With developers racing to meet demand in the Seattle area housing market, there is a pressing need for help establishing owner associations to support these new communities. Developers often lack the time and expertise for this, but community association management firms can help.
Real Estate Growth in Seattle
The demand for real estate continues to rise in the Puget Sound area. Active listings in Seattle alone are up more than one hundred percent since December 2021. It makes sense that demand like this is driving significant real estate development in the area.
5 Benefits of Community Association Management
A community association offers many benefits, making them popular with developers and homeowners. Here are a few of the benefits association management can provide:
Governing Documents and Legal Restrictions
A community association’s restrictive covenants act as a legal agreement between the homeowners in the association. Well-written documents need to address three things:
- The association’s responsibilities to the residents
- The resident’s responsibilities to the community
- The rules that homeowners agree to observe
The founding documents need to address these points while obeying the law. Poorly worded documents will create conflict between community members, and documents that contradict the law will be ineffectual.
Community association management firms are familiar with the community association’s needs and the laws governing them. When drafting the association’s governing documents, professional consultants can make sure the restrictive covenants address the association’s needs while avoiding legal mistakes that can undermine the association.
Professional Skills and Expertise
Whoever establishes the community association, volunteers from the community will eventually run it. A resident-led association is an excellent way to keep it focused on benefiting the community members, but volunteers may not have all the skills the association needs to thrive.
Managing the community’s budget is an excellent example of the skills that may be absent among volunteer board members. The association must manage its budget to fulfill its responsibilities—even if none of the resident volunteers are trained financiers.
Community management companies can provide that expertise. Whether the association lacks an accountant or other skilled professional, an association management company can help the board members fill that skill gap and build a thriving community.
Support for Association Responsibilities
Community associations all have some responsibility to the community, which often includes maintaining common areas and enforcing the association’s rules. Board members make sure the association meets these obligations, but there can be many challenges.
Vetting contractors, disciplining neighbors, and keeping the association’s business moving forward are a few challenges that board members may face. Overcoming these challenges can prevent board members from enjoying the results of their effort.
Community association management can help with this in many ways. For example, a management firm will have experience with local contractors and can help board members secure these services at competitive rates. Association managers can also help prepare for board meetings, act as impartial intermediaries when enforcing rules, and provide educational materials.
Architectural Request Processing
Many people feel that maintaining a cohesive architectural style helps bring the community together and preserve land values. While there are benefits to this approach, it adds a layer of bureaucracy to renovation projects that may already be complicated.
Community management companies can help ease this burden by making the process of submitting an architectural request easier for homeowners. They can also help the board’s architectural committee review and approve these requests on time.
Community Member Support Tools
The services of association management companies are not limited to supporting its board of directors. Association managers can also help residents of the community in several ways.
In addition to supporting architectural requests, community managers can provide convenient tools for reporting maintenance needs, paying membership dues, and addressing rule compliance issues.
Community members can also get tools to help them stay in touch with the community. Association managers may provide social networking, messaging, and notification tools that make it easy to keep neighbors and friends up to date.
Community Association Management Helps Neighborhoods Thrive
It can be a struggle to meet the demand for housing. Forming new community associations for the new neighborhoods can also be a drain on developer resources. Community association management firms can establish and manage resident associations, alleviating administrative burdens so developers can focus on what they do best.
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