Happy New Year! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, there’s still plenty of time for you and your business to set goals to improve operations and make yourselves better in 2018. No matter how your association has run in the past, there’s always room to improve, and what better time than the start of a brand new year? There are many goals your HOA can set to improve operations and resident relationships, and we’re going to recommend some of the best ones to you. Having a Homeowners Association insurance policy combined with some of these new changes can make 2018 your association’s best year yet.
Resolution #1: Improve Board Meetings
If board meetings are more productive and enjoyable, your association is likely to get more things accomplished in a shorter amount of time and have higher morale, which will improve relations between board members. Limit meetings to no longer than two hours – 90 minutes, if you can manage it. Make sure that all board members are prepared for the meeting by providing them with all information (including the docket) ahead of time, and consider implementing a short review period before the meeting to keep everyone on the same page. Finally, enforcing standards of etiquette at meetings for board members and community members will keep the mood positive and make collaboration easier.
Resolution #2: Increase Access to Information
Diane Kinman, owner of two condo units and author of Condo Divas, says, “To improve, track, and manage owners’ requests, our association has started to use an ‘owner user portal’ via our management’s company’s website. […] Owners can use the portal to view the directory of residents who’ve opted to share their information with other owners and new announcements from the board; view and download recent association documents; check their dues status and payment history; make a payment online; and submit and track their requests for repairs, issues, and suggestions. There have been three workshops on how to use the portal, and copies of the instructions are available at the condo office.”
Increasing transparency will help residents to feel more at ease with HOA operations, and will make everyone more informed.
Resolution #3: Create a Strategic Plan
Look to the long-term and create a strategic plan for the year, or the next couple of years, in your association. The plan does not need to be incredibly specific (especially if you’re planning years into the future), but having a framework for the work that you would like your association to do will help you to stay motivated, remember your goals, and plan ahead in terms of resources that you might need.
Resolution #4: Listen to Your Residents
Though running the association can be exhausting work, remember that the residents in your neighborhood are people too, and keeping them satisfied will do wonders in improving the neighborhood’s quality of life. In addition to increasing access to information (as mentioned above), make the association itself accessible to residents. Provide them with multiple channels of communication that they can use to reach the association, regularly send out newsletters or e-mails to keep them in the loop, and create an environment that encourages them to reach out to their HOA if they have questions or suggestions.
About Scott Litman Insurance Agency
At Scott Litman Insurance Agency, we are dedicated to protecting HOA’s like yours. We have a unique understanding of the industry and the common risk exposures that you face in your daily operations. In fact, we find that 90% of the policies we review are missing coverages that violate the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R), exposing the board, HOA and management to lawsuits– which is why our comprehensive policies are tailored to meet your specific needs at competitive prices. For more information about our products, contact our experts today at (818) 879-5980 ext. 201, or fill out our online form.