HoA Managers: planning for the new year
The New Year is an excellent time to regroup and start planning for the busy season in your associations. Instead of taking that downtime as soon as the roll slows, mangers should look at this slow period as an opportunity. Looking at future projects and deferred maintenance now will save you time and energy for when you really don’t have it to give.
We often find ourselves in the cycle of being incredibly busy and then crashing as soon as January hits. By the time you have regrouped, Spring is almost here, and you still don’t have any of your projects approved let alone scheduled. It’s the perfect time to make the decision to stop that cycle and find a way to balance the larger projects that tend to be very time consuming. The goal is to ease some of the strain during the summer months while still accomplishing all the needs and wants in the associations. Set yourself and your communities up for success.
Ideally, associations will have a reserve study in place from a reputable source and have been setting aside the recommended funds. A good reserve study is critical as it gives you not only funding recommendations, but also a foundation for what work needs to be focused on each year. If an association has a reserve study that is lacking or non-existent, contact us for a referral to our reserve study experts.
Below is a basic step by step guide for making the most of your time and getting projects moving forward.
- Compile a list of reserve and capital projects.
- Reach out to boards and make sure the list includes any board objectives for the year.
- Hire professionals to perform inspections and provide bids. Larger projects will need a detailed scope of work and make certain that you have comparable bids for each project to present.
- Examine the funding for each association. Some associations may require phasing repairs or a special assessment. Having a strong understanding of each association’s financial position will help you aid the boards in making informed decisions.
- Put together a full packet for your boards for each project. This can’t be emphasized enough as to how important this piece is. Your packet should include a cover issue summary detailing the project, the necessity, how it will be funded, a breakdown from each vendor, and any additional costs including project management fees. You will want to attach the comparable quotes with the summary for the board to review. Try to anticipate any questions your board might have and provide that information in your summary.
- Schedule board meetings. Since the board already has all the information they need, meetings will run much smoother and boards will be able to just make decisions.
- Contact your vendors. This should include any vendors who provided you with a bid but were not awarded the contract. A personal phone call goes a long way to maintaining those vendor relationships.
- Put a contract in place. If you do not have a contract template already, it is a good idea to invest some legal funds now so that you have an attorney approved contract to work with. This will protect your association and add value to the services you already provide.
- Schedule the projects.
When you break down the steps, it becomes very clear how much is involved in scheduling projects. Starting early in the year will go a long way in helping to balance your workload and greatly improve chances of getting projects approved and moving forward. Instead of scrambling at the last minute to try to make something happen, boards will be armed with information. With a little extra thinking ahead of time, you will increase your value exponentially. Happy planning!