Where should your HOA management focus on in 2020? At the beginning of the year, HOA board members need to have a clear direction of their approach for the upcoming year. The reason for this is that residents need to feel that their dues are being used efficiently and ethically. Without having a clear approach to the upcoming year’s goals, board members will have a great deal of difficulty convincing their members that all of their operations are above board. For HOAs that are planning their focus for 2020, it is highly recommended to review the important trends that will likely be significant for HOAs:
1. Changes in Legislation Occurring in 2020 Will Affect HOA Management
Depending on the state where your Homeowners Association is located, it is important to be up to date on any legal changes that could have an impact on your HOA. It is wise to not only look at any changes within your state, but also any local regulation changes that could impact your Homeowners Association. Also, it is recommended to look at changes on the federal level should any new changes come into effect that impact the entire country. If your board members are not comfortable completing this resource, it is best to find an attorney to consult on these issues to be sure that your association complies with any upcoming changes.
2. Focus on Increasing Homeowner Participation
A common debate related to HOAs is, whether they are still necessary? Residents do not want to pay additional money if they do not have to. This is why it is up to the association and its board members to create a structure where residents feel valued and that their association is making a positive contribution to their community. HOAs are recommended to tackle this issue in many ways in 2020. One popular suggestion is to assign committees where residents can get involved in important neighborhood issues including the Architectural Control Committee, Social & Event Committee, Neighborhood Welcome Committee, among others. Residents will appreciate these efforts and take their involvement seriously, which will further benefit the committee.
3. Promote Transparency on Funds Are Utilized
There have been many scandals in recent years of HOAs not utilizing their funding or member dues properly. Ideally, you want to be sure that your residents have no doubts about how their fees are being utilized. One way to manage this ongoing suspicion is to publish regularly about projects that the association is funding so that the residents do see a tangible benefit of having an HOA. It needs to remember that their presence is not necessarily permanent. There have been instances where Homeowners Associations have been legally removed, which is why it is essential to keep your community’s resident’s content to avoid legal issues.
4. Focus on Fire Safety
Throughout the United States, particularly in California, there have been dangerous fire hazards. HOAs in 2020 would be advised to review their fire safety policies to avoid residents losing properties in the event of a dangerous wildfire. Be sure to check local and state regulations about recommended fire safety and integrate those regulations into your community’s rules to protect the safety of your community.
5. Have the Objective of Maintaining Property Values for an Unpredictable Market
There has been a great deal of speculation about an upcoming recession. While homeowners are still shaken from the housing crisis in 2008, Homeowners Associations need to consider ways to keep the property values in their communities as high as possible. One way to do this is to ensure residents are making regular repairs and that the association is regularly maintaining all common areas to ensure the best possible property valuation. These efforts will protect the community in the event of the market entering into another recession.
6. Evaluate Your Process for Complaints
Recently, many states have enacted the required procedures for residents to file complaints. If the community where your state is located in one of the states that are requiring a formal HOA complaint process, be sure to design one that is practical and in compliance with state regulations. Doing so will help your HOA to avoid future costly legal issues.
7. Verify Legislation About Which HOA Board Decisions Can Be Made Behind Closed Doors
One of the most important investments an HOA can make is in the trust that its community members have about their managerial practices. Some states have also begun to define which conversations can be decided privately amongst HOA board members. The objective here is to eliminate corruption in HOAs and promote transparency amongst their members. Make sure that each decision your HOA is making is following the required legislation of where your community is located.
8. Contemplate Investments in Technology
Due to the recent advances in technology, HOAs in 2020 should be considering which practices can be taken digitally to save time and money within the budget. Outsourcing the HOAs administrative activities to a company experienced in community association management in collaboration with HOAs. By having dues able to be paid digitally, for example, HOAs will have improved cash flow and less late fees from residents who struggle to get paper checks in the mail by the payment due date. HOAs that enable residents to log their maintenance issues electronically will also be able to offer a higher quality of life to their residents while simultaneously being able to fiscally anticipate future maintenance costs for the proper allocation of HOA funds.
How Cedar Management Group Can Help
Cedar Management Group has many years of experience with managing HOA Management through our Remote Management System for HOAs located all over the United States. Our team can manage both larger and smaller communities and customize our offerings to our client’s needs. Our clients see a great difference in the efficiency and finances of their HOA after opting to work with our organization since they can focus on other aspects of their business including customer service.