Another year has drawn to a close and it’s time to start anew. While the New Year doesn’t mean completely overhauling the HOA, it can be a great time to make changes and improvements for the future. Take the time to reflect back on what is working well and what could use some more adjustments.

Here are a few areas where the HOA can strive to make improvements for 2016:

  • Get more members involved. They are an integral part of the success of the HOA, so help them become more active. Host social gatherings where homeowners can get to know one another and the board. Promote committees where they can put their talents and interests to use. And make sure to show appreciation for all they do.
  • Boost communication efforts. Revamp the website or newsletter to make it easier for members to find information and to highlight the good things happening in the community. Update contact information so emails aren’t disappearing into the void and everyone knows the best ways to get in touch with one another.
  • Evaluate financials. If the reserve is looking a little slim, start planning ways to increase it. Be more proactive about maintenance and budgeting to reduce risk of major expenses popping up. The new year can be a good time to review vendor contracts and try to negotiate better pricing options as well. This can be a great way to save.
  • Review governing documents to see if updates are necessary. Stay abreast of changing laws and policies that may impact the HOA and keep homeowners informed about how it affects them. Clarifying vague rules, bringing outdated policies up to date, and addressing new concerns can improve how the HOA operates moving forward.
  • Take steps to educate the board. Look for courses or seminars that may be offered by your property management company. Brush up on accounting knowledge, conflict resolution, management skills, or other areas of need. If you realize there are gaps, talk to your property manager about how they can assist and support the board.
  • Become more engaged. Encourage homeowners to voice their ideas and concerns at HOA meetings. Take the time to listen to what they have to say and work toward an agreeable resolution. Create more opportunities for communication and getting to know one another so the board is not an abstract group distanced from homeowners.

Taking steps to start the new year off right can have a lasting and positive impact. Getting things organized now and starting the ball rolling can lead to a happier, more effective HOA community. If the HOA board is struggling to get things under control, consulting with a property management company such as Kuester can make things more manageable.

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