Ushering in the New Year for your HOA‍

Ushering in the New Year for your HOA‍

February 3, 2023

Entering a new year can be exciting – it’s the time for new beginnings and, most importantly, change and growth. “Over the past 10 years, the percentage of newly built homes that are part of a homeowner’s association has increased from 49% in 2011 to 67% in 2021. As we usher into the new year, it’ll be important to prioritize and manage tasks that are essential to the HOAs growth in 2023. 

Stay on track 

As your HOA enters into a new year, it’ll be easy to lose track of time – projects and tasks that were pending from the holidays get put on the back burner. Next thing you know, you're a month into the new year with no plan or knowledge of where you left off. 

1. Unfinished tasks

One of the best ways to start off the new year is by tying up loose ends. There’s no better feeling than a clean slate, especially when tasks are long overdue. 

  • Address outstanding issues that need to be completed in the first few weeks of the new year. 
  • Complete vendor contracts that are still needing final approval.
  • Has your HOA finalized its yearly budget? Is there anything holding back the budget that could be addressed?

2. Closing End-of-Year Action Plan 

As you enter into the new year, you may come across some open loose ends from the previous year. A closing end-of-year action plan is a great way to help your HOA get the job done. HOA boards and property managers can use this as a way to increase transparency and create accountability on everyone’s part. 

For example, your financial team may have outstanding dues or a pending budget that needs to be finalized. By using an action plan, the financial team would ensure that all responsibilities regarding the pending budget would be completed by a specific date. Although this may put pressure on the persons responsible, this will ensure that the tasks are completed. It will also prevent the task from being put on the back burner. If additional time is needed, all responsible parties must communicate the amount of time needed and any impact they may have on other roles or teams. Once all tasks are completed, the HOA board, including their property manager, should set a meeting to discuss all completed pending projects. 

Here are five simple steps to create a closing end-of-year action plan. 

  1. Establish the task - Establish any open tasks that need to be completed. Prioritize based on most important to least. 
  2. Define an end goal - What’s the overall goal for completing the task?
  3. Measures - How will you track the progress of these tasks? 
  4. Time - What is the deadline for completing this task? 
  5. Assign the task - Assign the task to members as needed. This person or team will communicate its progress, results, and final completion date.

3. Accessibility 

Another important part of ushering into the near year is updating your team with new logins, contacts, documents, or shared links that include essential information about the HOA. This will also be a great way to update any contacts or documents that differ from the previous year. 

In addition, the board and property management company may also consider sending out a new year contact email blast asking all members, including board members, to update their contact information. 

4. Community involvement 

Volunteers play a prominent role in maintaining an HOA. Not only do they save the HOA money, but they also increase engagement and communication between board members and their property management company. As we enter into 2023, boards may want to consider evaluating their volunteers as a way to create more opportunities and membership. 

Publicize volunteer experiences - People are more likely to volunteer when they support the community and resources that align with their personal beliefs. Knowing this, a board could benefit by publicizing the experience of volunteers to the community - this would also include volunteers that have significantly impacted the HOA. 

Be proactive - One of the biggest ways to gain volunteers is by being proactive. Keep in mind that it may be difficult for some people to make the first leap in volunteering. However, this doesn’t mean that people do not want to volunteer. In fact, volunteering has many benefits, such as: meeting like-minded people, gaining experience, opening opportunities, self-awareness, and mental health. 

5. Goals 

There’s no better way to usher into the new year than by creating goals. In fact, goals help HOAs achieve accomplishments and overcome major battles. As you start to brainstorm, consider prioritizing goals by those that would make the most impact on the HOA first. 

  1. Landscaping cost - Landscaping can make a significant impact on your community. HOAs can spend anywhere from $45,000 to $70,000 a year on landscaping alone! The value of the community often controls the price of landscaping — if the value of the community increases, so will the cost of landscaping.
  2. Maintaining common areas - An HOAs common area brings substantial value to the community – they attract new homeowners. A large recreational center or playground can make a significant impact on a family with young children. 
  3. Governing documents - Governing documents are an essential part of maintaining compliance and good standing within the community – this includes documents such as the CC&R. Governing documents should be evaluated at the beginning of the year for accuracy and any updates that may have changed from the prior year. 
  4. HOA financial budget - The HOA financial budget is imperative to maintaining the HOA’s financial health. A large part of what makes a financial budget successful is by staying proactive
  5. Virtual and social presence - An HOAs virtual and social presence can increase engagement between the HOA board and the community. Engagement is what helps an HOA prosper and should be considered a top priority throughout the year.