Regardless of where your HOA is located, it is important to consider how to improve your organization each year. HOAs that are always forward-thinking and set out to achieve attainable goals will have a great deal of respect from their residents, along with smart financial management. If you are considering how to set SMART goals for your HOA this year, you have come to the right place.
In this article:
Learn to Create SMART Goals for Your HOA
SMART goals refer to a specific formula of goal setting that helps individuals achieve success. Here’s an explanation of each step of the SMART goal formula:
S – Specific
The “S” in SMART goals stands for the importance of your goal being specific. HOAs that set out specific goals are going to have a higher probability of success in achieving their goals. Be sure that your HOA has specific goals to have the best possible results in the upcoming year.
M – Measurable
The best HOA goals are trackable goals. HOAs that have measurable goals can track progress and use that progress to motivate their HOA board of directors.
For example, using a newsletter is a great way to showcase progress. Quarterly newsletters allow progress to be visible and for the HOA board of directors to be accountable for meeting measurable goals. After each version of the newsletter, HOAs can verify if they achieve those goals. At the end of the upcoming year, success can also be verified to see if the entire goal was achieved throughout the year.
A – Achievable
It is wise for your HOA board of directors to set goals that can realistically be achieved. It is quite common that goals are set that cannot be achieved.
Your HOA board of directors needs to have a discussion about the goals that they would like to achieve for the year and then there needs to be a conversation about what goals can actually be reached.
Your HOA needs to balance how goals can be achieved through board member involvement and resident volunteers. HOAs that overwhelm their board members will also have issues by spreading each board member’s time too thin. By setting goals that are achievable, your HOA will set itself up for success in the upcoming year.
R – Relevant
Your HOA board of directors needs to have a look at the governing documents of the HOA to find goals that are relevant to the best interests of the HOA. By setting goals that are outside the scope of relevancy to your HOA, your HOA will be at a disadvantage in areas that need to be improved that are relevant to your organization. Your HOA board of directors should be dedicated to promoting efficiency within your organization rather than delaying progress.
Each member of the HOA board of directors should have dedicated and relevant tasks that are not too time-consuming. If your HOA board members are overextended, it will end up lowering the quality of service that they offer to your residents. Make sure to have a clear idea of what the precise availability of your HOA board members is in the upcoming year in order to ensure that they can complete the various tasks that you will be expecting of them.
T – Time-Based
When setting goals for your HOA, it is important to decide whether they are for the short-term or long-term. Ideally, the goals should be timely. Your HOA board of directors needs to discuss which goals are high priority and which ones can be reached in the longer term. Your HOA board of directors should also set a reasonable timeframe for the achievement of these goals.
If you set goals that are too ambitious, then it will make them almost impossible to achieve. HOAs need to consider the schedules of their organizations, particularly of their board members. By doing so, you can ascertain which goals you can realistically achieve in the time period you have set out.
What Target Resolutions Does Your HOA Have?
HOA board members need to carefully analyze where their communities need to improve the most in the year to come. Some typical areas that HOAs need to improve are socialization, communication, meetings, and budget. In terms of budget, your HOA may want to adhere to the budget more strictly to have more reserve funds. Reviewing contract prices and following the projected budget closely are the best ways to go about this.
With regard to socialization, many HOAs target volunteer turnout numbers and committee improvement by hosting more social events. Communication is a popular issue that can be improved upon through community flyers, regularly schedule e-blasts, and electronic newsletters. Meetings normally are a goal to increase attendance and board member education.
Each HOA board of directors has to carefully consider which resolutions are the most important to their organizations. At the same time, they should consider which ones they can realistically achieve in the upcoming year to be successful.
How to Implement SMART Goals for Your HOA
SMART goals are an excellent way to organize the thought process of your HOA for the year to come. Carefully look at what happened in the year prior. From there, consider what you can and should improve in the coming year. Try to have a brainstorm on a piece of paper or a whiteboard with your board of directors. See which areas require improvements to achieve a SMART goal efficiently.
By thinking in this way, you can quickly identify which goals you should prioritize for the next year. You can also see which goals you can postpone for several years in the future. Compare your finances from the previous year and projections for the coming year. Find out which goals you can integrate into your strategy. From this analysis, you can then apply the SMART goal framework to focus on which precise goals your HOA will set out to achieve in the coming year.
A Common Pitfall to Avoid
Even though many HOA boards of directors have great intentions, they fail to execute their goals effectively. By carefully considering which goals will be beneficial to the organization immediately and which ones can wait for the next couple of years, the HOA board of directors will be able to focus on a few objectives and do them well.
Try to map a five-year plan for your HOA. Ascertain where the priority issues are that need to be resolved quickly. Then, look at the cost to implement your ideal changes. This way, you can see whether your existing budget can support the goals you have set out to achieve.
If your HOA board of directors fails to plan in this manner, it can cause the organization to waste a great deal of capital on goals that they will not be able to afford without completing special assessments that will anger their residents.
Start Setting Goals Early
Your HOA board should set its upcoming year’s goals ahead of time. This way, you can allow yourself enough room for research, analysis, and comparison. By laying out SMART goals for your HOA early and with great care, you are setting your association up for success.
If you are finding it hard to set SMART goals for your HOA, consider partnering with an HOA management company like us. Don’t hesitate to give us a call anytime.
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