HOA work orders are a vital part of managing a community. They help the association ensure that all maintenance work is completed. As a result, the HOA can remain in good condition.
What Are HOA Work Orders?
Homeowners associations need to maintain the community’s common areas to keep property values high. This also ensures that the HOA’s members are satisfied with the association. But, managing maintenance can be a difficult task. There is a lot of work to be done, especially for larger communities.
This is where work orders come in. An HOA work order is a formal request for repair, operations, or maintenance work the association needs. It initiates the repairs or maintenance task and clarifies the details of the job.
A work order includes all the information related to the task requested and outlines the process. Moreover, it includes other details such as the requester’s name, the authorizer’s name, the assignee, and deliverables. It may also include drawings, special instructions, and the expected end results.
HOA Work Orders vs Service Requests
Homeowners association work orders are different from service requests. Some management companies and HOAs may use the terms interchangeably but differ in purpose and format. Service requests are simply forms or requests submitted by residents. They submit the service request to the HOA so the board or management company can fix the problem.
Meanwhile, HOA work orders are generated by the HOA manager or an officer responsible for overseeing maintenance. They create the work order only after approving the service request sent by the homeowner. The work order may also need approval from the HOA board before the work can begin.
Why Is HOA Work Order Management Important?
HOA work order management is an essential part of running a homeowners association. That’s because dozens or even hundreds of service requests and work orders can come in at a time. Without a proper system, the HOA or management company can easily be overloaded with too many maintenance jobs.
In addition, proper work order management helps the HOA keep track of all the maintenance jobs that have been completed or are currently in progress. This helps uncover problem areas in community property. For example, if there have been too many recent work orders involving the piping system, it may be a sign of a larger issue. The community may need to use its reserve funds to replace its piping system or other infrastructure to minimize long-term costs.
Managing work orders is vital to preserving property value and upholding the association’s reputation. After all, the HOA is in charge of the community’s upkeep. Without proper work order organization, it may be hard to fulfill all the service requests promptly. This can leave the community in disarray and disrepair.
What to Include In a Work Order
A good work order for HOAs must include all the important details involving the maintenance task. Homeowners associations and HOA management companies must include the following information:
- Order number
- Who benefits from the job
- Vendor, contractor, or personnel in charge of completing the task
- Job location
- Approval date
- Date of the order’s issuance
- Expected start and end dates
- Terms of service
- Maintenance task description
- Hourly rates for the task
- Required materials
- Cost of materials
- Total cost
Adding all this information helps reduce misunderstandings between the contractor and HOA. It also ensures that both parties can clearly understand what the job entails and how much it costs. Moreover, they can anticipate the job’s length and schedule each task accordingly. This allows the association to maintain the community without too many jobs conflicting or coinciding.
How to Manage HOA Work Orders
Handling HOA work order requests is no easy feat. It’s important to have an efficient system in place to keep things organized.
1. Easy Request Process
A good HOA work order system begins with an easy request process. Service request forms should be easily accessible to all residents. Moreover, the request forms should be easy to understand and fill out. Ideally, the residents should also be able to track their service requests to know when the HOA will complete the job.
Make sure to assign an officer or board member to oversee service requests. This allows the community to approve or disapprove requests much faster. It minimizes backlogs and ensures the community is always on top of all the necessary maintenance jobs.
2. Create a Complete HOA Work Order Form
After receiving the service request, the HOA must create a complete work order form that includes all relevant information. Make sure the form is as detailed as possible. The work order should also include photos of the problem areas to help the association and its vendors understand what needs to be fixed. Moreover, the residents should be able to access the work order to fully understand what the request entails.
If the association can afford it, they may automate work orders to speed up the process. Reliable software can easily turn service requests into HOA work orders. This allows the community to streamline the entire process. It’s also more manageable and trackable as HOAs can quickly refer to the system to find all the work orders created.
3. Have a List of Vendors Ready
Homeowners associations should have an updated list of vetted contractors and vendors at the ready. Furthermore, they can hire on-site maintenance staff to address smaller maintenance jobs. This allows the HOA to assign each job without delay. It also ensures that the work is always up to standard.
4. Receive Feedback
After each maintenance job is completed, consider allowing residents to submit a feedback form. This allows the HOA to understand what is working and what needs to be improved in their work order management process. It also ensures transparency and helps residents trust the association more.
5. Conduct Regular Inspections
Homeowners associations should conduct regular inspections of community property. This limits the number of service requests that come in and keeps maintenance work to a minimum. It can also save money in the long run.
Consider scheduling inspections at least twice a month. The community may also need to conduct frequent inspections for fixtures or properties more prone to degradation or damage. For example, older buildings may need more attention than newly built structures.
Keep Your HOA In Good Condition
Managing HOA work orders is the key to keeping the community well-maintained. Otherwise, the association may easily fall into chaos with too many service requests or unclear job descriptions. Proper work order management can also ensure that the community’s maintenance requests are fulfilled in a timely manner.
However, managing HOA work orders manually can be challenging, especially for larger communities. Condo Manager can help. Our HOA management software can automate and streamline your work orders and the entire maintenance process. Call us today at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online today!