Homeowner Satisfaction: Here’s what HOA residents have to say

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Americans who live in community associations are overwhelmingly pleased with their communities, expressing strong satisfaction with the board members who govern their associations and the community managers who provide professional support.
More than seven in 10 community association residents expressed satisfaction with their community experience, according to a survey conducted by Zogby International, a leading public opinion research firm. Almost 40 percent of community association residents say they are “very pleased,” with only 10 percent expressing some level of dissatisfaction. Almost 20 percent express neither point of view.
An estimated 54 million Americans live in some 274,000 homeowner associations, condominium communities, cooperatives and other planned developments.

Here’s what community association residents say:
88 percent believe their governing boards strive to serve the best interests of the community.
90 percent say they are on friendly terms with their association board members, with just 4 percent indicating a negative relationship.
86 percent say they get along well with their immediate neighbors, with just 5 percent reporting a negative relationship. Of those who reported issues with neighbors, the most common problems were pets, general lifestyle, noise, and parking.
78 percent believe community association rules “protect and enhance” property values, while only one in 100 say rules harm property values. About 20 percent see no difference.
88 percent of residents who have interacted with professional community managers say the experience has been positive.

*The research was sponsored by the Foundation for Community Association Research, a non-profit organization created in 1975 by Community Associations Institute (CAI).
Based on telephone interviews conducted in August 2005, the survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. A summary of the results is posted at www.caionline.org/about/survey.cfm.

Strategic Planning

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My community association will soon begin strategic planning. What does that mean, and what will be happening? Simply stated, strategic planning is a process we use to determine where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. It includes these steps:
* Assessing our current position. We will identify our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Knowing where we are now will help get us where we want to be in the future.
* Identifying our purpose. This will become our “mission statement.” For example, “Our association exists to ensure the highest possible quality of life for all residents.”
* Setting goals that identify what we need to achieve the mission. Our goals will be specific and measurable, and will provide an indication of how we’re doing as we progress.
* Deciding how to meet our goals. We may have to allocate resources, create committees, or undertake other tasks to achieve our goals.
* Developing an action plan. Each step will require a specific action plan. For example, if a committee is needed, who will serve, exactly what tasks will be assigned, and when will the results be needed?
Monitoring and updating our plan. We’ll review the strategic plan regularly. . If we learn that our earlier ideas and goals were shortsighted or uninformed, we’ll update accordingly.