These days most – if not all – of the new housing developments in Southern California are governed by a homeowners association. Establishing an HOA is one of the ways that developers aim to maintain the success of the community and preserve property values in the future. But how can an HOA meet the needs of a fledgling community that is growing by the day? What role does the management company play in setting up the new HOA for success?
Here is an inside look at the structure and role of HOAs in brand new developments.
Community needs will change
The aim of every developer is to establish successful long-term communities that stand the test of time. This is why there is likely to be an HOA management company in place from the outset, even though the number of homeowners within the community might be limited. The management company coordinates HOA activities with the developer’s team, so buyers know about the proactive role of the HOA and what to expect from living in an HOA-managed community.
Developers strive to plan for the needs of the community in a future state that they can’t yet see. When establishing the framework for the HOA and developing the initial set of governing documents, developers try to outline a solid framework that will support effective community management while still leaving room for adjustments by future HOA board members to better serve the needs of community residents.
The transition between developer and HOA board
Every HOA must have a sitting board of directors at its inception. A brand-new community usually has a limited number of residents (if any), so the HOA board of directors is often comprised of the developer’s team members. However, as homeowner occupancy rises, the goal is to transition their board toward the inclusion of interested and qualified individuals who live in the community.
A smooth handoff is critical as HOA duties shift from the declarant (developer) to a new HOA board of homeowners. This is why it’s crucial to have a strong HOA management company in place. The HOA management company provides valuable education and information, overseeing the onboarding process and educating new board members about their fiduciary duty and other important responsibilities.
Communicating the value of the HOA with the membership
As new homeowners arrive in the community, they must attain a thorough understanding of the value the HOA brings to the community as soon as possible. Starting off on the right foot sets the tone for the future dynamic between the member, board and HOA management company. As part of the close of escrow process, Keystone Pacific team members will welcome a new member to the community, issuing materials that give the new member a better sense of how their HOA works, how their dues are applied, and whom to contact with questions. During this time, homeowners see their manager’s friendly face and learn that their management company’s role is to advocate on behalf of the association and board to safeguard the best interest of their community.
HOA management is a dynamic process that involves shifting focus from meeting the needs of the developers at the launch of the association to meeting the needs of the membership for the long term. If you have questions about the role your HOA plays in your newly developed community, contact Keystone Pacific today. We’ll be glad to chat.