Interview with David Norvell, Director of Community Relations, Pardee Homes

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Can you imagine having served on more than 800 HOA Boards or having attended over 30,000 HOA meetings? Well Dave Norvell can.  As a seasoned vet of the HOA and Building industries, Dave brings us a unique perspective from having worked in both industries.  ProTec sat down with Dave to discuss best practices and discover his funniest board meeting out of 30,000!

Dave Norvell first started in the HOA industry in 1985 at N. N. Jaeschke.  He moved on to become a principal in the mediation firm, Settlement Option Services, where he focused on keeping HOAs, their members and vendors from having to resolve issues in court. Later he was the Chief Operating Officer at The Prescott Companies where he launched the downtown San Diego hi-rise division.  Dave then joined Pardee Homes. At Pardee, recently acquired by Tri Pointe Homes, Dave now manages the disclosure process and the development of all HOAs from initial planning through the Bureau of Real Estate process, vetting and hiring each HOA’s vendors and works with his communities to effectively resolve issues which may arise during and after their development.

Dave has also been active in the HOA community by creating, producing and co-hosting a live radio talk show called Condo Talk in San Diego.

The following interview with Mr. Norvell dives into hot topics surrounding HOA’s and newly built communities.

What is the most important thing that Community Managers should know about taking over a newly built community?

Each new HOA is unique; you can’t treat them the same because each community develops its own personality and you have to be flexible as the community matures.

What are the most common mistakes that Community Managers make at newly built HOA’s?

They don’t become familiar enough with all the documents including the HOA manual.  Managers should bring the manual to every board meeting.  The CC&Rs should require that the maintenance manual be brought to each HOA meeting and be included on the agenda as an item to be reviewed and addressed.  Too often, the maintenance manual is left sitting on a shelf in the manager’s office and ignored.  Following the manual protects the HOA’s common elements and can maximize the life of each element if properly maintained.

What are the three most common mistakes that new Boards make?

Many boards rely too heavily on their manager.  Even if you have a highly seasoned manager, HOA boards need to remember that this is the homeowner’s community, not the managers. If a homeowner agrees to serve on the board they need to commit to that service and become an integral part of the decision making process. And to be effective, they need to learn from their manager and other available resources such as each vendor, their attorney and the Community Association’s Institute.  Managers, like most of us, are very busy people. It is imperative that Boards follow-up with their manager, as a partner, to ensure the work of the community is being done timely and effectively. The other mistake boards make is they should NOT rely on any one board member to do all the work; serving on a board must be a team effort.

What is the most important “best practice” that builders should always implement at their new communities?

The builder must ensure that there is continuity between final maps, governing documents, irrigation plans, planting plans, the HOA budget and the common area turnover process.  Not having good continuity has cost some builders millions.  Having an effective Common Element Development process during the development stages of a community is priceless.

Do you see Builders making common mistakes at newly built HOA’s? 

I am not a fan of using templated documents for new communities.  Boiler plating documents might be less expensive in the short-term but by creating governing documents and plans for the people in that particular community you are forced to focus on the accuracy and continuity of the common elements within each individual community.   For example, I have seen multiple demands over the years to replace hardscape due to root intrusion. If a builder is planting trees near buildings and driveways why not include in the CC&Rs (and the HOA budget) the requirement to effectively maintain and remove trees, to prevent damage to other common areas. This puts the responsibility on the HOA to monitor and prevent such damage. It’s also important that the builder provide an HOA Manual and a Maintenance Matrix defining who is responsible for common areas and exclusive use areas.

The recent consolidation of HOA Management firms, the wrap-up by Associa from Texas and FirstService from Canada is happening quickly.  Do you think that this consolidation is good for the HOA industry and the building industry?  What dangers do you see and what opportunities do you foresee with this wrap-up?

Large management companies can hopefully provide greater benefits, including effective training, to their managers which is good for the industry.  The HOA industry is tough, as any manager will tell you, and having the resources available to keep managers and their staff well trained can only help the HOA industry and each community they serve. Many small companies are staffed by highly competent community managers and leaders, as well. Often it is a tough decision as to which manager to choose and then there are those times where it is very easy, due to the history and direct experience with a particular person or management team. But at the end of the day, it is the manager who makes their company look great, whether they work for one of the national firms or for a small management company.

