Wednesday, November 28

A Porsche Cayenne For My HOA

I'm still debating how I feel about this one. A few weeks back, I saw a Porsche Cayenne with my HOA advertising written all over it. Kingdom Management. I don't have anything too bad to say about the company, unlike those who have rated it on Google. More than likely, those folks ran into the wrath of not paying HOA fees or getting caught parking an RV in the side yard. Then I got my yearly HOA bill, and I thought about that Cayenne again, wondering about the purpose of it and how Kingdom Management manages its own budget.

I realize that a Porsche is a good car to exemplify some kind of image. Of the company and the neighborhoods. Excellence, style, speed, agility. Porsches are nice, and I'd like to be driving one, even if I had to have some stupid company sign on it. I'd rather have that than a company Hummer or cargo van. Or Chevy Impala.

I know that Kingdom Management provides services to my neighborhood, and I talked to the board of directors, who say the value is good. I'm sure that's partially because if we tried to do all the management of the HOA among ourselves, we'd be wasting all kinds of time, never agree on how to do things, and pay more to contractors because we couldn't leverage the buying power of a dedicated management company. The most important part, I'm sure, is to be able to step away from the dirty business of liens or foreclosures.

So back to the Porsche. It's a $65,000 car new. Decent used models are in the $40,000 range. A Ford Explorer would be about half the price, but Fords don't project the same image. I assume image is important to Kingdom Management. As of 2013, the company managed 60 communities. There are no updated numbers on the website, which is also dated 2013. Maybe that's the same year the Cayenne was purchased. Either way, a new website should be in the works (and I could be the builder). Also, the HOA individual websites are pretty bad, so I'd also love to build some sites that reflect Kingdom Management's sense of style there, too. At least make it mobile-friendly.

A vehicle says a lot about the driver, so I understand the desire for cool company cars. While there might be some out there who say a Porsche Cayenne is excessive, but I'm not so sure. My parents had this stockbroker for years who drove cars like the Dodge Aries, and I always asked my dad what that maybe said about the investments the guy was making for him. Sure, this is a slightly different situation, but I might be worried about the quality of my HOA management if reps showed up in a Ford Fiesta.

Bottom line is I'd rather pay $50 less a year than subsidize a Porsche, but I also understand the purpose of getting one. It's a private company, not government. If our Aldermen were driving around in taxpayer-paid Porsches, then there'd be a problem. If Kingdom Management can continue to make HOA boards happy, then I'm good with them driving sweet rides. But if those HOAs demand better websites to communicate with members, then I'd like to help out. I'll show up in my old Saab, which is actually a perfect company car for a web designer.