As a homeowner, there are many professionals who you may eventually come to know, even in the real estate field. One of those professionals is the community association manager. Even though the two professional designations often get mistakenly used interchangeably, community association managers and property managers are not one and the same. Take a look at some of the primary differences between these two important professionals.
Community association managers tend to be affiliated with an HOA.
While property managers are most often employed by landlords and property owners that have rental properties, community association managers are most often affiliated with an HOA (homeowner's association). Therefore, one professional is most often affiliated with rental homes while the other is affiliated with a group of homeowners in a specific area. It is not uncommon for the community association manager to actually be the main organizer of an HOA either, especially in smaller neighborhoods that do not consist of a lot of homes and homeowners.
Community association managers handle common areas specifically.
In a neighborhood that is part of an HOA, there are common areas that are jointly owned by all property owners in the neighborhood. For example, there could be a playground, a pool area, community event building, or even the shared streets within a gated community. The community association manager will be responsible for managing these common areas. If the street has a pothole, the playground needs new sand, or a homeowner has an issue with the pool, this professional will address those matters. On the contrary, a property manager may handle maintaining common areas, but they are also having to maintain the actual homes in the area as well.
Community association managers help uphold neighborhood rules.
Property managers are in place for more specified, property-related tasks. For example, the property manager may be tasked with handling a plumbing problem when a tenant calls the landlord for help or they may have to collect rent, show properties to prospects, or notify tenants about property changes. The tasks assigned to a community association manager can be a little less concrete in a lot of ways. For instance, the association manager may be tasked with stepping in if there are issues with a homeowner in the area not following rules of the community with a pet. Likewise, this professional would be in charge of organizing things like neighborhood watch programs or assessing neighborhood security concerns.
For more information on the difference between property management and community association management, talk to real estate professionals in your area.