Please tell us the funniest thing that has happened to you at an HOA board meeting.

After attending over 30,000 HOA meetings (of all types) one of the most bizarre was a long battle, by seven homeowners, to serve on a board with five seats. Unfortunately, the governing documents required a new HOA board be elected every year.  After weeks of campaigning, mudslinging and threats the community was poised on the brink…many operational and repair issues and the HOA assessment levels were at issue… the night of the annual meeting was here…and no one showed up.


J. David Rauch Bio

Dave Rauch is the Founder and President of ProTec Building Services (ProTec). He ensures that work quality is consistent.  Dave maintains a consistent presence within the company.  While managing the growth of ProTec, he strives to improve everything that ProTec does, especially exceeding client expectations.  At Mr. Rauch’s previous company he designed the original HOA manual and monthly building maintenance programs specific for each HOA. In 1996 Dave opened ProTec, which now provides maintenance programs to over 600 communities and other services to 2,000 communities.

George Van Oosbree Bio

George Van Oosbree is the Senior Vice President and Director of Operations in Nevada. He has been a manager with ProTec for 17 years. He holds a California/Nevada General Contractors and painting license; as well as, certifications in Playground Safety and SWPPP. He is also a United States Green Building Counsel LEED Accredited Professional and EPA Certified Lead Renovator.  Developers rely on George’s knowledge (nearly 100 High-rise and Mid-rise Projects) and 30 years of experience to construct sustainable and maintainable projects.

Andy Henley Bio

With over 20 years’ experience in construction management and janitorial, Andy knows what it takes to repair and maintain your largest asset, your homes and common areas at your community. Not only will Andy provide unparalleled customer service for all ProTec’s work but he will ensure that all jobs and service exceed client expectations. Call Andy and request to meet at your community. He will walk your community, detailing what maintenance and repairs are needed to keep your property values increasing.

Candy Allen Bio

ProTec’s controller, Candy Allen, has over two decades of experience in accounting and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the executive team.  Candy also has extensive HR, office management and organizational skills derived from her years of experience in the service industry.  What truly sets Candy apart from her peers is her energy and zeal to get the job/challenge done correctly and immediately.  She’ll explain that her success comes from devoting herself to creating a team environment in which the company can accurately track and maintain their various business and accounting systems.  Teamwork, honesty and hard work are all core elements of Candy’s work ethic.

Laura Swirski Bio

As ProTec’s Human Resources Manager, Laura Swirski, brings knowledge and experience in HR and Organizational Development from a variety of industries ranging from property management, non-profit, government, public utility, and hospitality.  Laura enjoys an employee focused and hands-on approach to HR.  She believes employees are a company’s most important resource.  An organization is successful when employees are in the right job and are involved, committed, and work together toward shared goals.  Laura is conscientious, a hard worker, and desires to learn, improve, and make a difference.

Fernando Urrea Bio

Fernando Urrea began his ProTec career in 2009. After a short leave he returned to ProTec in 2014 as the San Diego Maintenance Division Manager. He holds a General Contractors License; as well as, EPA Certified Lead Renovator. Fernando worked at Standard Pacific Homes and Pacific Bay Homes in the San Diego Divisions and has over 15 years’ experience in new home construction management. While working in Military Housing for 10 years he was able get hands on experience on all trades and management skills. His new home building and maintenance knowledge are unparalleled and is what makes Fernando a great asset.

Mark Adams Bio

Fascinated by construction from an early age, Mark developed the skills and knowledge to construct and repair any building. Prior to ProTec, Mark honed his skills at Quality Built Consulting on construction defects/diagnostics nationally. Mark is a licensed California General Contractor and a certified applicator in Excellent Coatings (Waterproof Coatings), SIKA Products (Sealants), PROTECTO Wrap (Waterproof Membranes) and Superkrete (Overlay Concrete Systems). Mark has been a manager at ProTec for 15 years and is the top HOA estimator in San Diego County. He prides himself on being able to assist HOA Boards and Community Managers resolve any type of repair or construction project.

