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The last thing an HOA wants to do is tell residents that they are subject to additional fees because there’s not enough funds to cover operational costs. While residents appreciate the amenities and perks of an HOA, they do not want to pay more in assessments each year because the budget can’t cover community expenses. Instead, HOA’s want to share that they have been able to stay on budget and even been able to shore up the reserve funds for unexpected repairs and maintenance. This requires continually assessing costs and looking for areas where additional money could be saved.

Here are some areas to consider when looking to save money for the communities you serve:

Go digital

Manual processes may feel like the norm, but they can also be costing an HOA a pretty penny. The expenses associated with manual processes include labor, supplies, and equipment. In contrast, digitally transforming an HOA can drastically reduce those expenses. Here are some ways to migrate from paper to digital:

  • Put all community announcements, correspondence, and newsletters online, opting for email, app, and website channels over paper mailings.
  • Offer online assessment payments, including e-payments and automatic payments.
  • Use an online portal where residents can access, read, download, and submit important forms.

A side benefit from moving to digital is that staff can free up some of the time they spent on these manual processes and use it to build better community relationships.

Review vendor service contracts

Having vendors that can be counted on to do exceptional work in an HOA community is priceless. That’s why you don’t want to continually look for the lowest priced vendors to replace the ones already in place.

What an HOA or community management company can do is reach out to vendors and ask about any discounts or promotions that may help save the HOA money. For example, if you have multiple properties and have found a trusted vendor to replace those at other properties, perhaps they will provide a multi-property discount. 

Assess all association utility bills

While it is easier to just pay and file, it is important to regularly look at utility bills to see if anything has changed in terms of usage and cost. In some parts of the country, HOAs can shop around for other electricity, gas, and/or water providers, so this may be an option to help save money. Another tactic is calling each utility provider to see if there are any promotions or discounts for HOAs or rebates for upgrading to more efficient utility equipment.

Conserve energy

There are also ways to help a community reduce the amount of energy used:

  • Put community lights on timers so they are aligned with the seasonal sunrise and sunset changes.
  • Use light timers for community bathrooms that work with motion detectors.
  • Upgrade a community light system to LED lights or other energy-saving light devices.
  • Turn off equipment that is considered non-essential. For example, HOA communities that have swimming pools and spas frequently turn off pool heaters during the fall, winter, and spring months because community members are less likely to be using these amenities during cooler seasons.
  • Install smart thermometers in the clubhouse and community office to effectively manage the use of air conditioners and heating.

Add solar solutions

A solar system for an HOA community can help provide significant savings over time. The solar solution can power all common areas of your community with a return on investment that can come as quickly as just a couple of years after installation. Rebates are still available in many parts of the country to also offset the initial investment.

It’s important to get many estimates and also seek out those solar companies that have experience with designing and installing solar systems for HOA communities.

Reduce community water usage

Water is another costly area in an HOA community, but it is also one that can be easily addressed. Some of the best ways to do that include:

  • Regularly checking community sprinkler system and run times to see if the schedule can be shortened.
  • Using a drip irrigation system, where possible, to further cut water usage.
  • Replacing landscape materials with more drought-resistant plants that require less water.
  • Adding a rain gauge, which helps collect water that may have otherwise been wasted. This water can be used for the irrigation.

Stay on top of routine maintenance

It’s better to regularly check all community equipment and other assets in case they need repairs or some type of maintenance instead of letting them go until they can no longer be used and must be replaced. Maintenance and repairs are far less costly than replacement on most items found in an HOA. Also, not taking care of certain equipment could result in other charges should a resident or vendor get injured.

Offer partner programs to help save additional money

Gaining access to valuable outside programs can directly benefit a community by helping the HOA tap into important products and services offered at a much more competitive rate. For example, Innovia Co-op members have exclusive access to a diverse range of industry-focused solutions designed to reduce expenses and generate new revenue year-over-year. Some of these solutions include software, financial services, equipment repair, community maintenance services, security equipment, office supplies, outsourced services, uniforms, compliance consulting, and many more!

Focused on Sustained Value

If you are a community management company looking to help the neighborhoods you serve save money, contact us now to learn more about the benefits to becoming an Innovia Co-op member.