Beginning January 1, FHA business operations will be handled by a new management company. The current contract with Towne Properties ends this year, and a new three-year contract has been signed with Associa/HRW.
The new agreement is the result of a long search for a company that will support our FHA and the Board, now and in the future. We published a Request for Proposals last spring and received applications from nine management companies. We selected three finalists, and then conducted extensive interviews with company representatives. We also talked to board members of other HOAs in the region that had employed the companies. Associa/HRW was clearly the favored among the finalists.
A final contract was negotiated recently. In negotiations they have been anxious to meet our needs. The management fees will be about the same as those charged by Towne Properties, and locked in for three years. In return, an on-site manager has been retained, and Associa offers a number of services we do not currently enjoy.
Associa are also the managers for the Camden and Henderson Place service groups. In addition, Countryhouse and Bush Creek will be signing contracts with them. Millcreek Circle, which will become a service group in the next few months, and one or two other existing service groups, will probably select them.
The management company is responsible for financial management, including collections, disbursements, reports, and budgets. They also handle general administrative tasks such as maintaining records, filing reports, meeting insurance obligations, and administering rules such as covenants. The next few months will be a period of transition, and it is inevitable we will need to learn new procedures for conducting business. Eventually, however, we expect that all these operations will proceed more smoothly than we have been used to.
The improvements are likely to be most noticeable to board members, whose routine jobs should be facilitated. For residents, the most obvious result of the change will be that annual FHA dues are paid to a different company. However, when a problem or question about business operations does arise, Associa claims that their phone bank and internet, based response service is very easy to use and helpful. Residents of other HOAs that have worked with Associa have generally been positive about the help they offer.
Change of any kind often presents initial challenges, but once they have been overcome, it can turn out to have been a very good idea. More information will be provided in the newsletter and on the FHA website as it becomes available.