When developing a new community association, it’s essential for developers and builders to work with a community management company that can effectively help to develop its vision and mission statement. Write down your vision and goals; it will help set the direction of your community. After all, when done effectively, proper planning begins before the first shovelful of dirt is turned!
The first stages of community development are focused on strategic planning, and the manager must begin making contacts, and nurturing the relationships with homeowners who have purchased homes in the new association. The manager at this stage truly forms an essential link between developer and homeowner, and is the only party accountable to both. In fact, a good manager (and community management firm!) will work hard to set the tone for the new development from the very beginning, helping to establish protocol and expectations for all involved… A key to creating a thriving community that will last for years to come!
According to change management expert Dr. Jessica Sartori, “A strategic plan is a charted course for leaders and employees to get an organization to where its stakeholders would like it to be usually in three to five years. During the strategic planning process an organization establishes its strategic directions and objectives, and specifies the means to achieving these objectives including resource allocation (money, people, and effort), interim goals, and how to measure progress toward achieving these goals.”
When looking at community development in this light, it’s easy to see why a clear vision and strategic plan are essential for the new association. Together, they form a roadmap to building a successful and thriving community.
In the next stage of development, when the community nears the halfway point of build-out, the homeowners and developer work more closely to see the community through to fruition. This is where the association’s plan begins to really take hold, based on the prudent planning and sensible foresight that all worked to build in the community’s earliest stages.
It sounds simple. Yet, homeowners association boards are comprised of volunteers, which often means high turnover of the people serving on the community’s board of directors. Fresh volunteers bring fresh thinking, but sometimes an incomplete understanding of all that’s come before. Knowing and anticipating annual changes in association leadership means that it’s critical to review, discuss and develop your strategic plan at least once a year. Ideally, two or three times a year.