By Maggie Beamguard
As of Sept. 1, a new management company has taken the reins of Seven Lakes West’s day-to-day operations.
H.R.W. Management, a Raleigh-based subsidiary of Associa, is taking over the community’s management from three years of management by CAS of Pinehurst.
Associa is the largest HOA management company in the country, according to Seven Lakes West Landowners Association Board President Jack Roberts, and H.R.W. has on-site HOA management of over 265 associations, primarily in North Carolina.
“H.R.W. provides SLW with both local and national resources to best manage our community,” said Roberts. “A new website and portal, named Town Square, along with a more interactive management team within the community, will enhance our membership’s experience.”
The board announced the selection of H.R.W. on July 7 through a community-wide email, stating, “It was determined that while CAS, the incumbent, was the easiest solution, they were the most expensive and not necessarily the best value. H.R.W provided a better long-term strategic solution for the community.”
Since that announcement, H.R.W. has engaged in a transition period.
“The transition, for the most part, had few issues and functional operational control has been accomplished,” said Roberts. “One of the major issues during the transition was when the departing company left an unexpected gap of pool attendant coverage.”
Member volunteers signed up to fill the 10-day void over a few hours. “This is an indicator of the great community spirit within SLWLA,” he said.
In addition to community members stepping up to the plate, Roberts credits the successful transition to the board’s ad hoc committee established early in the selection process.
Led by board member Paul Brezinski and ad hoc chair Jim Christner, the committee’s mission has been to “oversee the process from the development of the request for proposal, and the identification of qualified HOA management companies through the selection and onboarding process.” The committee included volunteers who brought experience in the areas of contracting, IT, finance and management.
The committee currently is assisting leadership and established committees with the new Town Square communication platform. They will also introduce the platform and provide assistance to membership.
“As with all contracts, the transition from the previous property management company to H.R.W did have challenges, mostly from the transfer of data, which is common in transitions of this nature,” Roberts said. “The Ad Hoc committee, along with H.R.W’s onboarding team, accomplished this transfer of data to allow the scheduled start date of September 1, 2023.”
Residents were invited to a community roll out of the Town Square communication platform on Sept. 20. From the app, residents will be able to review personal account information, make amenity reservations, access the member directory and make requests such as for road maintenance. A feature of Town Square will allow members to submit smaller applications online which will expedite the approval process.
This communication platform is the most notable immediate change for SLW residents.
“Besides allowing members to manage their accounts, it will also be the basis on how we communicate as a community, with individual friends, and with our property management team,” said Roberts. Members who sign up will receive e-blast notification regarding community events and general information.
A new management company inevitably brings operational changes.
“The immediate changes for the homeowners will not be dramatic but certainly noticeable,” said Roberts, citing the new website portal, new standard hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Friday) and a more interactive management team as examples of such changes.
“As H.R.W assumes control of the community, we expect a few challenges,” he said. “Change is always difficult, but the long-term strategy approach will pay significant dividends for the entire SLWLA community.”
New staff members also accompany the change. “The top priority during the transition has been the hiring of professional, qualified staff,” Roberts said.
Wally Glass, the new community manager, and Brian Morgan, the new facilities manager bring several years of experience. They were introduced to the community during a recent board meeting. Alexandria Ramsy also joins the team as the community assistant manager, bringing HOA experience from Louisiana. Other team members will include administrative and maintenance personnel.
Roberts expects Glass to be more personally involved and accessible to members in addition to overseeing the management of the community.
Similarly, Morgan will be engaged in executing long and short term project planning, maintenance and budgeting of facilities and infrastructure. Ramsey will oversee the permitting process and the ARC administration support.
“All of H.R.W’s onsite management team were interviewed and selected by H.R.W with input from the SLW Board,” said Roberts.
“The greatest change will be how the H.R.W onsite team engages with our membership and committees,” said Roberts “The culture of H.R.W. embraces a high level of customer service, both with our individual members as well as supporting our committees, which are the cornerstone of Seven Lakes West.”
Residents can find out more about these community changes and access the downloadable TownSq app from the new website https://7lakeswest.sites.townsq.io/0.
Contact Maggie Beamguard at email@example.com.