5 Ways Your HOA Community Can Save Big
Learning how to save money is essential for a homeowner’s association (HOA) or community, as it may prevent the need for a special assessment. If your HOA is currently struggling with vendor payments and continuing to offer valuable services without calling for an assessment, now is a great time to review existing money practices, along with your annual budget.
Take a look at these five ways your HOA community can save some money this year.
- Review insurance plans.
One of the most significant expenses of any organization, including an HOA, is insurance. If you haven’t reviewed insurance policies in over a year, it is time to request quotes from multiple companies. Not every insurance company charges the same rate. If it has been a while since you met with your agent, your HOA may qualify for new rates. It’s also beneficial to contact an additional local insurance agent to meet with the board of directors, or a designated member to review the policies you currently have in place.
- Reduce water usage.
An HOA community may use a lot of water, but this doesn’t mean there’s little to be done to minimize usage. Some HOAs pay the water bill for members who may not pay as much attention to their usage as a result. If your association pays for this utility, educate homeowners on checking for leaky faucets, toilets, or other water sources. Another area where water usage quickly adds up is with sprinkler systems. Limit the number of days residents are allowed to water their lawns, encouraging them to water fewer days for more extended periods. Research shows, this helps plants grow stronger roots.
- Cut back on energy consumption.
Look at the types of light bulbs that your HOA currently uses and opt for LED or energy efficient bulbs. If there are set hours that common areas are not open for use, including the pool or gym, set equipment to turn off at a specific time. It could be beneficial to invest in thermostats, allowing you to set different temperatures during these times as well. Be sure to review the electricity bill every month to help identify sudden spikes in usage.
- Get quotes on electricity providers.
Some areas let businesses and residents shop for their electricity provider. Electricity costs could vary depending on the provider, and without knowing it, the HOA could be overpaying. These types of agreements are often based on contracts that require a multi-year commitment. Be sure to calculate the potential savings for the entire contract term before making a decision.
- Request bids regularly.
Failing to request bids regularly (every one to three years) from vendors is one of the biggest mistakes an HOA can make. Once the board and property manager are comfortable with an existing vendor, they may not opt to shop around. However, it’s still recommended to request three bids for HOA projects. Projects such as snow removal and landscaping should be reevaluated yearly (or at minimum at the end of each contract cycle) from the current vendor, while also requesting quotes from additional vendors to confirm the HOA is still getting the best value available.
AR Management Company is ready to assist your HOA community with its ongoing property or financial management needs. Reach out today for more information!