.How long has your company been managing HOAs?
AZCMS was founded in 2006 and has over forty years of combined experience managing HOA’s that include condominiums, single family, master planned communities, mixed-use developments, and commercial associations.
.Do you have or maintain any partnerships, agreements, relationships, associations, or preferences with law firms, contractors, landscapers, collectors, or other entities you use to assist or recommend to HOAs?
AZCMS does not own any ancillary businesses that provide services to your Association. As your agent we feel that it is in the best interest of the Association to obtain competitive bids. We will then assist the community in selecting the best value and service whether it means contracting with an outside vendor or hiring on-site staff.
.Please describe the primary reason your company is successful at managing HOAs.
Most importantly, we understand that the HOA business is a people business. And while we are large enough to provide the expertise to successfully manage communities, our size and “people-first” orientation give us a style and flexibility that is truly unique.
We also feel it is our responsibility to take a leadership position – getting the work done, then reporting to the Board on all that has been accomplished. That way, Board Members don’t have to be engaged in day-to-day operations unless they choose to be. We serve Boards in whatever manner best suits their working style.
.What is the most effective way for the Board to become aware of changes in laws or statutes that affect our association?
It is a company policy that each AZCMS staff member attends continuing education courses through our affiliations with Community Association Institute (CAI) and Arizona Association Community Management (AACM). Our senior leadership team is one of the best in the business and provides training classes to Boards in our training room. We also extend invitations to our Board Members to attend legal seminars and lunches with us.
.What methods will you provide our members to pay their assessments?
Homeowners have the ability to make payments by mail to the association lock box; online using a debit card, credit card, e-check; enrolling in the auto debit program with AZCMS; initiating payment through their own online bill pay provider; dropping off payments to the AZCMS office or on-site if applicable.
.What tools will you provide our members to communicate their payment history and standing?
Our technology streamlines communication between the Board, residents and management. AZCMS offers web based real-time access to information. Portals allow residents to view and print account activity in addition to the ability for them to pay online. Staff is always available to email, fax or mail account history.
.Please describe what methods, tools, techniques, or processes you use to collect assessments and fees from members who fall behind in their financial obligations?
Communication is key to the motivation of collecting assessments. People are more likely to voluntarily pay into something when they see results. We recommend that all Boards communicate with residents frequently about improvements or plans for future improvements no matter how small.
In this economy it is also important to keep in constant contact with homeowners. We do this in accordance with the collection policy however we continue to communicate with homeowners at every chance we get.
.Describe the most effective way in managing the accounting.
Many management companies only employ “bookkeepers” to manage their clients’ finances. AZCMS is a firm believer in employing highly educated accounting personnel.
We are committed to making sure Board Members understand the financial status of their community. Financial reports are sent out systematically each month to all of our Associations whether or not there is a meeting. We send out all supporting documentation, including bank statements, with the financials and take the time to condense information into easy-to-read reports. Our Controller is available to clients and enjoys any opportunity to meet with Boards throughout the year.
.What is the most effective way in managing member complaints?
We are extremely proud of our excellent customer service. We take the time to listen, offer suggestions and most importantly educate. HOA’s must govern themselves in accordance to the documents however most homeowners do not have that level of understanding. Once they understand they are more likely to try and be part of the solution.
.What is the most effective way in managing member violations?
First and foremost, it is important that the Board Members understand the importance of leading by example. Violations can quickly become “contagious”. It is no surprise that the same is often true of compliance and cooperation. Again, homeowner education is key to any successful compliance program.
In addition we provide monthly compliance reports to the Board reflecting all recent activity.
.What methods, reports, or processes does your company use to show financial transparency to the Board?
We are extremely dedicated to making sure the Board understands the financial status of the community. Financial reports are sent out systematically each month to all of our associations whether or not there is a meeting. We send out all supporting documentation to include bank statements with the financials and take the time to condense information into easy to read reports. Our controller is available to you and would love the opportunity to meet with the Board throughout the year.
.What separate roles do the Board and your company play in establishing and maintaining an operational budget?
The budget process is extremely important to every community. The decisions that a Board makes today may benefit or ultimately devastate a community several years down the road. It is important to understand the fiduciary duty that each Board Member has the obligation to abide. We conduct all the preliminary research and construct a recommendation to the Board using the past trends and information we know about the future. We then work together to make sure the budget is finalized into a plan for a successful year.
.What is the most compelling benefit your company offers that stands out above all other management companies?
There is no question that our dedication to employee education is unique within this industry. In the state of Arizona there are no educational requirements placed on Community Managers – think about what that means to your community.
AZCMS has made an educational investment both in our employees and in Community Associations throughout the valley. At a national level, the highest certification is that of a Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM®). Currently there are more than 2,000 PCAM’s nationwide with fewer than 120 of them in Arizona. We are proud to say that our team members currently hold this certification. In addition, we require all of our managers to obtain certifications at a state level. Hire a company that invests in their employees and you’ll have one that also invests in your community.
.What question would be one that you feel is important for us to consider in a management company but we have not and what is your response to that?
Selecting a management company is an important decision. Many times we hear Board Members talk about the financial element of a proposal rather than the service benefits to the community. You must make sure that the services and level of experience and education that each firm is offering is carefully considered. We place a great deal of importance and value on the education of our managers and you should too. We all rely on educated professionals in our personal lives whether it is a CPA for our tax preparations or a lawyer for legal advice.
Why would you consider anybody other than highly educated professionals to manage one of your biggest investments? Remember that the price of management is a single line item, while the price of poor management affects the entire budget.