The community association management industry is facing a serious drought: qualified community management professionals simply cannot be found. They are overworked and underpaid and yet still somehow cost management companies a small fortune whenever a new hire does come on board. But there is a solution. This series will cover the roles a virtual assistant can easily and affordably take on to help your staff take back their workday! This article will talk about why an HOA Maintenance Coordinator could be the best choice for your management company.
In our last article, we talked about how hard community association management companies are struggling to acquire and retain staff thanks in part to The Great Resignation. An already depleted pool of qualified management professionals is slowly getting smaller and smaller, hiking up staffing costs and forcing managers to overload themselves and burn out.
We then talked about all of the reasons why a HireSmart Virtual Employee (VE) or virtual assistant (VA), like a virtual HOA Accounting Assistant, solves a lot of the problems most management companies face today. But what if you’re already happy with your accounting staff? What other options are available to you?
When you think about a traditional “assistant” you might imagine someone running around fetching coffee or dictating a day’s worth of calendar events to an executive–but this isn’t the 1980s, and assistants have so much more to offer today. That outdated concept makes it a little hard to come up with all of the ways a virtual assistant can be valuable. They aren’t even there to keep you caffeinated, how good can they really be?
Now think about all of the menial, tiny tasks that take up a truly shocking number of hours for your staff. Specifically, think about the time your staff spends handling the minutia of community maintenance.
The Mess of Maintenance Management
There are a lot of important parts to managing a community association. Arguably, one of the most important is staying on top of community maintenances. Supporting boards in fulfilling their fiduciary duty means more than just running numbers. It is the responsibility of all community trustees that their decisions are both financially sound, and contribute to community success, like upholding safety and curb appeal. Right now, most management companies task community managers with maintenance tracking responsibilities. That means they’re spending hours of their time researching vendors, filing paperwork, making phone calls, and fielding the back and forth between community and service provider.
Can they do the work? Absolutely. Your managers are qualified, trained professionals with an intimate knowledge of the industry. They can do anything. But should they be? Not if they can better use those hours elsewhere!
Managing community maintenance tasks doesn’t require the specialties that a certified property manager has to offer. It takes organization, time management, and planning (all of which are important skills!), which is something you can get from the right virtual assistant.
3 Tasks to Pass Off to a Virtual HOA Maintenance Administrator
Giving your managers back their workday is simple if you know where to offer support.
- Homeowner Maintenance Requests - Homeowners are constantly submitting requests when things break down. The first step is to determine who is responsible for the item. If a street light is out, is that the community’s responsibility, or the city’s? If a homeowner’s doorbell is broken, who repairs it? The homeowner, or the community? A dedicated virtual HOA maintenance administrator can sort out who is responsible, and contact the right party to make sure your homeowners are taken care of without overstepping your reach.
- Maintenance Calendar Management - Much like a traditional assistant, an HOA maintenance administrator VA can take on the mess of time management for a community. Even though your managers are probably great at making the most out of every minute of their day, community maintenance schedules can be worse if you aren’t deliberate about how you schedule your maintenance team’s time. Having someone who can field homeowner maintenance requests, schedule the jobs and also balance out the calendar in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your maintenance team is important. As an added bonus, a virtual maintenance coordinator can be a second set of eyes for ongoing municipal services, also. Ensuring that major projects, like electrical or road work, aren’t scheduled alongside conflicting services, like landscaping, is important in ensuring efficiency community-wide.
- Insurance Expiration & Renewal Tracking - Awareness of your contractor’s potential liabilities is a crucial component of maintenance management. And yet, it’s another one that doesn’t require specific expertise to accomplish. Assigning this task to a virtual HOA maintenance administrator keeps all of that important information and workload with one person. Now, the person determining which contractors are performing what tasks on any given day is also the one who’s most aware of when those contracts need to be paused in the event that their workman’s comp lapses.
- Contractor Communications - Easily one of the most time-consuming parts of the maintenance management workload is just communicating with people, because it’s more than just the phone calls and emails. It’s seeking out vendors to bid on a job, and RFP creation and distribution. It’s bid aggregation, it’s contract renewals. Communicating about the maintenances can sometimes take longer than the actual maintenance being done! A lot of the leg work in maintenance coordination comes from the discussion prior to any maintenance even taking place. With a dedicated virtual HOA maintenance coordinator, your staff can rely on someone off-site to handle the bulk of communications to streamline the contract securing process for your communities.
Let HireSmart Help You Hire Smart
When the time comes to start onboarding a new support system for your accounting team, HireSmart Virtual Employees is here to help. Book your 30-min discovery call today to start the process of getting paired with your future HOA Maintenance Coordinator.