The history of community associations is closely tied to the larger story of housing development in the United States. As suburban development grew throughout the 1960s, land owners and municipalities benefited greatly from the HOA model because it encouraged cost-effective home building while creating desirable neighborhood amenities for new residents.
In 1970 there were just 10,000 HOA communities in all of the US. By 1980, that number tripled to 36,000 communities, housing about 10 million Americans. Out of this new form of residential development and governance, the need for a new service industry was born. While in its infancy, the HOA service industry naturally attracted individuals from different but related professions who established the basis of the HOA and Property Management industry that we see today.
Throughout the following decades, construction of community association properties grew exponentially. By the year 2000, there were 222,500 associations in the United States, housing over 45 million residents, representing about 16% of the country’s population at the time. With this growth, the HOA management industry also matured, quickly surpassing the cottage-industry feel of the early days. Management companies soon represented more than just a handful of communities, and many companies began organizing services into departments to better meet the needs of clients. This included specialized accounting teams, dedicated property managers, and in-office support staff. Similarly, service providers began specializing to meet industry-specific needs, including establishment of community association law firms, as well as construction firms who work solely on HOA properties.
The HOA management industry has been at least adequate for the American public. The service industry enabled associations to remain compliant with state legislature, while allowing residents to enjoy the many benefits of common-interest neighborhoods. But the quick growth was not achieved without some growing pains. The demands of the property manager have become overwhelming, unreasonable, and nearly unachievable. Board members continually face impossible decisions around deferred maintenance and the need for large budget increases. Alas, the concept of an HOA itself has deteriorated, with many residents perceiving HOAs as more of a nuisance than a benefit.
We are on the cusp of a new era of HOA management. The skills and capabilities of the previous decades are simply not enough to carry us into a prosperous future. The need for the industry to modernize services, innovate solutions, and lead communities is more important now than ever before. In Colorado, there are over 10,000 associations representing 40% of the state's population. These communities face unprecedented challenges as a result of aging infrastructure, financial hardship due to years of underfunding, the lack of owner involvement, the abandonment of good communication, and various levels of distrust among management companies.
Yet looking past these challenges, we see enormous opportunity for Colorado communities. We see a bright future that can be strategized, planned for, and implemented to benefit the whole community. We envision prosperous HOA neighborhoods that have a strategic plan for the future. We strive to be more than just HOA managers, rather we see the need and desire for comprehensive leadership in the era of 3.0 management. We see ourselves as your community's leaders and partners, bringing the highest level of service to meet the unique challenges of today, while planning for the future.