Operations During Coronavirus Outbreak

We will likely have an update mid-November as we begin to bring people back to the office.

We want to thank you and our valued customers for your on-going partnership with The Management Trust. Community association management is more than just common-area maintenance and upkeep. It is about serving the needs of people and building relationships through exceptional customer experiences.

The Management Trust continues to monitor developments relating to coronavirus.  We are doing everything in our power to balance concerns for the personal health of our employee-owners while continuing to serve the needs of our clients at the highest level. Our Teams’ commitment to providing outstanding professional management for you and your community has never wavered.

While we are and will remain dedicated to the communities where we live and work, please understand that many of our offices remain closed to walk-in traffic from the general public. We have taken this step to practice social distancing and ensure limited exposure to you and your homeowner members. We are also continuing to restrict: walk-in traffic from our service providers and Trusted Partners, reduce the size and frequency of in-person meetings to small groups or hold them telephonically, limit travel, and ensure employees have increased access to remote work options.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may continue to reach your local office by telephone or by email. While this current crisis may temporarily limit in-person encounters, we are here to support you and your community as we navigate through these extraordinary times. As always, it is our pleasure to be of service.

A Guide To Managing Conflict in Your HOA Community

For any homeowners association community in Aurora, Colorado, the issue of conflict between residents has at some point arisen. Whether it’s a mundane matter or something much more serious, it’s best to resolve the conflict promptly before things escalate. The key to navigating a successful and positive community is effective conflict management. Successfully resolving a conflict relies upon a few key behavioral actions that are both universal and repeatable. Before you go ahead and attempt to handle a disagreement, here are some things that you need to know.

Engaged Listening

One of the most important actions you can take in managing conflict is simply listening attentively to the residents involved in the situation. It’s in these instances that you must remain impartial and objective. Allow for all perspectives to be given and ask questions whenever needed. It would be helpful to have an HOA management firm like The Management Trust who could be neutral and evenhanded in gathering information about the situation. Having a clear understanding of the situation is crucial to de-escalating the disagreement. 

Keep Perspective

There will be certain conflicts where tensions are running high and you yourself may feel emotionally invested. It’s important to show understanding and allow yourself to view the situation through the lenses of the other involved parties. Show compassion and be empathetic to the views of others even if they’re in contrast to your own perspective. 

Communication is the Key

How you communicate is a significant factor in managing conflicts. Most conflicts originate as a result of some form of miscommunication or failure to understand another’s viewpoint. Having respectful conversations and clearing up any misunderstandings is the key to getting everybody on the same page. If you find yourself unable to establish effective forms of communication, HOA management companies like The Management Trust are available to help you do so. 

Keep Calm and Carry On

Ultimately, the key to managing and defusing conflicts is rationality and calmness. Maintaining a positive attitude and projecting calmness will relieve tension and create an environment conducive to problem-solving. Ensuring that each involved party remains composed during the conversation is a small but significant step towards conflict resolution. 

If you need a HOA management company that will help resolve conflicts within your community in an effective and fair manner, then The Management Trust is the right choice for you. Any successful and inclusive community can efficiently manage conflicts between residents. Resolving conflicts amicably is important to maintaining relationships and retaining peace within a community. For further consultation about our services contact us online by filling out an informational form or through one of our many offices.

5 Maintenance Plans Your HOA Should Have

Having in place several maintenance plans is a necessary practice for any homeowners association in Tacoma, Washington looking for sustainable long term success. Maintenance and repair are crucial components for any community seeking to promote a productive and safe environment for its residents. As a leading HOA management company across over 1,500 neighborhoods nationwide, we at The Management Trust know there are numerous approaches to maintenance that homeowners associations should be aware of when considering their options. Here are five maintenance plans that your HOA should have. 

Preventive Maintenance Plan

Preventive maintenance plans are a commonly used strategy by homeowners associations. These plans are proactive in nature and involve HOAs regularly managing and maintaining the various common areas of its community even prior to them even requiring any repairs. This is done to ensure that untimely repairs of common areas and components do not occur. An example of this type of plan in action is HOAs regularly scheduling pool maintenance. HOA management companies like the The Management Trust can help communities formulate preventive maintenance plans that are both proactive and productive. 

Predictive Maintenance Plan

Like preventive plans, predictive maintenance is a proactive approach that requires forward-thinking. It relies on forecasting and anticipating possible areas of concern and maintaining them prior to them needing required repairs. This is done by regular inspections of components and observing if any of them exhibit problematic signs that may hint towards future malfunction. If any issues are detected then the HOA would then address the problem through maintenance. 

