members. With each community needing their manager’s attendance, the number of potential scheduling conflicts starts to snowball out of control.

By introducing a HireSmart Virtual Employee, management companies can redirect the experienced focus of their community managers onto more specialized tasks without losing any traction on time management needs. A VE can easily work with all parties necessary for each

meeting to determine the best date and time each type of meeting should take place and plan out your managers’ annual schedules in advance.

In Case of Emergency, Call Your Virtual Employee

In addition to regularly scheduled events, there are always emergency situations that require immediate action by your association's governing body. If there is an emergency (like a burst pipe flooding one of your buildings or a broken elevator), it is likely that another meeting will need to be called relatively quickly, and management involvement is much preferred so that everyone can discuss what should be done about this issue. Instead of a manager taking time out of their day to handle that emergency meeting planning a VE can be available to respond to the board and quickly find the best time for their manager to attend.

Let Someone Else Handle the Paperwork

For a community association manager, it might be tough to manage the day-to-day responsibilities and plan for an upcoming AGM or committee meeting. But don’t worry! There are plenty of things that a VE can do to help prepare the board for these important events.

For example, a VE can:

Plan the agendas.

This can be useful not only for big meetings like the AGM, but plenty of others as well, to help the new board meetings acclimate. This ensures that items are prioritized in a way that makes sense, so they don't waste time or forget important items.

Help with deliverables.

Important takeaways, such as meeting minutes and financial statements, are important to the success of any board meeting. Having a VE handle that responsibility ensures the documents get done in time and accurately reflect what happened at each meeting.

Having this content readily available for every meeting is just another way these meetings take up less effort for community managers and streamline other tasks in the process.

Choose HSVE

HireSmart Virtual Employees aims to simplify the way management companies, and community association managers handle their day-to-day. From time management to efficient preparedness, Virtual Employees hired through HSVE can make a massive difference, especially during year-end. If you’re ready to find a Virtual Employee to add to your team, click here to schedule your initial HSVE consultation

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