Now a days we often dread the interview and application process when buying a home in a new association community. It often leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. This is mostly due to the extremely slow application process and the lack of understanding that you have a life outside of the association. You end up having to leave work or worse call off work to bend over backwards to get the documentation needed. Then after getting everything needed you have to wait for the property manager to get off their but and finally set up a date for you to have an interview. Now the last part could be due to the board members also having a say in the interview process.
Most people that go through this process think “there has to be a better way”. But why is it after all of the advances in technology are we still having to print out hundreds of documents every year? Why do we have to waste so much of our time scheduling meetings just to sit down for 15mins to 1hr so we can get into the home of our dreams? Why can’t we do this any better than we did in 1995?
There are a few reasons for this. The main one is money. Some associations are afraid to incur any cost to change without first seeing the value. It is the same as winning the lotto before actually buying the ticket. It’s the instant gratification that most people yearn for. If you don’t see it working now then it will never work. The second one is greed from management companies. Most management companies charge for printing paper. Which makes sense since you have to print a lot of documents being in the association management business. But simple things that can be emailed should not be printed. Such as a one page application that you can email to prospective owner or maybe have a link online that they can go and fill out them self. Why then would most management companies not let this happen? It’s the mindset of some association management companies to charge as much as they can to the association through ancillary fees. They may have under bid the contract just to get in the property. Because of this they have to find different ways to increase the profits to the company. To find out what your management company is actually charging you request random itemized reports showing what you are being charged for. The good ones will have everything organized and ready to hand out. The bad ones will take time to get something together that they feel looks good. Ask them what things they can put in place that will help streamline the application process and help your new home owners join the association on a good foot. There are new ways to do things and you don’t want to be the ones playing catch up.