Emergency Maintenance Plan

The theme of effective maintenance plans is preparation and readiness. Emergency maintenance plans are unique as they consist of actions taken after a disastrous event such as a roof collapse. With emergency maintenance plans, HOAs account for steps that need to be taken in the aftermath of an event that requires repairing. The Management Trust is a proactive HOA management firm that will collaborate with communities to create an effective plan to readily address any emergencies that may arise. 

Seasonal Maintenance Plans

Seasonal maintenance is a preventative strategy that involves planning scheduled maintenance that differs based on the needs of a season. In certain communities, snow removal services may be required during winter while warmer seasons may need different maintenance. Seasonal maintenance plans account for the various issues that may arise with the changing of seasons.

Deferred Maintenance Plan

Deferred maintenance plans should only be considered by HOAs when there are restraints to financial spending. These plans involve prioritizing maintenance needs and deferring less important tasks for later repair. Components and areas that are vital to the safety of residents should not be deferred. HOA management firms like The Management Trust account for the unique needs and circumstances of each community and are able to formulate the right plan for them.

A functioning and thriving community is one that is well-prepared with several HOA maintenance plans established. Not only are these plans financially beneficial, they are also essential for a fruitful environment for residents. If you’re looking for a reliable and forward-thinking HOA management company that will help you planout scheduled maintenance, then The Management Trust is the right partner for you. For further consultation about our services contact us online by filling out an informational form or through one of our many offices.

How To Choose a HOA Management Company

Those living in the area of Tacoma, Washington, know that choosing the right HOA management firm can be a tough decision. Not only is it a difficult process because of various factors that need to be weighed, it’s also one of the most important decisions you can make as a community. The right organization can make a world of difference for a community. Here are some things that you should consider when choosing an HOA management company. 

What are Your Needs

One of the first things that you should look to do in your search for an HOA management firm is to set your expectations as to what you would want from one. This process begins with taking an overview of your situation and seeing where your needs lie. You should ask yourself which areas your community needs assistance in and delve into the specific responsibilities that need to be filled. Ultimately by setting expectations you are able to narrow your search for an HOA management company down to organizations that will match your philosophy and best serve your needs. Having established expectations will also help your relationship with your future management company as there is a clear idea of what the responsibilities are of the organization.

Do Your Research

Once you have a grasp of what you’re looking for in a HOA management firm, it’s time to do your research on possible partners. Most important in your research is checking the credibility of prospective management firms. Are these organizations looking out for the best interests of the communities that they are managing. Organizations with a good history of helping efficiently manage communities should be considered at the top of your list. It’s also good to have an understanding of what potential management companies are providing in terms of services. If what is provided lines up with your needs, then the organization could be a nice worthwhile match. 

If you’re looking for an ambitious HOA management company that will form a meaningful partnership with you, fulfill all of your needs, and create a long-term strategy to better community experience, then The Management Trust is the choice for you. The Management Trust is the only 100% employee-owned community association management firm in the country which gives us a unique perspective to expertly manage your community. For further consultation contact us online by filling out an informational form or through one of our many offices.

Does My HOA Need a Management Company?

For HOAs in the area of Aurora, Colorado, one of the most important decisions they are faced with is their approach towards management. An HOA is faced with a difficult choice between self-management and partnering with a HOA management company. While self-management may seem like a tempting option due to lower costs, there are downsides to it that make collaborating with organizations like The Management Trust the preferable choice for an HOA.

Drawbacks to HOA Self-Management

Perhaps the most significant drawback to self-management is the level of involvement and effort of volunteers to run an HOA organization efficiently. It is a time-consuming endeavor because of tasks needed to ensure that everything runs smoothly within your neighborhood. The amount of responsibilities and commitment that you must have is akin to that of a full-time job which is a disincentive for those interested in helping out. Deciding to self–manage also runs the risk of creating conflict within a community. The individuals making the decisions for the community are those living in it. Some of these decisions may be contentious and not everybody will agree with them. Such disagreements could create awkward situations within communities and invite needless drama. Self-management can seem like an enticing option, but various factors like workload and potential conflicts of interest make success difficult to achieve and sustain. 

The Need for a Management Company 

Having a HOA management firm can make living in your community a much more desirable experience. Organizations like The Management Trust shoulder the everyday responsibilities and maintenance of communities in a thoughtful manner that takes into account the personalized needs of its inhabitants. HOA management firms also prioritize long-term planning that strives to help grow and improve communities. Our team at The Management Trust is in constant contact with those living in their communities about how to better support them and provide them with the necessary resources to succeed. If your community is looking to better the living experience of those who comprise it, the benefits of a HOA management company are simply undeniable. 

