4 New Years Resolutions to Improve Your HOA


Even if we promise we won’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year, we know we will. Maybe just quietly, to ourselves. If we achieve our goals, good for us! If not, nobody else knows, right?

That’s just fine for our personal goals, but now is the time to make real, concrete resolutions to improve your homeowner’s association. These are resolutions to be shared with the whole HOA board because they will require a group effort.

Are you thinking that group efforts are not your HOA’s strength? Or setting goals? Or accomplishing tasks? Then this might be the time for you to find some new tools to help manage your association.

Setting goals works best when there is a well-defined outcome. Whether you’re a board member or a homeowner, we’re going to give you a guide to making New Year’s resolutions that will make your HOA better for your community.

Let’s start with one that should be easy, but often is not.

Review Your HOA’s Governing Documents

Ah, yes, the bylaws, CC&Rs, and state laws your HOA lives by. These crucial documents often go unread by both homeowners and board members. Any board members who have not read them need to start ASAP. They can’t run the association if they don’t know the rules.

You certainly can’t force every homeowner in your community to read the governing documents, but you can make them available.

One of the major reasons that governing documents gather dust is because they are literally stuffed in a cabinet somewhere. Those leather-bound tomes may look nice, but they’re almost completely inaccessible to most HOA members, even board members.

Think about it, how often does anyone visit the HOA office with a few hours to spare to read these documents?

What you need, and this is resolution number one, is to make those governing documents available online. If a homeowner has a question, they can find the answer on their phone. How many misunderstandings could this prevent?

Don’t make the mistake of tossing them up in a shared Google document. Most people will lose track of them faster than you can send the link. Instead, invest in a centralized platform that gives everyone access to governing documents and other important information.

Once your board has read the documents, schedule a meeting to discuss updates and changes. Make them according to those rules you just read.

Improve Transparency and Communication

This is a hard resolution. It sounds great, but what does it mean? As we said, well-defined goals are more likely to succeed.

Use HOA financial planning software, like Homey.io, to convert your association’s financial packets into visual financial tables and graphs that clearly display your HOA’s monthly income and expenses as well as long-term spending. The entire community should have access to this site where they can view the financial health of the HOA and the governing documents all in one place.

Board members and homeowners can see, in real time, how their money is being spent.

Transparency of financial information helps homeowners feel as though they are part of a group, not outsiders abiding by someone else’s rules. It reduces friction between the board and members and fosters a more friendly environment for communicating and sharing ideas.

Use the monthly financial charts presenting in the software as a springboard to increase overall communication between the board and homeowners.

Make a specific, actionable, measurable goal about communication. A good start is to send out a newsletter every month. Set a reminder using your Homey tools so that it goes to everyone on time, every month.

Use newsletters to update homeowners about projects, events, meetings, and any issues in the community. Every newsletter should include contact information for board members, property managers, or anyone else in charge of the daily operation of the HOA.

Board Member Communication

It’s also very easy for communication to break down between board members. Having collaborative workspaces within Homey helps your board stay in touch.

Board members can monitor expenses, manage tasks, and keep projects rolling using their shared platform. You don’t need to have a meeting to communicate. You can all keep track of the business of your HOA, and discuss it, right on your computer.

Set Specific, Concrete, Achievable Goals

This is sort of a resolution within a resolution. Your HOA board needs to focus on not only the goal but how it will be achieved. Too often vague items like “improve homeowner satisfaction” are tossed into beginning-of-the-year goals.

You’re just setting yourself up for failure. Instead of some nebulous concept, figure out how, specifically, you plan to make homeowners happier. Maybe for your association, that means finding a less noisy option for lawn maintenance. Maybe it means more timely snow removal.

Now instead of a notion, you have a plan. The goal is to increase homeowner satisfaction by doing something specific. Once identified, you can map out how to accomplish your objective.

Use financial planning tools, like Homey.io, to figure out how much this project will cost, how long it will take, and how you will determine success. Your board can collaborate using Homey’s project management feature, which is a feature only accessible for HOA board members.

Once the goal is set, you can put it in your newsletter. Give homeowners updates and get their feedback. That’s transparency and communication—you’ve just accomplished three resolutions in one.

Make Smarter Financial Decisions

This is another one of those nebulous resolutions. You need to sharpen it up. Use Homey.io to track revenue and expenses and visualize your reserve study. You’ll have the tools you need to coordinate with fellow board members, look at the history of your HOA and see areas in need of improvement.

Your board needs access to foundational HOA information to make informed decisions and fulfill its fiduciary duties. If you don’t have all of that in one place, planning and implementing projects becomes a full-time, frustrating, volunteer job.

One of the larger jobs of the HOA board is managing component replacements and maintenance projects. Have information about current projects and projected replacement dates at your fingertips with Homey.

The single best way to make smarter financial decisions for your homeowner’s association is to have all the relevant information. By using a single platform to collect and analyze your financial data, it’s far easier to spot inefficient areas. Once identified, the board can set specific goals to remedy the issues.

The Bottom Line

Your HOA should resolve to do better, and work smarter, in the New Year. Use a centralized platform for financial planning and visualization. Collaborate online with fellow board members to set and monitor goals. Review and update those dusty governing documents.

Improve your transparency and communication with homeowners. When board members are fully informed and engaged it’s far easier to keep the whole community in the loop.

The resolutions you make now create the roadmap for a better HOA in 2023. Using the right tools helps you stick to those resolutions and make real, concrete improvements in your community.

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