Change can be tough, and while it makes some people nervous, it also provides HOAs with the opportunity to improve their community. So, to help you manage change in a positive way, we thought we’d share a few helpful tips and tricks.
But before diving into another list, let’s set the stage with a real life example every HOA will encounter: new board members and/or a new HOA community management company. When someone new joins the board they likely ran for the position because they care about the community and because there is something they would like to improve. When the majority of the board or the HOA management company are new, there will be lots of new ideas for change. However, all that change can make people uncomfortable or even defensive. Sound familiar? Let’s take a look some tips now.
- Establish Trust. This should always come first. Trust between board members, the HOA management company, and community members will always get you further than facts alone.
- Slooooooow down. It can be easy to rush an agenda when the board is excited about a change, but rushing decisions will ruffle feathers and set off red flags for some people. Take your time to explain decisions and allow members adequate time to digest the information and ask questions. This prevents them from feeling like you’re trying to pull one over on them, and at the end they will likely feel good about the changes too.
- Plan. Plan. While small changes like replacing a few dead bushes/trees are easily done, bigger changes like redoing all common-area landscaping demand a concrete plan with a clear vision and budget. This is essential for implementing any long-lasting change(s).
- Negotiate. Leave your ego at the door and remember your plan/vision will undergo changes before it’s finalized and implemented. Knowing how to negotiate and accepting that all business requires some give-and-take will get you and your board a long way.
- Know Your Pitch. Figure out what will resonate with homeowners and focus on that during your sales pitch. For example, there are probably a lot of reasons why redoing landscaping may be necessary, but people will probably get on board faster when you tell them that, while it costs $5,000, it will improve the value of their community by X amount.
- Lighten Up! Nothing your HOA board has to deal with is a matter of life or death (at least we hope not!). And while some issues may be complicated and/or serious, most aren’t. Keeping things in perspective and having a little humor is key to navigating change successfully!
If managing change is daunting and your current association management company isn’t pulling their weight, consider hiring a new HOA community management company as your new board’s next change! Having a great partner will make your job as a board member much easier, and we at Spectrum would love the opportunity to chat with you about the services we offer and how we manage change!