The Management Trust is a different kind of community management firm. Our willingness to listen and foster strong relationships allows us to provide a personalized experience for our clients. If you’re interested in improving your homeownership experience today, contact us online by filling out an informational form or through one of our many offices. 

When Do You Need HOA Approval For Renovations

While living in a homeowners association can have many benefits, it can also be a little confusing. Especially when it comes to home maintenance and renovations, many homeowners have questions surrounding what is permitted and when they have to seek approval from their HOA board. While every HOA is entirely unique and rules will vary from one community to the next, here is a general guideline on when renovations do and do not need to be approved by your HOA board.

When You Do Need Approval

The main goal for any HOA is to maintain property values for the entire community. This means that the exterior appearance of every home should meet the community’s guidelines. If you own a detached home and are undertaking an exterior renovation such as painting the outside of your home, getting a new roof, replacing the front door or windows, or adding/removing gutters, you should seek HOA approval for your renovations before they’re performed. On the other hand, if you live in a condo or townhome you should ask your HOA about any structural changes such as adding or removing a wall, replacing flooring, or any renovations that will affect the plumbing and electricity. Your HOA also has the option to approve the renovations with conditions, such as limiting the types of material that can be used, specifying the hours during which work can take place, and requiring the licenses of all contractors involved. Detached and attached homes typically have different guidelines when it comes to needing HOA approval, but detached homes require approval for exterior renovations while attached products require approval for interior renovations and aren’t typically allowed to perform renovations that deal with the exterior.

When You Don’t Need Approval

If you’re undergoing interior renovations that are relatively minor in a detached home, these will likely not need to be passed by your HOA for approval. Examples of these types of projects include painting interior walls, replacing fixtures, getting new appliances, or landscaping in your fenced backyard. However, it’s always best to check your community’s CC&Rs and seek pre-approval for any renovations you’re unsure about in order to avoid any fines or other penalties. Make sure that you pull all the necessary permits and follow HOA rules about noise levels and trash placement while the construction is being performed, as well.


If you live in one of The Management Trust’s communities and you have any questions about home renovations, we can assist you in understanding your HOA’s CC&Rs. HOA board members seeking assistance with rule enforcement and fine collection can also turn to The Management Trust for comprehensive community management. With more than 30 years in the industry and over 1,500 communities served, we have all the tools and experience necessary to help your community thrive.

How to Prepare Your Community for a Natural Disaster

Compared to states annually ravaged by hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, Colorado homeowners often feel that they’re completely safe from these occurrences. However, Aurora and the Greater Denver area were rated as very high risk for property damage from natural hazards, according to a national study conducted by ATTOM Data Solutions. No matter where in the country your HOA is located, it’s always in your best interest to create an emergency preparedness plan for your community. 

Gather Contact Information for All Members

Emergency situations, whether natural disasters or not, can often require you to need to contact your homeowners right away. You may need to order your residents to evacuate, or you may need to notify homeowners who are out of town about any property damage they’ve suffered. Whatever the reason, it’s crucial that you have contact information as well as secondary emergency contact info for all of your HOA’s households. Consider creating a digital database that can be accessed by all board members as well as your HOA property management company. This will make it possible to contact your members regardless of any property damage that may restrict access to paper records. 

Create an Emergency Response Plan

Emergency situations naturally elicit feelings of panic which may result in disorganization or even chaos without a proper plan in place. No matter what you feel your community’s risk level is, it’s imperative that you create a disaster response plan in case of an emergency. Put together an emergency response team made up of volunteers within the community. Establish an off-site meeting point, and create a voicemail script detailing this information that can be implemented quickly in case of a disaster. When trouble hits, it’s highly likely that many homeowners’ first response will be to call your HOA’s mainline. Detailing all necessary information in a voicemail will help spread the information needed to keep homeowners safe without requiring staff to answer the phones. You should also encourage each member to create emergency preparedness kits and make an exit plan for each of their individual households.

Budget for Emergencies

When disaster strikes, it’s highly likely that property damage will occur and your association will incur costs for repairing communal areas. Ensure that your community’s disaster plans extend beyond evacuation routes and include financial plans as well. Create a list of financial priorities in case of a disaster, and establish methods for sourcing additional funds if necessary. Unexpected instances like these are just one reason why your HOA should budget in a way that allows it to maximize its reserves. Utilizing an HOA property management firm and their financial services is just one way to ensure that you’re making the best financial decisions for your community possible. 

