By Ellen Calica, Business Development
Its that time of year again for the Board of Directors to reevaluate and prepare their annual budget. Although its important to always be mindful of costs throughout the year, this can be the perfect time for the Board to utilize ways to save money in their HOA.
Explore Insurance Options
Insurance can be one of the largest expenses for an association. Not all carriers or coverage cost the same, so ask your manager to obtain three different bids for insurance for your HOA before you agree to another term. If your insurance quotes come back comparable, think about raising your deductible to lower your premium. This works best if maintenance has been top of mind in your HOA, and you don't anticipate a lot of emergency repairs.
Bid Out Your Vendors Regularly
Even if you are happy with your current vendors, bid out the contracts regularly to ensure you are fair paying market prices. Create a standard request for proposal (RFP) ahead of time to make sure you are bidding apples to apples. Include your current vendor in the bidding process so that they can negotiate the current terms to be more favorable.
Control Controllable Costs
Try to go as energy efficient as possible in your association. Replace lights with energy-efficient bulbs and install timers and motion detectors as well. Double-check your association's bills from utilities for unneeded services or incorrect charges.
Know What You Are Responsible For
If you don't have an accurate map outlining the boundaries and the items in your association, get one created as soon as possible. Find a vendor to provide a survey of your association's boundaries as well as geo-tag your assets. Your association may be taking care of another association's assets and not know it. (This is a service MMI provides.)
Address issues early on and develop a regular maintenance checklist for your association. Be open to more upfront costs of preventative maintenance that can deter high costs later. Double-check your vendors to make sure they are using quality materials that will last longer and have less up-keep.