Water Boarding or Dealing with HOA managers!? Which would you prefer!?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Homestretch Properties

We are starting to enjoying the Water Boarding treatment we get from our HOA managers who despite cashing our check for documents, refuse to even acknowledge that they have received our order!!

Some of them don't accept online payments or credit cards which creates a lot of delays.  I guess setting up an account with PayPal would be too inconvenient.  In one case, this HOA manager was claiming she had NEVER received our document request, despite the fact that I had emailed it to her!   I forwarded her the original email the 2nd time and she was still denying it.  Then came the cashed check and she was STILL denying that she NEVER received our order for documents.  Needless to say, we had to print/scan a copy of the canceled check and email her a copy before she agreed to process it!

The challenges is that we anticipate a lot of REOs from this development, so there is no option to go ballistic here.  And if we escalate to her management, the next condo listing will be jeopardized since she will find a way to get even.  

No offense to our guest at GitMo, but if this is NOT Water Boarding, what is?  I know some friends of the former White House were not classifying Water Boarding as Tourture, but this clearly goes well beyond the realm of professional conduct.  

However, I am happy to report that after being Water Boarded for 3 times last months, my team is no longer calling it Water Boarding, they affectionately refer to it a "Freedom Tickling" by the HOA!!  This experience had made us much more appreciative of SFR listings and thought me a lesson not to EVER invest in a Condo!

What do you guys experience?  Any one Water Boarding you these days!?


Comments (6)

Mark Ruda
Mark A Ruda - Fox River Grove, IL

David: I can't get a callback from a property manager or the management's attorney regarding an REO in northwest suburban Chicago. I'll probably have to make an in-person visit next week -- would've a week ago but when I called ahead, learned the entire office would shut down for half the afternoon for staff "training." I wonder if the subject was invisibility.

Nov 28, 2009 02:11 PM
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

Very funny. I'm now on the board of an HOA so I know how it looks from the inside. We're lucky enough to have a decent management company, but they aren't always easy to find.

Nov 29, 2009 02:41 AM
Andrew Monaghan
The Monaghan Group - Glendale, AZ
CRS, GRI, EPro Associate Broker

I would take water boarding,  These quasi governmental non regulated bunch of small minded .............

I could go on but may get in trouble

Nov 29, 2009 03:07 AM
Leila Mortaz
Homestretch Properties - Los Gatos, CA
Leila Mortaz

Dave - I just called an HOA few minutes ago (Tuesday December 1st 10:30 AM PST) and they still announcing their Thanksgiving Holiday Hours from November 26!!  That just made my day!

Part of my challenge is that our experience was shaped by dealing with High-Tech companies in Silicon Valley.  In these kind of environments where you are a support organization, you staff it very differently than say a retail shop or a governemnt entitiy.   You staff it with folks whose DNA is tailored to solve problems and help people's business. 

I am reminded of Cisco's IT staff where when someone took a rare 20 minute lunch break to go have lunch in the company cafeteria; their pager was tranferred to another person covering the person who is out to lunch!  No pager transfer, no lunch! And, please don't get me wrong, I am not dreaming that an HOA organization would run like a Cisco IT team!  But at least, they ought to do the minimum like accepting credit cards or setting up a PayPal account for us to pay online for doc orders and other fees. 

As an HOA manager, can you elaborate why is that so hard to implement in an HOA?!  Is it the cost? Is it lack of vision, experience?

Andrew - I got another apt comparison when someone resembled their experience with HOAs to a "ROOT CANAL"!

Dec 01, 2009 04:38 AM
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team

ahh.... Let me see! I am not a big fan of HOAs, not at all.

Dec 09, 2009 07:50 AM
Leila Mortaz
Homestretch Properties - Los Gatos, CA
Leila Mortaz

Rosemary, they are holding an escrow of ours HOSTAGE for $25 upfront fee!!  They will not release a condo cert and refuse to accept getting paid at the close of escrow; even though the escrow is funded already!!

It's amazing the kind of "talented" people run these HOAs.

Dec 16, 2009 12:38 PM