How to Make Your Community’s New Year’s Resolution Stick
As a homeowners’ association (HOA) board member, it’s your responsibility to prepare your community for a stronger, better future. It’s important to make resolutions and set goals for your association in the new year so you’re prepared to start strong. However, it can be difficult to follow through and accomplish every goal when there seem to be so many worthwhile initiatives on the table. Read on for tips to help you commit to your community’s goals and ensure success in the year ahead.
Create a plan of action.
You can best achieve community goals when there’s a strategic plan in place. Work with fellow board members to evaluate needs, identify where you can make the most difference, and determine if you have the resources to execute ideas.
Then, create a plan that includes steps to accomplish the goals and markers of progress. The plan should serve as a roadmap to guide the board and guarantee everyone’s on the same page. Additional details to consider when constructing a plan:
- Actions or decisions that need to happen
- Who is responsible for what
- The overall end goal
Review important goal-related documents.
It’s a good idea for the board to review essential items at the start of each year. By freshening up on laws, responsibilities, and roles, you can more confidently move forward on your resolutions. This will help you set your goals, develop actionable plans, and avoid letting important details slip through the cracks.
Some items to consider reviewing annually include:
- Your association’s governing documents
- New laws or ordinances that may affect your community
- Insurance plans and coverage
- Contracts with vendors
- Regular maintenance calendar
- HOA board meeting schedule
Schedule out the year.
Creating a schedule is vital to achieving your goals for the year. With established deadlines for hitting milestones, you’re more likely to stay on track and avoid stressful end-of-year scrambling.
An association calendar is an easy way to centralize your scheduling and offers a single source of information on all HOA operations. Here’s what you should include on your association calendar:
- Community events and activities
- HOA board and committee meetings
- Maintenance and renovation scheduling
- Renewal dates for contracts and policies
- Holidays and other days off
- Key deadlines
Organization is a valuable skill that all HOA leaders should demonstrate. When you’re organized, you not only save time, effort, and money, but you can also focus your energy on the tasks—or goals—at hand. There are several areas in which organization can help you accomplish more, including:
- Meetings: Identify an agenda and duration of a meeting and stick to it. That way, you’re not sidetracked from your to-dos.
- Communications: Develop a chain of communication within the organization to disseminate information and promote transparency.
- Document storage: Digitize your document storage for easier access, streamlined filing, and quicker decision-making.
- Financials: Keep financial data current so you understand if (and how) projects will be funded.
If you haven’t upgraded to using technology to communicate with residents, store documents, and manage day-to-day processes, now is the time to do it. Beyond being an effective way to simplify procedures already in place, going digital provides many other benefits, like:
- Reducing clutter
- Promoting accuracy in reporting
- Saving on the cost of paper and ink
- Helping the environment
Consult with the experts.
While you have your community’s best interest in mind and want to do your part as a board member, working with professionals can help the association be more effective in meeting its goals. Here are some professional partnerships to consider:
- Certified Public Accountant. Consult a CPA before your annual audit to confirm all the critical details are accounted for in your financial records.
- Association Lawyer. For anything that involves legal documents or decisions, you may want to lean on an attorney who has experience working with community associations.
- Community Management Company. Seek guidance from a community management company when it comes to rule enforcement, property maintenance, communication with residents, handling finances, and more.
Setting a New Year’s Resolution for Your HOA
Setting annual HOA goals is a great way to hold your board accountable. Association members trust that you’ll take steps to make the neighborhood a safe and enjoyable place to live. Part of that responsibility involves setting goals, forming plans, and following through on promises.
If you need help creating a new year’s resolution you can stick to while making positive changes in your community, check out our article, “Board Tips for Setting HOA Goals.”