What does a condo management company do?

Meet an HOA’s right-hand man
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Managing a condo building takes time, energy, and manpower—three things that most HOA boards (often made up of residents who volunteer their time) don’t have. That’s why many HOAs turn to condo management companies—such as Vacasa’s Community Association Management (VCAM)—to run the property on their behalf.

We spoke with Alan Cardenas, Community Association Business Development Manager of VCAM, which manages about 130 community associations across North America.

He explains that condo management companies do more than oversee the property. They’re seen as partners who help:

  • keep the condo community profitable
  • reduce risk
  • increase the condo community’s property values
  • keep residents and guests safe
  • maintain a transparent and trusted relationship between the HOA and homeowners

Here, Alan breaks down a condo manager’s primary role and responsibilities, and the benefits they provide to both vacation homeowners and your condo association.

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What is a condo rental management company?

A condo rental management company runs a condo building or condo property on behalf of the property owners and homeowner association (HOA). While the HOA sets the policies and regulations for the community, they hire a condo management company to implement them.

What does a condo rental management company do?

A condo rental management company handles the day-to-day needs of a condo property. This can include anything from routine landscaping, to hiring a pool cleaner, to upgrading alarm systems, to mediating conflicts between residents.

Let’s breakdown their primary responsibilities:

Provide manpower

Volunteer HOA board members are often busy in their own right—whether they work a full-time job or live out-of-state—and can’t devote fully to the HOA. Condo managers, on the other hand, are paid to focus on the needs of the condo community and often have an office on–site.

When HOAs work with Vacasa for condo management, we provide a dedicated property manager, front desk guest support, housekeepers, and maintenance specialists.

“Our regular presence on property allows us to keep a close eye on the guests, the property, and surroundings—all which are generally a challenge for absent homeowners,” says Alan.

Coordinate community maintenance and repairs

Inevitably, major components of your condo community—such as garages, HVAC systems, fire alarms, elevators, and building facades—will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. A condo management company—such as Vacasa—will help make sure your community stays in top condition by:

  • connecting the HOA to an established network of trusted local vendors
  • managing and supervising multiple contractors and projects
  • updating homeowners and the management team
  • responding quickly to any emergencies (Vacasa’s Community Association Management is on-call 24/7)

They’re not only around when things go awry. Condo management companies also help to proactively maintain your condo property’s safety and appearance (and value) with regular inspections.

Ensure consistent service and standards

HOA board members come and go. However, long-term success relies on a steadfast partner at the helm. “Hiring a condo manager provides consistent direction and service—regardless of who is serving on the board,” Alan explains.

“We serve as stewards of the property, 365 days a year.”

The living area of a vacation rental condo in Park City, Utah
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We serve as stewards of the property, 365 days a year.
—Alan Cardenas, Community Association Business Development Manager of VCAM

Enforce rules

Condo managers are the eyes and ears of an HOA. Whether it’s reminding residents to observe quiet hours or ensuring that vacation rental guests don’t bring pets to a non-pet-friendly rental, they’ll help make sure that everyone follows the rules and regulations of the community.

Resolve conflict between residents

Disagreements happen. And, within a condo community, with residents and vacation rental guests living so close together, those disagreements can be complex. One of the most important jobs of a condo rental management company is to help keep the harmony and—at times—act as a mediator.

The key is to resolve those conflicts quickly and help residents find common ground.

Manage finances

Condo management companies like Vacasa are at the helm of the community’s financial well-being. But, they don’t have complete control. They typically work with the HOA board to help stay within budget. And, that budget can often be hefty. Condo budgets can get up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some of the HOA’s financial responsibilities include:

  • preparing annual budgets (Vacasa prepares budgets based on thorough research and historical data)
  • managing multiple accounts (Vacasa Community Association Management’s AppFolio Tool streamlines managing a community’s various financial accounts)
  • bookkeeping
  • paying for maintenance and property upgrades
  • collecting condo fees and/homeowner association fees
  • providing reconciled monthly operating statements
  • managing tax returns
  • on-time payment of the HOA’s bills
  • maintaining property’s reserve fund

Stay up-to-date on industry rules and regulations

The rules and regulations (whether federal, state, city, or all three) around vacation rentals are constantly in flux. Some cities require business licenses, while others demand a lodging tax per booking, or something else entirely.

VCAM tracks those changes in the industry so HOAs can instead focus on challenges specific to their property, Alan says.

Act as a liaison between the homeowners, residents, and HOA

Condo property managers make sure everyone at the property is on the same page. Many issues with HOAs arise from a lack of timely communication, Alan says. Condo managers can alleviate those challenges.

For instance, they’ll listen to homeowners’ concerns and pass them along to the HOA board. In return, they’ll relay any of the HOA board’s decisions and announcements to the homeowners, residents, and contractors. “Essentially, we become the voice of the entire community” Alan explains.

The interior of a vacation rental condo in Park City with a game room.
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Essentially, we become the voice of the entire community.
—Alan Cardenas, Community Association Business Development Manager of VCAM

Questions to ask when hiring a condo rental management company

Choosing the right condo manager is vital to the health and safety of your community and all of its residents. Essentially—no small task. So, do your research. Get references. Read reviews. When you conduct interviews, here are some questions to consider:

  • What have been some of your more memorable challenges in condo management and how did you overcome them?
  • How often will the condo manager be on-site?
  • How do you stay up-to-date and adapt to ever-changing regulations in the vacation rental and condo industry?
  • Do you have reliable relationships with service providers?
  • Do you have any professional accreditations?
  • What is your business structure? How large is your local team?
  • What are your marketing strategies to minimize vacancies?
  • What are some of your cost-saving strategies?
  • What maintenance plan do you follow?
  • How do you work to increase the value of our condos and our community?
  • What sets your management company apart from the others?
  • What tools do you use to improve communication between the HOA and the residents?

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Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.