Running a successful homeowners association (HOA) is no easy feat. There are a lot of moving parts and important decisions to be made. Although the board is leading the charge, they are not doing everything on their own. Whether your association is large or small, there are a few key components that are integral to its success.
1. The Right People in the Right Positions
The HOA board, committees, property manager, vendors, and members must all work together in the best interest of the community. Strive to elect board members who are passionate, knowledgeable, and effective leaders. Choose a property management company that understands the needs and goals of the organization and is able to provide solid guidance and insight. Negotiate clear terms and expectations with vendors so that they can support the needs of the community to the best of their ability. If something isn’t working right, change it.
2. Strong Communication
Oftentimes breakdowns occur because of misunderstandings or lack of communication. Send regular emails and newsletters to homeowners to keep them in the loop. Ensure that the community website is up-to-date and contains essential documents and announcements. Encourage members to attend HOA meetings so they can learn more about how decisions are being made for the community, share their ideas, and ask questions.
3. Business Acumen
An HOA is much like a business. The board must develop and follow a budget, make operational decisions, resolve problems, and build relationships. Leadership should be well-versed in the policies, procedures, and regulations that govern the association and use good business judgment when making decisions. Ideally, the board should be made up of professionals with a wide range of skills so that it can benefit from each person’s strengths and areas of expertise.
4. Training and Education
In order to continue providing sound leadership, the board should engage in regular professional development opportunities. Courses could include everything from financial management and reserve studies to conflict resolution and leadership skills. There is always room to grow and learn. Your property manager can often serve as a wonderful resource when it comes to training and continuing education in your area. They can also recommend courses that may be beneficial based on the HOA’s needs.
5. Member Engagement
Members are an essential part of the HOA. Getting people engaged can empower the board to make decisions that are better aligned with changes homeowners want to see. Invite members to share their feedback, join a committee, attend social events, and be more active in the community.
Recognize that the needs of the HOA are always changing and evolving. Just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that is the only way or even the best way. Be willing to adjust and do what is in the best interest of the association as a whole. Rules may need to be added, removed, or amended from time to time to fit the current environment. Keep an open mind and listen to what others have to say.
No two associations are the same. What works for one HOA may not work for another. Partnering with a property management company like Kuester can help your HOA find its groove and operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Contact us today to learn more about the wide range of services we can provide to support your community.