Six Positive Trends for California HOA Board Members


How do you know you’ve done your job right as a board member in a high-rise or master-planned community? You could look at the objectives you’ve met. You could look at the stability of your finances. Or you could look at the clear vision you’ve set forth for your community’s future.

All that paints part of the picture, but really what it all comes down to is how your homeowners association (HOA) makes your residents feel. And whether you’re self-managed or you engage the expertise of a community manager or community maintenance corporation, those feelings can be hard to gauge. Unless, of course, you look at the stats.

The Foundation for Community Association Research has just released its sixth national survey on how Americans feel about living in association communities. Let’s look at the highlights from the 2016 report.

1    65% of respondents said that living in a community association was a positive experience. This is up from 64% positive from the year before.

2    69% of residents say they’ve attended a community association board meeting. While we’d all like to see this number increase, it’s held steady at about this level (give or take a few percentage points) since 2005.

3    84% of those surveyed said that their elected governing board is, at least for the most part, striving to serve the best interests of the community as a whole. That’s an overwhelming majority of residents whose feelings are situated firmly in the positives column.

4    81% of respondents said they felt they were on friendly terms with their association board. That means, for the most part, boards are doing an exceptional job of maintaining good resident relations.

5    55% of those surveyed indicated that they felt the amount of their assessments was just right. The number of those who felt their dues were too high dropped by a few percentage points since 2014, too. Interestingly, the number of individuals who felt the dues they paid were too little doubled since then. The short story: boards are doing an amazing job of delivering value in terms of lifestyle offered for the money spent.

6    An overwhelming majority – 66% – of residents surveyed feel that community rules enhance and protect their property values. This number has trended downward a bit since the question was first asked in 2005, but 66% is still a very positive number. Still, it behooves board members to focus on conveying the tangible benefits of association membership to owners.

These numbers are cause for celebration, whether you’re on the board of a community in San Francisco, San Diego, or the Inland Empire – these survey results indicate a job well done by boards across California –– and the nation.

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