Anthony Edwards, community manager, discusses his experience in becoming an HOA manager.
Matthew Holbrook (00:25)
Welcome to The Uncommon Area. I’m Matthew Holbrook, and this episode is going to be looking at what a manager’s experience is like in first coming to Action Property Management. Here to talk about that here today is Anthony Edwards. Thank you so much for joining us.
Anthony Edwards (00:42)
Of course. Thank you for having me.
Matthew Holbrook (00:44)
Yeah, maybe it’d be helpful. You’ve been here at Action now for a little while, but before you came to Action, what were you doing?
Anthony Edwards (00:51)
We’re doing construction and concrete management or property management.
Matthew Holbrook (00:56)
Not exactly HOA management, but kind of a related field.
Anthony Edwards (01:01)
Related in the way that they do align in many ways, but not related on the other aspects of it.
Matthew Holbrook (01:08)
Yeah, of the kind of HOA-specific component.
Anthony Edwards (01:11)
Matthew Holbrook (01:12)
I’m curious, just in getting into this business on the HOA management side, what are the types of things that align with what you previously did that translates into this business?
Anthony Edwards (01:25)
In terms of aligning, I would say, time management, and the aspects of keeping up with vendors, and maintenance obligations, those things all align.
Matthew Holbrook (01:36)
What would be the different kinds of challenges that maybe your previous experience didn’t prepare you for?
Anthony Edwards (01:41)
I would say that the difference is more so on the personalities and the differences in personalities, and the homeowners and their communication aspect, as opposed to communicating with contractors and commercial vendors on a daily basis. They communicate much differently than homeowners do.
Matthew Holbrook (02:00)
Right. It’s different when you’re talking like more on a B2B level as opposed to in this business, it’s very much we’re talking to people where they’re the consumer.
Anthony Edwards (02:10)
Matthew Holbrook (02:11)
It changes the dynamic of that relationship and interaction.
Anthony Edwards (02:15)
It does. It also changes the anticipated time frame of that communication, I think, with people, which rightfully so, you are a member of that association. You’re anticipating someone that works for the management company to respond a little bit quicker than you would maybe to a contractor.
Matthew Holbrook (02:30)
Anthony Edwards (02:31)
Just getting used to those time frame differences.
Matthew Holbrook (02:34)
We’re interacting with people in their homes, and when something happens at home, it has a different level of urgency, too.
Anthony Edwards (02:41)
Matthew Holbrook (02:43)
We understand that. I know you understand that well, and you’ve made a really positive impression with the residents and the board members that you’ve worked with. When you first came to Action, as a company, what were your first impressions of Action Property Management?
Anthony Edwards (02:59)
Well, when I first came to Action, I actually didn’t know that HOA management was even an industry. I didn’t know it existed. I knew what an HOA was, but I thought it was more on the voluntary management end because I do live in an HOA, but I never really had any interest in their operation.
Anthony Edwards (03:20)
It was a shock to me of really a few different things of the regulatory side and the importance of the regulatory side, but the amount of regulatory laws that are associated with specifically homeowners associations and just the change in fields.
Matthew Holbrook (03:42)
I can relate to that one. I’ve been in this business now for over 26 years, but my first year at Action, I don’t think I really even understood what an HOA was for a whole year. I understand that it’s a new world that you’re walking.
Anthony Edwards (03:56)
It really is.
Matthew Holbrook (03:59)
You get started at Action and you are getting immersed into this new industry, in this new field. What were impressions just specifically about the company and how maybe we operate?
Anthony Edwards (04:12)
Very well-oiled, ver-
Matthew Holbrook (04:14)
Not fishing for this, by the way. I’m actually-
Anthony Edwards (04:16)
No, I mean, genuinely, it’s a very well-structured company, and I was very impressed to see that people really do enjoy coming here and working here. In terms of talking to the people that do work—at least the IE office as well as the San Diego office, I haven’t really had the pleasure of talking to some of the managers here in Irvine—but in talking to many of the managers, they really do have a good work-life balance. They enjoy that, and they’re able to enjoy the stress and the chaotic side of management, but also the downtime side.
Matthew Holbrook (04:56)
That is kind of the appeal of the business to a certain extent. I know managers really appreciate that no day is ever the same as any other day. It’s always very different. There is walking that line of that—how you put it—chaos and stress that is fueling and energizing versus what’s too much.
Anthony Edwards (05:18)
Exactly. I think that if you thrive off of that enjoyment of not doing the same thing every day, I don’t like repetition in what I do, and this is perfect for that.
