20 Dec Applying Lessons Learned in 2021 to Your End of Year Planning
2021 was a challenging year in many ways. Throughout the year, we’ve seen life begin its return to normal throughout Texas and Colorado. Although precautions are still needed, most regulations and mandates are on pause. As we look ahead to 2022, it’s beneficial to reflect on the good and the bad of 2021 and plan for the future.
Maintaining Options for Virtual Services and Engagement
We never realized how much we value our social fabric until the pandemic. The need to connect with others is literally in our DNA. We are fortunate to live during a time with unimaginable amounts of technology in our pockets, which HOA’s and property managers can use to facilitate resident connections. The software platforms we use in our personal and professional lives, like Zoom and Facebook, are vitally important for interacting. Providing a safe and all-inclusive environment for residents online is not something new but needs to continue. And it’s not just the pandemic that is driving this change. As more millennials are purchasing homes, the expectation for having contactless services and communication will remain strong. Investing in software that can help drive resident engagement will be a rewarding effort for the community. Now is also an excellent time to review rules and regulations, see if any updates are necessary given our new landscape, and consider adjustments that better accommodate the community moving forward. Finally, don’t forget to stay up to date on the tools available, like groups and lives, on the platforms your communities already communicate. It’s an easy way to connect somewhere your people already are.
Putting Together a Calendar
Let’s not sugarcoat the fact that the Social Committee will have its hands full, encouraging residents to take part, welcoming them back as events unfold, and building momentum throughout the year. Next year will be the first this decade (my gosh!), where a full calendar of events will occur. Strategically laying out community events, board meetings, elections now will give everyone plenty of notice and build excitement for what’s to come. Compiling a complete list of social gatherings is essential for next year’s planning so neighbors can connect. Resident feedback would be excellent to gather, too, so no stone is left unturned. Continuing to include a virtual option for those residents with that preference should be included in the planning. With help from board members and property managers consistently promoting a unified message to residents that specific safety measures remain in effect, the community can come together without worry.
Updating the Budget
As planning for 2022 unfolds, one thing we’ve mentioned in previous blogs is to remember to budget for the unexpected adequately. Take a close look at any new or increased costs over the last two years and define which of those will extend. Seeking ways to streamline and improve operations by utilizing software products helps make life easier for the HOA and the community. Assume that the technology budget will gradually increase each year, and assess what safety or cleaning guidelines will continue. It would be a good idea to allocate additional funds for social initiatives and give residents more reasons to attend functions within the community. The increase in spending may make them too good to miss!
Consider creating or updating goals for the HOA and the community. The HOA, for instance, could have a specific plan to decrease violations by a certain percentage or to increase attendance at board meetings and committee involvement. A community goal might be to boost attendance levels for specific social events. Think about ways to incentivize residents to bolster the desired engagement. It’s vital to ensure that particular figures or percentages are included with each goal to be measured as the year progresses.
Now is the time to reflect and reset so 2022 can be a truly memorable year for growing communities throughout Texas and Colorado. Applying what we’ve learned and continuing proven policies that enhance the community lifestyle will be central for HOA’s in the coming year. The process of maintaining pandemic protocols while offering residents social opportunities enjoyed before the pandemic is still a balancing act. But as time goes on and the causes, preventative measures, and treatments for Covid-19 become better understood, we continue to see upward growth in those seeking the social environments offered in managed communities.