How To Keep Snow From Hurting Your Community Budget
Any homeowners association manager will tell you that one of the most stressful events is when unexpected expenses come up. Being prepared and thinking ahead can be one of the smartest things HOA management does when ensuring a community is running smoothly.
How Can Snow Hurt A Community Budget?
Some things are obvious and others not as much. One of the ways that snow can affect a community budget is not completing seasonal maintenance on amenities. One pipe that wasn’t wrapped and bursts could cause not only a pipe to need to be replaced but other damage from the water.
Having a community association budget that has funds set aside for unexpected events is vital.
Of course, with snow comes slips and falls. Depending on how the HOA is set up some damages or injuries that occur in the community would be considered the fault of the HOA and could occur legal fees, time, and repair costs.
How Can a Community Be Prepared Unexpected Snow?
One of the best things an HOA manager can do is keep an updated, logical, and attainable home association budget. Also, staying up to date on weather forecasts isn’t a bad idea either! Having a few days to prepare for possible heavy snow could be the smartest thing done in the days leading up to the event.
3 Tips to Keep a Good HOA Budget
#1 – Plan For The Unexpected
One thing that good HOA managers know is that it’s never only about making a budget. Sure, some expenses are known far in advance and are easy to plan for. When it comes to making a truly good budget, taking into account unexpected expenses and being prepared is the key.
Although it can sometimes be hard to get members to contribute for a reserve fund, explaining the consequences of not doing so can quickly persuade members to contribute.
#2 – Let Board Members Know Current Financial Situations
Homeowners association board members are in place to ensure decisions are made and things are running smoothly in the HOA and community. One of the biggest mistakes that an HOA can make is not keeping board members informed about financial situations.
If the board has no idea that funds are low, or one unexpected occurrence could knock the budget off for months, things can’t be done. But, board members informed and aware of current financial situations can make decisions and plan to get reserve funds higher and more stable.
#3 – Bringing Everything Together
As different aspects come together, a community will be prepared for a snowstorm and not if the community budget would make it through another storm.
Below are four points to remember when getting an association prepared for seasonal weather, budgeting, and thinking ahead.
- Set a financial system and follow it including having a detailed budget and documenting any financial transactions.
- At minimum 30 days before the end of the fiscal year a new, detailed budget should be completed for board members to approve and vote on.
- If you haven’t already hired a manager, consider getting an accountant to help with the financial records that can be confusing.
- Most important, plan for unexpected costs. Of course, not everyone will be thought of and caught, but having a proactive mindset will be a huge difference from trying to play catch-up.
How Can an Association Manager Help?
One of the most important aspects that association managers need to do is look at information about the community, area, past issues, past victories, typical weather patterns, predictions for the next year, and much more. One of the most vital aspects of HOA management is the analytical and logical thinking skills to be able to analyze, implement changes, and self-reflect if the results were what the goal was.
Having the mindset and ambition to gain as much knowledge about a community is what makes the team and managers at CSM different from our competitors. It’s a vital skill needed that many times aren’t given the attention it deserves.
How Clark Simson Miller Can Help You Manage Your HOA Budget During Extreme Weather
Here at Clark Simson Miller, our managers are trained to be prepared, think ahead, and look at the most efficient ways of preparing a community for mild or extreme seasonal weather. If you’re ready to have peace of mind and let an expert take over certain management aspects of running your HOA, give our team a call at (865) 315-7505 or contact us online. We would love to answer any questions you have! Talk to you soon.