One of the reasons that many people choose to get involved with the HOA is because they’re passionate about the community they live in, want to protect it, and want to make changes to better it. Being part of the board is a great way to guide decision making and drive change. However, while some ideas are good in theory, they don’t always work so well when you try to execute them.
It is important for the board to be realistic about its plans and goals for the HOA so they are not setting themselves up for failure or establishing unrealistic expectations from members. Proposals should be thoroughly researched and evaluated before any decisions are made. Here are a few things to take into consideration when planning:
- Is it a priority? Make sure the HOA isn’t undertaking a project or pushing it to the top of the list just because it’s more fun or exciting than other tasks. Prioritize what needs to be done versus what would be nice if it were done.
- How long will it take? Saying that the pool will be refurbished in a week when in reality it will take closer to a month is not practical. It can put a strain on vendors, the board, and members when things drag out longer than anticipated – especially if it cuts into use. Plan accordingly so there will be minimal disruption and everyone knows what to expect.
- How much will it cost? Installing new street lights or adding a basketball court may be ideas that the community fully supports, but does the HOA have the current funds to support these projects? They may need to pushed out further until adequate funds or resources are secured. Plus, the HOA must find qualified vendors to do the work at a reasonable cost, and this can take time as well.
- Does it align with the community’s rules and regulations? Just because someone has a good idea, doesn’t mean it’s feasible. There may be stipulations within the governing documents that prevent certain changes from being made or limit the scope of a project. Do your research and make sure that all plans fully comply with HOA documents as well as local and state laws or ordinances.
- Do you have homeowner support? While protecting property value is a priority of the HOA, effectively managing funds is as well. Before voting to implement changes, make sure that there is adequate member support. The board may think something is a great idea for the community but come to realize that homeowners would rather see other projects or changes happen first. Getting feedback first is a good idea.
All plans made by the HOA should be well thought out and fully researched to cover everything from logistics and cost to timelines and future upkeep. It is important not to skip over steps so nothing is overlooked. Partnering with a property management company like Kuester can help HOAs with the planning, implementation, and management of community projects.