As a member of the board of directors, you’re responsible for creating a budget and maintaining the association's financial health. Appropriately budgeting is crucial, but it’s wise to look for realistic ways to reduce expenses. As we start a new year, here are five things you can do to help your community save a little money, keep assessments low, and make residents happy.
1. Go digital.
Using an association website or dedicated mobile app is a great way to go green and save some green. An efficient use of time, resources, and money, an online presence—whether it’s a website or app—is more convenient for staff, board members, and residents. Users can more easily access important documents and receive updates, and you can reduce expenses on postage and printing costs. When you go paperless and implement a digital solution, your community, budget, and environment reap the benefits.
2. Evaluate service contracts.
Conducting annual reviews with your community’s vendors is always a good idea and may eliminate unnecessary costs. Check to see if any of your vendors is running promotions or referral specials, review all contracts, and confirm your association is getting the services it needs and paying the correct price. If you find any discrepancies or are unhappy with the services rendered, it doesn’t hurt to consider bids and see what other vendors have to offer. However, be careful not to skimp—if a vendor quotes you a price that sounds too good to be true, it might be. Take into account their work history, customer service, and references.
3. Perform routine maintenance.
Board members must be proactive, instead of reactive, when it comes to maintenance. Address issues early and ensure you’re providing regular and proper care to extend the life of items, mitigate the costs of repairs, improve safety, and ultimately save time for your board and money for your community. Overlooking small-scale preventive maintenance and waiting for items to fail can eventually lead to large-scale repairs and more expensive services.
4. Hire a management company.
While it comes at a price, hiring a professional management company can be cheaper than other management types. Associations do have the option to self-manage, and at first glance, it may appear to be the more budget-friendly option; however, it’s a big undertaking and can cost the association in other ways. Without a professionally trained and experienced manager, your community could face unforeseen expenses for bookkeeping, legal guidance, administrative assistance, and other errors.
5. Review insurance policies.
One of an HOA’s most essential expenses, association insurance is also one of the biggest expenses. Because of this, sitting down with your insurance agent and doing an annual review of your policy is crucial. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to association insurance, and prices, situations, and needs fluctuate, so you may be able to make adjustments and reduce your spending.
More Ways to Save Money
Want even more money-saving tips? Check out our article, “6 Easy Ways Your Community Can Save Money,” for a list of real, practical ways to save a little—and perhaps a lot of—money in your association.