The Christmas season is upon us now, and it’s such a busy and eventful time of year that, for many of us, it’s all we can think about. Don’t let your HOA board fall prey to this, though; if you become totally engrossed in Christmas, you might forget that the dawn of the new year comes right after it, and with it a chance for your community association to embark on a new period of prosperity!

But how can your HOA plan for the future, even at this early date, for a great 2012? Here are three basic steps to take to get everyone on the same page and ready for a successful new year:

  • Do a review. Look back over your 2011 budget, and especially look at the state of your assessments. Looking at your assessments will give you some idea of how your budget for the new year might look, but don’t let this fool you; remember that many families will be traveling over the holidays, and almost everyone will be buying gifts, which might mean you take in less money this month than you do in other months. It’s generally a good idea to plan for the worst, just to be on the safe side.
  • Do a 2012 forecast. Lay out all of the contractors you are likely to employ in the coming year, and review the projects you might have for them to complete. Many of them likely have contracts expiring at year’s end, so now is a good time to evaluate whether the quality of their work is up to snuff—or whether you might be able to find better rates from a competitor.
  • Communicate! The importance of this cannot be overstated. Create a report, expressing all the good work your past HOA plan has done, and distribute it to all of your community members. This little reminder of your labors will help them appreciate their HOA more—and also make it easier for them to pay those assessments!

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