If you’re an Aurora HOA board member in need of independent financial services or full-service HOA property management, The Management Trust is the industry’s premier choice. We’ve served HOAs throughout the country for more than 30 years, and we’ve guided associations of all sizes and locations through natural disaster planning and recovery. Our industry expertise makes us an invaluable resource to more than 1,500 community associations throughout several states, and we’d be more than happy to assist your community as well. Give us a call today at (303) 750-0994 to find out more about our services and what makes us different.

Frequently Asked Questions About Living in an HOA

There are a lot of questions surrounding life in an HOA, whether you’re a prospective buyer or you’ve lived in your Tacoma neighborhood for years. It’s a complex topic, which is why many associations utilize HOA management companies to help them navigate the process and handle day-to-day operations. However, some questions arise more than others. If you’re looking at buying a home in a community association, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

  1. What is a Homeowners Association?

Homeowners Associations exist because they offer choices, lifestyles, amenities, and efficiencies that people value. In short, a Homeowner’s Associations (HOA) is an organization that makes and enforces rules for condominiums, townhomes, and planned communities to maintain community standards and preserve home value. When you purchase a home in an HOA, you automatically become a member and agree to abide by the rules and regulations and to pay dues, known as Assessments. Elected members of the community are responsible for rule enforcement and ensuring the common areas and amenities are maintained and insured. Since HOA’s are governed by volunteer community members, they often turn to a professional management firm, like The Management Trust, to help cover their broad scope of responsibilities.

  1. What can HOAs regulate?

Picture this: a beautiful, serene neighborhood with lusciously landscaped yards, tastefully painted homes, the smell of blooming flowers filling the air, perfect in almost every way. Almost. There is a house in the middle of the block that’s giving your neighborhood a black eye. The lawn has become overtaken by weeds two-feet high, the garage door is in disrepair, and there is an obscene political sign on display on the front edge of the property. Homeowners Associations were created to prevent your neighbor from single-handedly devaluing your property. In addition to maintaining common areas, HOAs may regulate the maintenance of individual homes. Each community association will have its own set of rules and regulations which set out when and how a homeowner may maintain their property. As members of the HOA, homeowners are required to meet their community’s standards. These rules may include the requirement of routine landscaping or the approval of exterior paint colors. The rules are there to help maintain and preserve property value. The specific regulations will vary between communities, so reach out to your Board of Directors or HOA management company to enquire about specifics for your neighborhood.

  1. Do I have to pay fees if I don’t use common areas?

An HOA is a nonprofit corporation. Your association’s budget will determine the assessments for your community.  The annual budget covers the basic needs of the community to keep it running correctly. These needs may include payment of insurance premiums, fire sprinkler, and alarm monitoring, landscaping, and other maintenance expenses. Before purchasing a home in a community association, make sure that you have a clear understanding of what the dues cover so you can ensure that it’s a payment you’re able and willing to make.

  1. What happens if I don’t pay or violate the rules?

When homeowners do not pay their assessments or allow their property to fall into disrepair, the Board of Directors will enforce the guidelines outlined in the community’s governing documents, rules, and regulations.  Many associations will use professional community management companies to help them run day-to-day operations, including rule enforcement and fee collection.

If you live in one of The Management Trust’s Tacoma communities and you have any questions about your HOA, our team is on standby to help. Contact us at (253) 472-0825. We look forward to hearing from you.

What Does a Community Association Management Firm Do?

If you sit on the board of a Tacoma HOA, then you’ve likely heard of community association management firms. The Management Trust is proud to be one of the nation’s premier HOA management companies, having been in the industry for more than 30 years. Over these years, we’ve noticed that we receive a lot of questions and confusion surrounding what services we provide and what tasks fall to the HOA board itself. In this blog, we’ll explain a few of the basic community management services The Management Trust provides and clarifies which tasks are strictly left to the HOA board and homeowners.

Financial Services

The Management Trust offers comprehensive financial management services independently as well as part of our full-service management program. Community finances can be a complex topic to handle, especially if your HOA board members don’t have previous financial services experience. We’ll work alongside the board to ensure that your HOA has adequate reserves for long-term and emergency costs. We’ll also make sure that dues are paid on time, assist you in filing your board’s taxes, prepare annual budgets, handle vendor billings, and more. Living in the same community you supervise can make financial enforcement an awkward topic. Having your community management services handled by a third party can ease this burden and ensure that your HOA has the funds it needs to flourish. 

