Planning For The Future In Your Community
Creating a long-term Community plan can be a contentious point for many HOA Boards because it brings with it many new ideas about what’s possible. Some of those ideas will add value, while some will not fit into the vision for the Community that Members feel is right.
So how can an effective plan be crafted without falling into a counterproductive series of negotiations, meetings and drafts?
We’ve put together our best tips on how you can create an effective, far-reaching plan for your Community, without getting bogged down in the minutia.
Step 1: Audit Your Current Plan’s Effectiveness
It can be helpful to take stock of how well your current plan is performing. Doing this every couple of years is ideal, since Boards change, community standards increase and they nature of Communities is always to improve and innovate.
Here are a few questions during your audit stage:
Where is it working?
Which areas of your current plan or systems are really working well? It’s a question that is often forgotten about, but it’s vital to celebrate the areas of your Community plan that are working well right now within your HOA. The elements of your plan that working now are things that attract and retain Residents currently, so it may be helpful to accentuate those in the future as well!
Where is it failing?
Failure within a plan is often the most talked about since it generally comes with high emotions and a lot of pain points. Of course, it can be very eye-opening to dig into the areas of your plan that are currently not succeeding as well as intended. Take time to address the shortcomings within the current plan, and plot a course to fix them.
Is it creating long term value?
Your plan should be designed to hedge against potential problems, but it can be very beneficial if it also considers the importance of creating value within your Community over the long term. Think of what you want your Community to look, feel and be perceived like over the next 5 years, and brainstorm some ways you can accomplish this consistently.
Step 2: Where You Want To Go -- How You Want To Get There
At the heart of every great plan for the future is a vision of where you want to take your Community and some actionable steps for how you can get there. Start with some high level concepts using tools such as a vision statement, a Community slogan, and basic branding principles to define what you want your Community to look like, feel like, and be recognized for. After these things have been agreed on, chart a course with 3-5 action steps that can be measured over the duration of your plan.
Step 3: Get Buy In & Make It Official
Lastly, it can be helpful to make your plan official and public to everyone involved with your HOA. Plan on how you will actively engage your Residents in achieving your goals and communicate often when goals are met as the months go by. When everyone feels that they are taking an active role in making your Community a better place, while taking part in a long-term plan, you can truly create a place in which everyone loves to live.
We hope these tips help! Creating a plan for your future should be a living, breathing process that your Residents and Board Members alike can be proud of. If you don’t currently have a plan, don’t hesitate to create on today! And if you’ve had a plan in place for years, don’t be afraid to check in with it to make sure each element of it is moving your Community into a better future.