12 Oct 2024 Strategic Planning and Budgeting for Associations
Effective strategic planning and budgeting are crucial for the success of homeowner associations, especially those focused on long-term success. This blog will explore the key categories and topics homeowner associations should discuss during their planning meetings to ensure they head into 2024 with confidence.
Association governance is the foundation upon which your entire community rests. It involves adhering to your bylaws, covenants, and regulations while ensuring that decisions align with the community’s best interests. It’s important to review key items annually.
- Document Expertise: When was the last time you navigated your association documents? Identifying areas of concern that may require attention during strategic planning is essential.
- Compliance Tracking and Enforcement: What does your process look like? A standardized compliance tracking and enforcement process simplifies the task for association boards, keeping everyone informed and ensuring that the community’s standards are upheld.
Facilities & Risk Management
Maintaining and managing community facilities while mitigating risks is a top priority during budgeting and planning season. Prioritize your risk management by conducting policy reviews, property inspections, and looking at any 2023 claims. Access to the right licensed insurance adjuster ensures your association is well-prepared to handle unexpected events.
Sound financial management is typically the first item on the list of association management meetings. That is because it’s essential for the stability and growth of homeowner associations. We recommend reviewing both your personnel and your planning during your 2024 planning meeting.
- Property Accountants and other financial personnel: Do you have the right person to provide expertise and advice regarding fiscal responsibility? Were there any issues in 2023?
- Budgeting and Financial Planning: Managing budgets means closely examining everything being spent and everything coming in in 2023 and ensuring that any and all discrepancies are discussed. This allows Board Members an opportunity to weigh in on decisions. This type of conversation ensures that financial health is maintained while addressing its goals and objectives. This is often an item on your 2024 planning agenda that requires a separate meeting. During your planning meeting you may consider creating the agenda for your budgeting meeting and creating a placeholder for all board member concerns to be listed.
Efficient administrative services are the backbone of any successful association. They typically cover a wide range of tasks that should be reviewed annually. We recommend breaking your discussions into categories like those listed below.
- Processes: Standardized processes and procedures keep operations organized and efficient. These can include mailings, meeting preparation, or document requests like resale and status letters. How do you rate your current systems?
- Administrative Needs/Changes: Organizational needs are essential, and if there are issues, decisions may need to be made. Making these changes now allows association boards to focus on strategic decision-making rather than administrative tasks in 2024.
Technology is pivotal in property management. An annual review of your current systems means you will stay on top of potential needs. Typical technology discussions include:
- Resident Portal: How do your homeowners view records, account history, and more, promoting transparency and accessibility?
- Accounts Payables System: Does your accounts payable solution offer clarity and transparency on processed invoices, ensuring that financial transactions are well-documented and easily accessible?
- Vendor Management: Do all your vendors have adequate insurance and licensure before working on the property? This minimizes risks associated with subcontractors and third-party service providers. Are you happy with how this is being handled?
Managing personnel can be a daunting task and not one board members have signed up for. While a quarterly review for all property personnel is key, a deeper dive annually can help minimize issues in the new year.
- Payroll: Were there issues in 2023? What were they, and how were they resolved?
- Recruitment and Compliance: Who is handling the recruitment, compliance, and performance reviews of staff? Are there discussions that need to take place?
- Benefits Packages: Finding key employees that are motivated and dedicated to serving your community often depends on how they are compensated. Are you keeping up with the competition, and if not, what steps can you take to improve this in 2024?
Strategic planning and budgeting are essential for the success of homeowner associations. By discussing key categories such as governance, facility and risk management, financial services, administrative support, technology, and human resources, associations thrive and provide residents with high-quality living experiences.
If you need help in your planning meeting and implementing a strategic plan as outlined above, get in touch with a high-end property management company like WRMC. Whether navigating complex documents or implementing advanced technology solutions, our team of experts is here to support associations every step of the way, ensuring a prosperous and well-managed community.