Administrative Duties

When you sign on with a community association management firm, you’ll be assigned a primary point of contact who will provide administrative support to the board and homeowners when needed. This can include answering homeowner inquiries, assisting in annual budget preparation, or attending board meetings. They can also help schedule community events, board meetings, and other tasks that the HOA has agreed upon. Since board members are volunteers, they sometimes don’t have an extensive amount of time to dedicate to these events. Having the assistance of an HOA management firm can gain the resources and manpower you need to execute ideas that the HOA board conceptualizes.

What Does the HOA Management Firm NOT Do?

Community management services are created to assist the HOA in every way possible, from financial services and administrative tasks to site management and operational duties. However, there are some things that a community association management firm never does. For instance, all final decisions are made by the HOA board. The board is responsible for finalizing the budget, brainstorming community events, and passing new laws. The management firm, on the other hand, works to execute and implement these ideas. The community management company will enforce any rules set in place, but the HOA board itself is the only party who can create new rules and determine the penalties for violating them. 

What Makes The Management Trust Different?

We differentiate ourselves from others in the industry by continually listening and adapting to the needs of our homeowners. As a 100% employee-owned management firm, we are uniquely motivated to ensure the success of the communities we serve. By utilizing our employee-owners’ diverse strengths, we can offer individualized, personable assistance in every aspect of community management. Implementing this mentality both within our own offices and within our represented communities results in thriving neighborhoods around the country. Where some community management services offer a one-size-fits-all approach, we take the time to create strong, one-on-one relationships between our clients and our employee-owners so we can best understand and serve your needs. We strive to think differently, do more, and do what is right every day for all of our communities.

If you think that your Tacoma HOA could benefit from community management services, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at The Management Trust. We have the network and resources of a national corporation, but our local offices and employee-owner business model allows us to stay in tune with each community’s needs in a way that no other HOA management firm can. To find out more about what we can do for your HOA, give us a call at (253) 472-0825 today.

5 Ways to Engage Residents During Social Distancing

It’s been more than four months since Aurora homeowners were first encouraged to social distance, and many people across the country are anxious to enjoy the company of their friends and neighbors once more. Although it’s still as important as ever to follow current COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing, homeowners associations and their HOA management firms are finding new and exciting ways to engage residents while keeping everyone safe and healthy. If your HOA is in need of ideas for homeowner engagement, consider these five fun ways to bring your community association together.

  1. Organize a community food drive

There are many families struggling during this uncertain time, and encouraging residents to do their part to make a difference can help bring everyone together over the act of giving. Organize a community food drive to help lift homeowners’ spirits. They can drop off canned goods and other non-perishables at your community center or a designated board member’s front door and donate to a good cause while social distancing. Making people feel connected will do wonders for engaging residents and raising their spirits. 

  1. Create a digital activity calendar

If you want to get creative and engage even the youngest members of your community, create a digital activity calendar that residents can participate in. Organize trivia nights, virtual Bingo, scavenger hunts, movie nights, and more. Create a sense of community and camaraderie amongst residents while offering fun and engaging ideas that can be executed from the safety and comfort of each resident’s own home. 

  1. Host virtual fitness classes

If your HOA has had to close down its gym due to COVID-19, or if you’ve noticed a significant decrease in usage, host virtual fitness classes for your residents. Hire an instructor to stream classes that can range from yoga or Zumba to spinning or free weights. There are a wide range of physical fitness exercises that can be performed at home, so giving residents access to free fitness classes will engage residents and help make up for the closed fitness amenities.

  1. Encourage safe outdoor activities

Although it may not be safe to open high-risk amenities such as pools and gyms in your area, open air amenities such as parks and bike paths can be safely enjoyed if the proper precautions are taken. Encourage residents to don masks and enjoy a hike, bike ride, or other outdoor activity with their family. Getting out of the house and enjoying some fresh air will boost residents’ moods and allow them to enjoy the neighborhood. 

  1. Throw a (social distancing) block party

There’s nothing that brings communities together like a block party. Organize a socially distant block party by encouraging residents to bring their barbecues, folding chairs, and speakers into their front yard to enjoy a delicious meal during a warm summer evening with their neighbors. Since everyone stays in their own yard, social distancing guidelines are adhered to while residents still get to soak in the camaraderie of a neighborhood get-together. 

If you’re an Aurora HOA in need of community management services to help you organize and execute community solutions, call the experts at The Management Trust. We’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years, so we know how to cater to every HOA’s unique needs. We provide community association management to more than 1,500 communities across the country. We have the experience to help your community thrive and come together. To find out more about HOA management, give us a call today at (303) 750-0994.