Ideally, building or HOA boards and their managing agents or property managers work as a team, collaborating to carry out the administrative duties and make the decisions that keep their communities running from day to day. Management contracts typically spell out the manager’s role in the process in general terms, but there’s often more to a truly effective board/management partnership than what’s just on paper.
But there are various ways boards can more actively partner with their manager to improve not only their building/HOA’s bottom line, but community cohesiveness and quality of life as well.
Much has been written about the role of the manager and the role of a board member but it is easy to blur those lines. A good start would be to put those expectations in writing in order to avoid any future conflict. Only by having clear, concise written policy and procedures can the board expect the management company to effectively carry out their rules and regulations.
“The board is an executive committee that makes the decisions for the association,” says David Barrett, PCAM, the director of operations for Crowninshield Management Corp. in Peabody, Massachusetts. “The board sets the policy and the manager implements the policies. The manager facilitates and carries out the policies of the board.”
“The role of the property manager is fundamentally the same as a rule, of that of an attorney,” adds David Levy, PCAM, president of Sterling Services Inc. in Holliston, Massachusetts. “That is, to advise the client. The role of the client is to make a decision and the role of the property manager is to implement that decision with loyalty and skill.”