That gorgeous neighborhood with well-tended homes, a clean community pool and friendly neighbors may well be getting a helping hand from Associa Northern California.
The Northern California office is part of the larger Associa organization, the world's leading provider of homeowner association management services.
"We provide community association and property management," Greg Smith, president of Associa Northern California, explained. "The industry has tons of different terms for these organizations, but most people will understand the term homeowners association."
Any place there is a group of homeowners that needs guidance and management, Associa is there to help.
"We operate the day-to-day business of homeowners associations," Smith said. "The core functions are financial management and facilities management."
While a homeowners board of directors could certainly do the legwork to, say, get a new roof for a community clubhouse, it is far easier to let Associa manage the project. It then turns to its extensive network of contractors for bids to get the best job at the best price.
"The value of our service comes in with the relationships we have with the vendors we have worked with," he said. "We bring those vendors to the board to help (them) make excellent decisions on behalf of the entire community."
Getting a new clubhouse roof is just one example of the many tasks Associa can tackle. It can hire a landscape company, contract a pool service and order street repairs. It even manages problems that my crop up among neighbors.
"It's a lot to manage for volunteers," Smith said of neighborhood board members. "They sit on the board because they want to help make the community a better place. They want to do this on the side a few hours a month. They go to work and want to spend time with their families."
Associa, on the other hand, has a team of professionals with the expertise, training and certifications to get jobs done properly. The company is an accredited member of two industry associations that provide training to community association managers.
"We're attending ongoing education classes," he said. "We see legislation that's coming across."
Associa was founded in 1979 and has been in Northern California for the past decade. The local Northern California office recently underwent a major transformation when the companies of Massingham and M&C merged to form the new Associa Northern California.
Both companies previously operated under the auspices of Associa, so clients should not notice any change in services with the restructuring.
While Associa manages property, Smith believes the company's real strength comes in its people skills.
"I truly believe the key to a successful manager or management company is communication," he said. "You have to learn how to work with the board, and you have to learn how to work with the residents in that community."
"Developers are not only trying to sell a house or a condo, but a lifestyle," he added. "The focus is changing and as managers, we need to change with them. People buy (homes) for a lifestyle more often than they buy for a floor plan. We understand that people are the core of our business and that the (focus) of our business is customer service."
Learn more about Associa and its extensive services at associaonline.com.
Photo: Gregory Smith, President, of Associa Northern California at their Hacienda offices located at 4305 Hacienda Drive.
Also in this issue...