RealManage Insight

Five New Year’s Resolutions for Your Community Association

by Annette Byrd, CMCA®, PCAM® on Jan 4, 2022 10:38:00 AM

Communities around the world experienced enormous challenges in 2020, but as the new year begins, there is optimism for a brighter, more predictable future. Communities may now work towards a successful future after learning from the lessons of 2020. In doing so, it's critical to commit to doing the things that will position your community organization for success in the coming year and beyond. Here are five New Year's resolutions that will assist your community in thriving in 2021.

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Develop a New Management Plan

To design a management plan, the board must collaborate with its community association manager (CAM). This plan should cover the management team's responsibilities as well as goals for the coming year. When a management plan directs the CAM, all community stakeholders benefit from increased consistency and success. A typical management strategy contains the following components:

  • Property Maintenance
  • HOA Rules Enforcement
  • Communications
  • Finances
  • Association Services
  • Asset Protection
  • Policy Development

Make adjustments as needed from last year's plans. Publish all information on the association's website for homeowners to access. 

Audit Last Year's Expenses and Financial Records

Most community and homeowner associations review and audit the budget from the previous year. (An association may have a fiscal year different from the standard annual calendar.) Review all previous costs and plan a new budget to save money this new year. Homeowners are always interested in saving money. They generally do not want to see an increase in the homeowner association dues.

Use the association's website to explain homeowners' budget and related costs.

Review Vendor Contracts

The majority of communities consider this part of their property maintenance. Look closely at the contracts with gardeners and common grounds maintenance personnel. Are companies doing a good job, or is there room for improvement?

Each homeowner or community association is different. For example, an association for a planned development that includes homes, parks, and walkways may have different needs than a condominium association with fewer grounds and recreation facilities.

Review your contracts and determine if there is room to renegotiate to save money. Determine how many vendors your community requires for maintenance and other services.

Set An Annual Calendar

A fresh event calendar should be given to association members. Dates of committee meetings, board meetings, and community events should get listed on the calendar. Communicating with homeowners is most effective in this way. In addition, ensure that they get invited to all open meetings of committees and the board of directors. Discussing the annual budget and other financial issues is part of this process.

Homeowners may have questions regarding rules and restrictions, landscaping, and other issues. They should know when the appropriate committee meets to discuss these matters.

Show the dates for various events such as the community-wide garage sale, board elections, or holiday parties. Easter egg hunts for children, craft fairs, and seasonal events can all be included.

Establish or Review the Community Emergency Plan

Each association should have a community emergency plan - a strategy will be developed based on the community's location and potential emergencies. This includes damage from fires, floods, and high winds. 

It may also have power outages due to extreme weather and other factors.

If your neighborhood is in the path of a tornado, hurricane, or potential flood, make an evacuation plan. According to the emergency plan, residents should get advised to evacuate quickly and where to seek refuge if necessary. Severe weather warnings will be issued for your region. Assure that inhabitants in the neighborhood are aware of what to do in the event of a weather alert.

Unforeseen crises may occur, such as fires in a communal house or condo. Inform individuals about the necessity of having modern fire extinguishers and provide opportunities for residents to have these things checked by fire department officials at a special event.

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