There are many reasons that doing reserve studies for community associations are enjoyable, satisfying and interesting.
They’re All Different
Every association is different, with different assets, different ages, and different levels of funding. It is never boring to see a new community. It is fun to get to look at the different types of real estate in the area and the region—single family residence HOAs, low-rise condominiums, townhouse developments, high-rise condominiums, recreational facilities, office condominiums, community development districts, and special use properties such as churches, golf courses, and warehouses. Seeing this vast mix of properties is exciting and often educational.
Another enjoyable aspect is that it is an important service to provide associations. It is also something many associations do not feel comfortable doing themselves, so there is a sense of helping others. There is a certain level of teamwork involved between the reserve analyst, the property manager, and board members within the association. Each of these parties brings unique skills and knowledge to the process that helps make the final report as accurate as possible. Some days, time is spent getting to meet members of the associations. Other times, it is spent receiving feedback from the board or the property manager. As the reserve analyst, it is my job to process this information. Not that it is expected, but it is a worthwhile feeling when you receive feedback that someone thought the report was well done or that the report was extremely useful.
Get to Learn New Things
Performing reserve studies often gives me the opportunity to learn something new and to get outside and work in the field. I sometimes encounter items/assets that I am not entirely familiar with. It is fun to learn about these new topics or talk to an expert that specializes in that specific field. I also enjoy learning about the history of the various communities.
Put All of the Pieces Together
The reserve analyst works as an information synthesizer. They combine math, accounting, construction, inspection, and engineering. They take into account the financial information from the community. They also project future inflation based on recent and historical trends. At the same time, through the site inspection, they compile a list of community assets and evaluate the condition of all of them. It is fulfilling to take a complex association’s reserve items and succinctly summarize them in an organized manner. It is also important to help a community get the right items on the reserve schedule because they often omit certain key items. Ultimately, the reserve study gives the association a road map to be financially sound.
The complexities of the process simultaneously challenge me to stay sharp and multi-focused on details. This business, in all of its many facets of responsibility, is something I take very seriously.