Another 'they love us' study: AZ association managers

Once again we see an industry study showing that homeowners “love us”, either the board or the community managers.  I’m waiting for one that also praises those HOA attorneys next.  This time the Arizona Association of Community Managers reports an “independent” study praising community management performance.  Sadly, instead of meaningful research, its “study” report has the taste and smell of just another promotional and marketing brochure.

The reader of the press release is told he can obtain the details of the study from AACM’s web site, but the details are not there.  Instead of an appendix of the questions asked and response breakdown, we get AACM’s conclusions.  For example, the study reports that 93% of purchasers were aware that an HOA existed, and that 90% “were familiar” with the CC&RS.   That’s fine, but what does “familiar with” mean?  Do homeowners understand and agree with the provisions that permit the surrender and loss of their rights?  Or, do they compromise under the practicality that, “I have to agree otherwise I can’t move here, and I can’t move anywhere else and find a comparable home.” 

This is not freely consented.  And if they have not read or had the meaning of, the consequences of, or the impact on their private property and fundamental rights fully explained to them in order that they understood the general impact of the CC&Rs, then there is no full consent. These questions, “getting to the root of things”, were not asked.

Only 15% of the homeowners filed a complaint”, they state, and then add that, “Overall, more homeowners were satisfied than dissatisfied with the resolution of their complaint against another homeowner” (emphasis added). AACM goes on to present “facts” on manager communications with homeowners. Real, substantial question aimed at getting to the heart of the matter were not asked.  Like, “How satisfied were you with your communication with the managers?”  Or, how many complaints were filed against the board?  Against the manager?  How satisfied were homeowners with the resolution of complaints?

Or, how about those questions designed to elicit sympathy for those “poor volunteers”?  Homeowners believe their board tries to do their best for the community (emphasis added), reports AACM, yet avoid any discussion of the effectiveness or adequacy of their attempts to do just what is “best” for the community.  “Best” is not defined.  Is it similar to insuring domestic tranquility, promoting the general welfare, establishing justice? Or is it simply enforcing the CC&Rs to maintain property values?

The general impression of this “study” is, as I said at the start, just another promotional piece released at the time legislation has been introduced to regulate managers under the real estate department.  Until these hard questions raised above, and those similar or based on my “10 Myths About HOAs”  (, are addressed simple fixes will continue to be inadequate, and homeowners will continue to be back before the their legislatures next year, and the next, and the next.

The AACM study:


Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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