Doesn’t it always seem like time speeds up near the end of the year? Between wrapping up final projects and preparing for the holidays, a new year is upon us quicker than you can say auld lang syne.
Hopefully, in between the chaos, you’ll find an opportunity for a time of reflection as you prepare for the year ahead. It’s likely 2021 has already begun to shift to your rearview with eyes firmly on 2022. To help with prepping for what’s in store, here are a few tips to guide you through.
Convene as a Board
Schedule a get-together with your fellow board members and review all that’s happened in 2021. Take pride in the accomplishments from the year and celebrate the wins stemming all the way back to January. What are the major moments that have made a difference for the community? What are the hurdles you had to overcome to get there?
On the other hand, it’s also valuable to review what wasn’t accomplished and why. Maybe priorities shifted or there were numerous delays that got in the way, whatever the case may be, decide if you’ll take what’s been left unresolved into the new year or leave it where it is and start fresh.
Assess What’s New
To start strong in the new year, it’s important to dive into what’s new. Consider how things may have changed from the previous year and if there is anything on the horizon that may have an impact on the community in the future. Being proactive about goal setting, ongoing education, and understanding state laws and mandates will help you stay on track and motivated as the months go on.
Review Budgets and Prioritize Goals
First, review your budget and reserve study to determine which projects will need to be addressed in the upcoming year. Work with your community association management team to prioritize a list of goals with set timelines. What do you want to achieve in the first 90 days? First six months? Some goals may be immediate, while others may stretch out to the end of the year. Setting a deadline helps keep you on track and accountable for the tasks at hand.
Implement Ongoing Education and Reassess Roles
Second, assess any ongoing education that could benefit your board members. Host a board orientation for new members, as well as current ones, to reassess roles and responsibilities for 2022. It’s an opportunity to reset with a renewed focus and feel confidently prepared heading into January. Also, get together with your association management company and make sure everyone is aligned moving forward, determining who is responsible for what, as well as how you can best work together.
Review New Legislation and Consider Community Effects
Every year there’s new legislation passed in California and it’s important to understand how any changes in the law affect or don’t affect your community moving forward. Coordinate with your community manager regarding the new laws for 2022. Keystone offers association management-hosted seminars led by legal teams throughout Southern California. Ensure that you schedule time to participate in these as they will help you gain a true understanding of current legislation that affects HOA management.
Stay Informed on Trending Topics and Make Changes as Necessary
Staying informed on trending topics could greatly affect how your board of directors chooses to operate in the future. In 2022, expect an emphasis on the drought in Southern California with regard to water restrictions. What once were strong recommendations could quickly shift to statewide mandates which you must be prepared to handle as you manage your community’s common area landscape. In addition, discuss how to address budgeting to account for ongoing inflation.
Things such as lumber, shipping and deliveries, minimum wage increases for labor, as well as the eventual elimination of gas-powered lawn-care machinery could impact the cost of your ongoing maintenance and upcoming renovations. Consider what vendors are experiencing and forecast trends to ensure the budget aligns both with HOA goals and economical shifts throughout the year.
Update Your Community
Finally, a fresh start to a new year is a wonderful opportunity to share with your community all you’ve accomplished in 2021 and get them excited about what’s to come in 2022. Create a newsletter that lists out the goals you’ve planned for the coming year to share where you’re going and why.
This initial communication provides a sense of connection and transparency about projects and activities, their purpose, and how they will benefit the community. Plus, it also helps you out as a board to identify those willing and able to help. As the community reviews the projects you’ve laid out, it may motivate individuals who may want to volunteer their knowledge and expertise to help with the overall mission.
In addition to newsletter updates, maintain a regular calendar of events to keep the community engaged. Add various social opportunities and ways they can actively participate in making improvements to the property. It creates an opportunity to form committees to help with new events or activities popping up and gives everyone things to look forward to all year long.
Be SMART in 2022
Everyone is always excited for the dawn of the new year. To keep the momentum going strong down the road, set yourself up for success with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. Agree to hold each other accountable to achieve what you’ve set out to accomplish. And keep encouraged by a supportive association management company that’s ready to assist you, help keep you on track, and root you on along the way.
Curious how our community association management team can help you reach your goals in 2022 and beyond? Contact us today to get the conversation started.