5 Projects your HOA Should Prioritize

5 Projects your HOA Should Prioritize

April 6, 2022

What projects should your HOA prioritize? Spring is just around the corner, and when you finally thought you were caught up, the list of projects and tasks starts to build up again. But not to worry, you’re not alone. Managing the day-to-day responsibilities of an HOA can be overwhelming. You may even feel like you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off!

So what can you do? Short answer – prioritize. By prioritizing your projects, you’re not only exercising efficiency but driving results.

Factors to consider

Time is money. When prioritizing your list of projects, consider what your HOA may be going through – whether that be now or later down the road.

  • Is the HOA budget in good standing?
  • Are there any financial setbacks that could prevent a project from happening?
  • Do you have the staffing to manage the project promptly?

Here are a few other factors: timing, the season, community involvement, and the HOA financial budget.  

Community poll or online voting

To get more robust insight into your community’s status, consider narrowing down your list of projects by creating a community poll or digital voting. This option works as an efficient way to get down to the root of what your community needs and what they desire to change.

TownSq Digital Voting Feature

  • Push and email notifications are sent to all voters
  • Access to questions, details, and attachments
  • The ability for voters to leave comments and feedback regarding the vote
  • Review final ballot results once voting has been completed

How do we prioritize our list of projects?

To better answer, this question, consider your overall yearly goal for the community. For example, an HOA board of directors and its small committee members. They have decided to host an annual BBQ for the entire HOA community and new potential homeowners.

To accomplish this, smaller projects and tasks must take place underneath the big picture project. Remember that bringing results and change is the key to a successful project. You want to minimize your time and efforts to obtain maximum results or, in better words, “kill two birds with one stone.”

Let’s take, for example, an HOA that decides to host a yearly BBQ for all their community members and potential new homeowners.

Goal – Yearly HOA community BBQ

What small projects are required to accomplish the goal?

Small project 1

  • Landscape maintenance: trimming trees, planting flowers and scrubs

What does this accomplish?

  1. A greener community provides a new presence for the community and adds value.
  2. Attracts new homeowners to the area, along with those that will be attending the yearly HOA BBQ.

Small project 2

  • Common area cleanup and renovation: repairing damages in the common area clubhouse, replacing/repairing windows, cleaning or renovating the community pool, and painting walls.

What does this accomplish?

  1. Increases value and presence of the community
  2. Attracts new homeowners
  3. Increases profit for the current homeowners that may want to rent out common areas  

Small project 3

  • Exterior maintenance: replacing damaged community trash cans, repairing and replacing broken BBQ pits, painting and repairing exterior seating, driveway, and parking maintenance.

What does this accomplish?

  1. Increases value and presence of the community
  2. Creates a clean and safe environment for current and new homeowners attending the HOA BBQ
  3. Attracts new homeowners

5 tips for creating your community projects

  1. Create a community poll or online vote – provides community members with the opportunity to engage and have a say.
  2. Review your communities overall goals – are there smaller projects that can help accomplish these goals?
  3. Impact – what projects will have the highest impact on the community?
  4. Positive change – what types of projects will bring positive change and development for current and future homeowners?
  5. Capital improvements – what projects can help the community add value or appreciably prolong the lifespan?

5 projects your community should prioritize

1. Landscaping

Landscaping can significantly impact the community, especially when it comes to attracting new homeowners. Depending on the type of HOA, communities will often utilize their landscape committee to help organize projects such as this.

  • Landscape committee responsibilities may include: preparing a landscape budget, providing recommendations to the board, submitting a request for proposals (RFPs) to landscape companies, and overseeing the overall landscape efforts.
  • Time and cost – Landscaping can significantly impact the HOA budget. HOAs can spend anywhere from $45,000 to $70,000 a year on landscaping alone! Not to mention the fluctuation in price. The value of the community often controls the price of landscaping — if the value of the community increases, so will the cost of landscaping.

Common landscape responsibilities:

  1. Planting – Consider plants that do not require a lot of demand. This will help cut down on maintenance costs and provide a longer lifespan.  
  2. Tree maintenance  – Tree maintenance is a large part of managing a landscape project. A vast portion of this project will come from the care and upkeep of trees and debris. Location and weather will also play a prominent role in maintaining trees and their lifespan.
  3. Spraying for weeds – The upkeep of weeds can be a year-round project if not properly maintained. Consider common monthly weed and debris checks — this will help keep the presence of the community for current and potential homeowners.

2. Maintaining Common Areas and Elements of the Community

Projects related to common areas are an essential part of maintaining engagement within a community. A common area is a place for community members to gather and engage with other community members and should be an area to prioritize when it comes to projects.

  • Responsibilities may include – upkeeping amenities such as the community pool, clubhouse maintenance, lighting, elevator checks and repairs, gym maintenance, community playgrounds, and maintaining common area surroundings such as entrance signs, parking lots, gates, and common grass areas.  
  • Outsource contract service workers – Due to the vast responsibilities with this particular project, many HOAs will cater to hiring a third-party service to help facilitate multiple tasks.
  • Value – The common area brings substantial value to the community, especially when families are involved. A large part of maintaining this project is to be proactive. For example, scheduling routine inspections will help minimize future HVAC and construction issues. The more efforts put into being proactive there are, the less financial hardship an HOA will experience.
  • Renovation – If the HOA decides to renovate the common area, strategic planning must be exercised and a well-thought-out budget.

3. Ensure Compliance with Governing Documents

This particular project is an essential part of maintaining compliance and good standing within the community. This includes governing documents such as the CC&R. Parties indispensable in this project may consist of the HOA board and legal counsel committees.

  • Key questions to consider when you prioritize tasks:
  • Is your HOA update-to-date on all compliance?
  • Are there any changes or updates to the community guidelines or governing documents that your community should be informed about?
  • Responsibilities related to this project may include:
  • Checking for community guideline changes.
  • Providing updated copies of the community guidelines and CC&R to all HOA members.
  • Hosting a community meeting for members to have the opportunity to raise questions and concerns related to community guidelines or governing documents.

4. Financials

This project is essential to maintaining the HOA’s financial health. It never hurts to be two steps ahead when it comes to finances. The more proactive you are, the stronger the outcome. Parties involved with this project may include the HOA financial committee, legal counsel, and board members.

  • Key questions to consider when you prioritize tasks:
  • Is your financial budget up-to-date?
  • What resources do you need to accomplish this project?
  • Are there any pending or open financial issues that need to be resolved?
  • Are there any future financial risks that may impact the HOA financially in the near future? Have these been addressed?
  • Responsibilities related to this project may include:
  • Reconciling delinquent payments.
  • Updating financial records.
  • Collecting receipts and open invoices.
  • Filing closed invoices.
  • Community newsletter regarding financial updates.

5. Evaluate your community’s virtual and social presence

Taking the time to prioritize your community’s presence will result in significant improvements but future investments. A perk to executing this project comes with the engagement between the HOA board and the community — boards are able to request feedback from the community as a way to engage with the communities desires.

  • Community website – Does your community have a community website?
  • With the growing increase of HOA software, many communities are now engaging in HOA software as a way to increase communication and engagement. A website also contributes to attracting new homeowners, along with building a stronger outreach and social presence.
  • Conduct a community survey – Creating a community survey or poll is another option for this project that can bring great benefits.
  • Survey questions to consider:
  • How do you feel about the overall social media presence of our community?
  • Could our virtual presence be improved?
  • How do you feel about adding more homeowners to the community?
  • How often do you use software and applications on your phone or computer?
  • Do you utilize social media to engage with family and friends?