Budgeting is one of the most important tasks property managers perform for their community Boards. Dealing with rising costs for everyday service, delinquent assessments, examining the common elements to assess need for repair and attempting to maintain adequate reserve amounts for the Association is a balancing act and a challenge.
Property managers have typically already started crafting 2013 budgets by this time of year. The process typically starts in June with managers acquiring wish list items from the Board, going out to bid for projects and reviewing the reserve study for the Association. The economy has been on a downswing for a few years now, making property managers and Boards accustomed, unfortunately, to economizing every aspect of a budget and trying to get the most “bang for the buck.”
Managers can search for ways that Associations can painlessly reduce costs, such as reducing electricity and energy costs and water usage, reducing scavenger services to once per week, beginning a recycling program, working with landscapers to plant low-maintenance flowers and shrubs, and proactively performing preventative maintenance on common elements before major costly damage is done.
A Team Effort
Property managers need to work with accounting and executive teams and all resources available at their management company to use data and tools to formulate expenditures and prepare and plan for the financial management of the property.
It may help to set a calendar of deadlines along with a list of goals you want to accomplish, in order to keep yourself on track in the budgeting process and to be sure the new budgets meets expectations of the Association Board and its homeowners.
What is a Budget?
A budget can be interpreted and defined in many forms; we believe it means this:
B – Building a bridge to get you through a successful new fiscal year
U -Understanding your property, homeowners and all elements that make it a success
D – Delivering a sound plan for the future growth and expectations of each unique property
G – Gathering proposals for projects, new and old, which help formulate a sound budget
E – Evaluating each account code and projecting where enhancements are needed
T – Thinking of all the elements that make Association living a wonderful experience
By Clare Pierson
Web Marketing Coordinator, Lieberman Management Services