On March 11th, 2014, I wrote an article titled: “Las Vegas HOA Management Companies: Top Complaints and What To Look For When Hiring Your Next Management Company”. Today, I’d like to touch on another part of that article that I have had personal experience with. This article is about choosing a locally owned/operated management company versus a management company that is owned/operated somewhere outside of the state of Nevada and which may only offer a “satellite” or “branch” office somewhere in the Las Vegas Valley. There are pros and cons to both choices. My top concerns with “non-Nevada based management companies” are briefly described below in order to help Las Vegas homeowner association board members with their decision making process.
Management companies come in all shapes and sizes and may be locally owned and operated or a branch of a much larger company that is operated in another state. Which one are you more comfortable with?
Without getting into too many details, my personal experience with a management company that is owned and “mostly” operated, not in Nevada but several states away from home can be rather trying. I recently started managing a homeowner association in Las Vegas whose previous management company was a large company based outside of Nevada. This particular company has several branches in different states and for the most part, they have their company and management skills in order; however, going through transition from “non-Nevada based management company”, to our company, Shelter Management Group (SMG) which is locally owned and operated, “new management company”) is where the chaos arose. In this case, there are really only a few major issues … but they are certainly major for a community manager and new management company!
- Everything must be mailed or shipped from the previous management company to the new management company which amounts to DELAYS, DELAYS and more DELAYS!
- Access to physical records is nearly impossible and must be done electronically … if the previous management company even kept proper records!
- Lack of communication! The local branch of the previous management company rarely has the direct answers we need for the transition and frequently refers the board/new management to either the website or to their transitions department. Your community manager and management company should be fully engaged right up to the last day of the contract!
Communication is a must have with any transition, in my case; the lack of communication caused a number of issues all by itself. The additional hurdle of having to wait to receive everything by mail has compounded the slow transition process dramatically. This has caused a number of additional unnecessary issues for the new management company, SMG. Everything from simply entering the association information into the new operating system (VMS in the case of Shelter Management Group) to opening new bank accounts, receiving and verifying financial information and cutting checks for new invoices that were coming in, suddenly became a daunting task just because we didn’t have the information that we needed, when we needed it. Once again more delays!
For the most part, a local management company that is wholly operated in Las Vegas (such as SMG) typically stores all records either on-site, or at a storage facility nearby. Either method provides easy access to all records for not only the new management company, but for the board members as well (if needed). This also means that there are no issues with obtaining physical records or waiting for a piece of mail to get to you from another state.
Whether you choose a local company or not, your transition from one company to another should be seamless.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Shelter Management Group (SMG) team, we would be happy to help! Contact us at 702 – 818 – 4780 or info @ smghoa.com
Article Authored By: Jamie Collins, Supervising CAM, CMCA, AMS agent at Shelter Management Group (SMG)-Specific names of companies and individuals were purposely left out of this article