Matthew Holbrook (05:36)
With respect to the team that you have in the Inland Empire, do you feel that you get adequate support as a manager? Maybe talk a little bit about just the team dynamic and the support that you receive.
Anthony Edwards (05:47)
It’s a very well-structured team there. We all work together very well. Right now, it is still fairly remote. There are two of us that do come in the office every day, which is Scott and myself, minus Fridays—I don’t come in Fridays. But we do work pretty well together in terms of emails, and communicating via phone, and just the support team. If anyone does have any questions or if they need any support on any documents, we’re there for them.
Matthew Holbrook (06:20)
It’s a big change within this COVID era. We have 10 or so managers in that office, and you’re saying that only two of you are in most days.
Anthony Edwards (06:31)
Correct. There is a few days that I believe three of them come in at once, and then just sporadically, they do have separate days, but it is more or less about two days a week.
Matthew Holbrook (06:41)
But having that work-at-home option really changes the dynamic of the whole job.
Anthony Edwards (06:46)
Matthew Holbrook (06:46)
Probably is a helpful aspect, I would imagine, for most people.
Anthony Edwards (06:50)
I think it makes it a lot more convenient, but as well as making it more accessible to actually doing something that, for instance, if you are wanting to do a report at seven o’clock at night, you can do that without having to be in the office at seven o’clock at night. You can do it while taking care of other things in the home.
Matthew Holbrook (07:12)
For you, individually, you have a preference to be in the office most days?
Anthony Edwards (07:17)
Matthew Holbrook (07:18)
It’s nice that you have that option as managers and how you want to structure that. What do you think has been the key to making your experience go well coming here to Action and getting involved in this industry?
Anthony Edwards (07:31)
Honestly, it does go back to the support. I have to thank Scott for really being patient with me in terms of transitioning into this industry, coming in with a completely different mindset of how things on management side for properties are I’m used to. He just really guiding me into that process of how, “No, this is how we do these things,” and it’s been very helpful.
Anthony Edwards (08:00)
Thankfully, at least for Action, there’s a huge amount of support in terms of documents and just the files themselves. If you’re really looking for something, if you have a question on something, you can usually find it, but everyone is also willing to help.
Matthew Holbrook (08:16)
That’s great. Talk to me a little bit about just the software that you’ve been exposed to and that you work with here at Action. I know you can’t really compare to other management companies, but what has been your interaction with and involvement with the software?
Anthony Edwards (08:31)
I would say that currently my favorite is the management app. I do love the management app. Snap, I’m still learning, but I do enjoy that as well. Actually, it’s very intuitive, and it’s been very helpful.
Anthony Edwards (08:46)
In transitioning from that, I was originally starting when Snap wasn’t in, so I was transitioning into having a mindset of, “Okay, this is how we do the violations, this is how we do certain things.” Then it was right around three months in that Snap was coming in and we were transitioning into that.
Anthony Edwards (09:06)
I was a bit stressed of how that might really take effect and how I would have to transition my mindset already. But it worked really well and I didn’t really have to put too much thought into that.
Matthew Holbrook (09:19)
Both the management app and Snap HOA for anybody who’s watching, these are both internally-developed software platforms that we use in Action. There’s sometimes confusion between what’s the management app and what a Snap HOA, and both of them are merging together and ultimately are one application that our managers can use and makes things a lot easier and a lot more seamless in how we manage.
Anthony Edwards (09:48)
And also the fact that it’s internally-designed. That really does help because I’ve had comments and I’ve had at least questions on the design aspect as well as maybe some bugs. It really helps where you know who to reach out to and they know how to fix it.
Matthew Holbrook (10:07)
Anthony Edwards (10:08)
That’s been a huge help.
Matthew Holbrook (10:11)
Well, anything else that you’d comment on just about your initial experience and how things have been here in Action?
Anthony Edwards (10:18)
I would say that it’s a great team environment. We work very well together, and I think as the times are changing, going into more remote, it’s great to at least have that option of being able to be flexible and work with a good balance and work-home balance. It’s been a great time.
Matthew Holbrook (10:40)
Right. We really appreciate what you do here at Action. I know you get rave reviews from a lot of different directions and glad that you’re a part of our team. For anyone watching, I hope that that is helpful in providing a perspective on what it’s like to come to Action Property Management as an association manager.
Matthew Holbrook (11:00)
Well, thank you for watching and hope you continue to look for additional episodes.