Column: What is proactive management?

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Commentary by Eric McKinney

What does “proactive management” really represent to an HOA/COA board and their community?  According to many HOA/COA industry “experts,” proactive management is interpreted as “taking positive actions, improving work habits and planning ahead in order to avoid (or better manage) situations while also increasing productivity.”  How’s any of this supposed to improve the quality of life for a community?  It doesn’t.

In fact, this is the typical recycled rhetoric from industry “experts” designed to market the software products and/or services as well as the brilliance of the “expert” rather than offering anything substantive or useful.  Lip service, if you will.

To set the record straight, improving, planning for and doing such futuristic tasks as creating and preparing budgets for community projects don’t count as proactive management.  Why? Because these should be the basic and fundamental objectives of any HOA/COA management company and are the exact reasons an association board hires a management company in the first place.  It’s a shame the “experts” need to remind us of this isn’t it?

This expert’s opinion (based on my 27 years in the industry) of what proactive management should represent to a community is this:  a uniquely acquired skill-set (regarding grounds and structures) blended with a sincere level of interest and a “boots on the ground” mentality that provide communities an additional level of protection against unexpected repair bills, unwanted special assessments and avoidable and costly lawsuits.

Therefore, proactive management is continuous troubleshooting and detection of looming pitfalls and imminent disasters, not simply planning the budget for next year’s painting project.

Proactive management understands certain projects require permits and inspections (as opposed to finding out from a local city building inspector after the work has been incorrectly built and the vendor has been paid and is long gone, which still requires paying the fines and dealing with the possibility of the vendor’s work needing to be torn down at the community’s expense).  Proactive management also calls out developers that perform shoddy work which create lasting headaches and additional expenses for homeowners and HOA/COA boards.

Management companies that can provide this type of management can save a community thousands upon thousands of dollars in yearly expenses. No software required.

Eric McKinney is a Carmel resident and 28-year veteran of the HOA/COA industry, managing partner of Cambri Management and co-founder of CommunityLynk.com.  Contact Eric at ericm@cambri.com.


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