As crazy as it may seem, 2023 is just around the corner and for any board member, that can only mean one thing - you survived! HOA communities have gone through a lot of changes this year. From technology, and the housing market to changes in our economy - who wouldn’t be ready to clean the slate?
New Year's Resolutions
There’s no surprise in saying that sticking to a New Year’s resolution isn't easy. In fact, “one 2020 study found that 55% of participants considered themselves successful at sustaining resolutions after a year.” So what’s the trick? Consistency and planning - an HOA can do more than just create a strong team; they can create an even stronger community. Here are 5 New Year's resolutions that your board should consider making in 2023.
5 HOA New Year's Resolutions
- Develop a community management plan - A community management plan works great for communities that work alongside a property management company. A plan like this should be used as a guide and communication builder between the CAM (community association manager) and the board of directors. Here is where the board can communicate their roles and responsibilities, along with any changes or yearly goals that the board would like to make going into the new year. A list of topics could include:
- Community Guidelines
- Enforcing fines
Once the board and CAM can agree on a list of topics and goals, the community members should also be informed. This way, all three parties (the board, CAM, and HOA members) are all on the same page. As a result, this will help increase transparency and set clear expectations for everyone involved.
- Financials - Budgeting and planning are among the most discussed topics in an HOA. Why so? Simply put, without profit, an HOA wouldn’t be able to survive. This is why an HOA should consider how they manage their finances and budget. For example, take the need for an HOA to increase its technology — a topic that is often left out of the HOA’s yearly budget. As more communities are entering into a digital way of managing their communities, HOAs are now seeking enhanced forms of technology that can build on top of what they already have. Why so? Simply because they’re seeing results — HOAs are now experiencing the results of what technology can bring, such as reduced expenses, increased productivity, and higher engagement from members. As a new year's resolution, consider discussing areas of opportunity related to technology that could be incorporated into the yearly budget.
- How much does your community spend on its current technology? Ex. HOA software, website, or subscriptions.
- Did your community invest money into any new types of software during 2022? If so, what were the benefits? Were there any cost-saving benefits?
- Are there any areas of communication that could be improved if technology were involved?
- Education - As a new year's resolution, consider incorporating continued education for those that are interested in furthering their knowledge about the HOA. Education can be a great way to increase the development of your board and your community. Examples may include seminars, HOA conferences, or hosting meetings with your local HOA institute chapter. In addition, boards could also offer opportunities for current members interested in being part of the board or a committee one day.
- Governing documents - One of the most important jobs of being on a board comes with maintaining the HOAs governing documents. With the new year just around the corner, your board should start preparing for a governing document's yearly review. “Governing documents are vitally important because they, above all, provide clarification and accountability for every role and process within the HOA.” In addition, your board should review any governing documents that need to be updated with any state laws so that the HOA stays compliant with all bylaws according to the CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, & Regulations).
- New year action plan - Creating an action plan is a great way for your HOA to strategize problems that lead to solutions. Action plans are essential to helping your HOA plan and improve your community. They also help prepare the HOA for obstacles and hold everyone accountable. Keep in mind that not every problem requires an action plan. When creating your new year action plan, consider problems that have a large long-term impact on the community.
Example 1: Shortage in HOA staff and volunteers.
2022 was difficult on the economy for all Americans and businesses — especially for those that experienced a shortage in supplies and labor. “Although the U.S. economy has officially recouped the 20 million jobs it lost at the beginning of the pandemic, the gains have been uneven. Major shortfalls remain, particularly in low-wage industries that have lost workers to higher-paying opportunities in warehousing, construction, and professional and business services.” Unfortunately, the results of this caused many HOAs to experience delays in projects and the ability to maintain vendors and staff.
Action plan steps:
- Establish the problem - Establish the problem your HOA experienced during 2022.
- Define an end goal - What’s the board's overall goal?
- Measures - How will you track the progress of this goal?
- Time - What is the time frame of this goal and how long will it take to achieve it?
- Assigned to - Assign the problem to members of the board that will be responsible for addressing the problem. This will include communicating its progress and results.
Problem 1 example:
- Problem: Shortage in staff members and volunteers.
- 2023 Goal: Reduce staff and volunteer attrition.
- Measures: Provide satisfaction surveys for volunteers and all HOA employees.
- Time: Address results from surveys every 3-6 months with your board.
Assigned to: Stephanie
Start your year off on the right food by downloading our FREE HOA Action Plan Template for setting goals in your HOA.