How to Get the Most Out of Your Community Association Budget
Planning your Community Association Budget is no easy feat. Many communities are not actively trying to find ways to save money. This is a major mistake because if you can use money effectively, then you will be able to do more for your residents, which will increase their satisfaction with their current management. One strategy to get the most out of your association’s money is to stretch your budget as far as it can go. There are also several important factors to be aware of. Bear these issues in mind when trying to plan your Community Association Budget and how to make it go as far as possible:
Negotiate Effectively with Vendors for Better Prices
Your community should have a certain list of vendors that you utilize for any necessary repairs. These vendors should be giving you some sort of incentive pricing, particularly if your community is larger. You should be able to get discounted maintenance rates along with replacement parts. Do not hesitate to ask for these benefits because if you don’t, you will not be able to save a lot of money on expenses that your community requires to run effectively. Be sure to regularly question invoices and negotiate better prices. You will be amazed at how much money your Community Association Budget will gain from merely negotiating.
Order in Bulk
There are times where you need many parts or services. Use this to your advantage. If you study your prior orders, you may be able to order these goods or services in advance for a better price. This could have a substantial impact on your overall budget, which would be an excellent extra saving for your community. Your residents will like to see that your community is organized, efficient, and intelligent with how it uses money. If you can demonstrate these practices, your residents will be very satisfied with their current management.
Complete Periodic Cost-Benefit Analyses
Many managers that cost-benefit analyses are something that should only happen once. This could not be further from the truth. You need to always be looking at the cost and benefit of the fiscal decisions that your community association is making. These decisions will be vital for the long-term goals that you are trying to reach. Be sure that you are conducting cost-benefit analyses as frequently as possible to avoid making common pitfalls as community associations often do.
Regularly Research & Apply for Grants for Your Community
There are so many different grants that are not allocated each year. Grants are an excellent opportunity for your community association to benefit a great deal. Grant applications are quite long and complex; however, when their funding does come through, it can make a substantial difference in your community’s budget. You should be regularly researching different grant opportunities that present themselves to your community. You should then be actively applying for those grant opportunities and follow the instructions carefully. By doing so, you will potentially be obtaining more funding for your organization that you can use effectively. Make sure that you are not missing out on grant opportunities and if you are not well-versed in them, then be sure to hire or consult an expert who does have grant-related experience. This way, you will not be missing any opportunities to benefit from grant funding.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to see how your community is allocating its funds. You can’t just set budgets and expect everything to go smoothly. Your employees need to know that you are checking their work. There are many careless mistakes made that waste money. Implement regular internal audits to see which area of the budget can be stretched further and you will be amazed at the savings that you experience.
How Clark Simson Miller Can Help You Manage You Association’s Budget Efficiently
Clark Simson Miller has a great deal of experience with implementing Community Association Budgets in communities located in diverse parts of the United States. To learn more about how Clark Simson Miller can help, give us a call at (865) 315-7505 or contact us online.