Lee Sterling Bio

While attending Arizona State University pursuing a degree in engineering, Lee Sterling enlisted in the United States Army prior to Desert Storm. After completing his service he began working in the property service industry. Duly licensed as a Building (B1) and Roofing (C39) contractor, Lee rose through the ranks of the industry becoming the Division Manager and acting Chief Engineer for properties in San Diego, Irvine and Brea. His commitment to quality and superior service has earned him recommendations from his peers, clients and customers.

Cesar Ibarra Bio

Cesar Ibarra is ProTec’s Janitorial Manager and has been with the company for 8 years. He ensures that the janitorial work quality is consistent and manages the planning of large level custodial projects. He prides himself in his knowledge of janitorial services and has over 10 years of experience in the Commercial Cleaning Industry. He and his team devote themselves to our clients and provide customized janitorial services that are specifically tailored for each community or project.

Paul Mayeski Bio

Paul oversees ProTec’s Maintenance Manuals and Inspections Division. Before joining the ProTec team in 2000, Paul spent 4 years converting his Industrial Arts education into becoming a trained cabinetmaker, followed by 13 years building custom homes and then 7 years administering building maintenance programs and overseeing maintenance manual implementations for one of San Diego’s largest community management companies.  Because of his combined experience in the building and community management industries, he is uniquely suited to ensure that our clients’ projects are successful.

Chris McHenry Bio

Chris has over 25 years of construction experience in the residential and commercial industries. He has done everything hands on from operate heavy equipment, ro build and remodel custom homes, and commercial tenant improvements. He started working in his family’s business building custom homes during the summers in high school. He moved on as a Project Manager for an apartment maintenance construction company in Rancho Santa Margarita. He proceeded to get his contractor’s license and owned his own company for 7 years. Chris also holds the positions of superintendent on a high rise construction project and Project Manager with an industrial/commercial company.

Sal Mendoza Bio

Salvador Mendoza is our Los Angeles regional manager for ProTec Building Services. Since starting with the Company in 2008 he has devoted himself to the challenging world of maintenance for mid and high rise buildings. Salvador’s past experiences of running his family owned construction business, along with his real estate and mortgage banking experience, provide him with a unique perspective within our industry. He has a created the company’s first Planned Maintenance Contract (PMC), which allows for a custom annual maintenance calendar of the building components for each individual building, enabling clients to plan ahead and have an annual maintenance budget

Mirzet Velic Bio

As ProTec’s Vista Maintenance Division Manager, Mirzet brings immense experience in the HOA industry and knowledge of maintenance, repair and construction methodology. Mirzet joined ProTec in 2006 as an Account Manager.  Prior to ProTec he honed his experience at All American Construction as a Maintenance Technician.  With over 15 years of experience in contract management, construction, electrical, and property management Mirzet can solve any technical problem. However, Mirzet’s true tour de force is his Customer Centric service model; he takes care of clients’ needs before they even know they have a need. 

Timothy (Ty) Haisch Bio

Ty is ProTec’s Construction Division Manager for the North County San Diego region, working out of the Vista office.  Ty joined ProTec in 2010 as a Project Supervisor.  He has moved up in the management ranks due to his excellent work record, supervisory skills, hard-work and dedication to getting jobs done in a timely manner that have made him a “go-to” manager at ProTec.  Prior to joining ProTec, Ty was a manager at TDT Construction.  Yes, Ty has many years of experience, but it is mostly his excitement with solving complex problems, that cause Ty to stand out among his peers.  Ty loves challenges and will happily solve our clients most vexing or technical problem(s).

John T. (JT) Anderson Bio

John learned the value of hard work at his family business at the early age of 5, where he started out as a janitor.  He went on to learn additional trades and skills, where he eventually left the business world to attend college at The University of Hawaii and the University of Utah.  He received his degree in Political Science and Business.  After moving to San Diego in 2004 he founded Elite Services, which provided building services to Commercial and HOA clients.  In 2016, John saw an opportunity to join the ProTec team where he has put his many talents to work, expanding ProTec’s list of 172 services and engaging new clients.