HOA strategy plans and HOA strategic planning, in general, are a must if your board has any long-term plans for your community. What is a strategic plan for an HOA community, and why should you invest time and resources coming up with one?
How To Create A HOA Strategy Plan: HOA Strategic Planning In Action
One important thing that happens when members come together for an HOA board strategic planning session is the way they recall the vision and mission of the community and transform them into actionable plans. The resulting HOA board strategy plan is now a tool that can address many of the bigger issues that the community is facing now, or in the future.
The HOA board strategic planning session presents an opportunity to the board to detach, for a moment, from the day to day details of running the association.
The act of HOA strategic planning gives everyone a chance to look at the bigger picture, and what HOA strategies they need to apply to make the community vision a reality. When coming up with your HOA strategy plan, consider the following questions:
- What is the identity of your community in terms of culture and aesthetics?
- What types of residents best fit your community?
- What types of improvements and events can you do to uplift your community’s brand?
- How can you address the current and future needs of your residents?
- How can you improve the community amenities and infrastructure?
- How can you improve the board to better drive service delivery?
The resulting HOA board strategy plan is a useful tool for sorting your HOA projects and priorities. It can also help guide the allocation of the year’s budget as well as what the next years’ budgets and reserves should include. Regularly reviewing and updating your HOA strategy plan as it progresses is also crucial to the long-term vitality of a managed community.
Here is a list of the basic steps you can follow in developing your HOA strategy plan:
1. Revisit Your Community’s Core Values, Mission Statement and Vision
The core values of your community, as embodied in its vision and mission statements, should be the forefront of your HOA strategy plan. The mission statement should clearly define the purpose of the association.
If possible, try to focus on what makes your community unique, and what your HOA strategy plan can do to support that. Think of an association that is well-organized and managed, where homeowners are actively involved, and where everyone has their needs met.
You and the board can refer to your governing documents and other resources to help you with this step of the HOA strategic planning process. As long as the meeting is on track, you can expect to get everyone on board this discussion — around 1 to 2 hours should let you cover the core values of your HOA and its mission and vision.
2. Develop a Planning Session Agenda
As much as possible, you want all board members involved in this next HOA board strategic planning session. You can expect this meeting to take up most of the day, so plan accordingly.
Ideally, you want the planning session to fit within 6 hours or so with little to no interruptions, so it’s best to do it no later than past noon.
The agenda for the planning session is based on your previous board discussion about the board’s vision for the community. It does not need to go into detailed ideas right away — those will be added later on when the board starts putting together the HOA strategy plan in the upcoming sharing session.
You, as the meeting planner, need to make sure that you have a good venue, enough time to get everyone involved, and the right external people attending the meeting.
3. Start a Facilitated Sharing Session
Having a good facilitator is always a good idea for holding a sharing session. In this sharing session, part of your agenda should involve the members sharing their project ideas and presenting a preliminary plan for them. They may set forth arguments on why the project should be a priority as well. A good facilitator can play the role of a neutral party and ensure that everyone is given ample time to speak up and present their ideas.
4. Brainstorm on Priorities and Resource Allocation
Now that you have a list of ideas and projects, it’s time to turn them into an HOA strategy plan. Sort the ideas to highlight urgent projects and high-priority developments. This lets you organize the projects into mid-term and long-term initiatives. Once you have an idea of the projects you need to complete now, and which ones you want to have in maybe five years, then you can begin to have a discussion on allocating resources.
5. Consult an Expert
As you get into the resource allocation part of your HOA strategy plan, you may come across details that require the knowledge of an expert. Making a maintenance plan for the swimming pool, for example, may need to be assessed by someone with the right background.
If you need to, hire the appropriate person to come up with the itemized details for your maintenance plans. Hiring someone to do your association reserve study also lets you have a solid tool you can use for long-term planning.
6. Develop a Brief Working Document
Your HOA strategy plan needs to adapt as you need it to, so it’s a good idea to keep it as a brief working document for your reference. This version needs to be approved by the HOA board once you have wrapped up your sharing session, so you can then use it to solicit suggestions from the community members in an open meeting.
7. Schedule Regular Plan Review Meetings
Implementing an HOA strategy plan is a long-term process, so you will need to sit down from time to time and check with everyone on the progress of its implementation. Schedule a re-evaluation of the HOA strategy plan twice a year or so, so the board can check on its progress and adjust the operating budget as needed.
HOA Strategy Plans Prepare Your Community For The Future
Is your board currently executing an HOA strategy plan? It’s not too late to start one now and prepare your community for a bright future. If you need expert help with certain areas in your community, we’re just here to lend a hand.
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