Vision, mission, and value statements are the pillars of well-run businesses, and they should be the pillars of your HOA, as well.
Every organization needs to have a vision, mission, and values to function effectively. While you might associate vision statements with a business, your HOA board should also have one so you can prioritize needs and set goals for your community. Here are some tips to create vision, mission, and values statements for your HOA board, along with some examples of how other associations have done them.
Vision statement vs. mission statement
Some people confuse vision and mission statements. The terms might even be used interchangeably. In fact, they are different and serve different purposes.
Defining the vision statement
A vision statement should capture your inspiration and provide goals and a framework for strategic planning. It’s where you put the board’s ultimate dreams — or “vision” — for the HOA into words.
Questions to ask:
- What problems are we trying to solve?
- Where are we headed?
- What are our strategic goals?
Defining the mission statement
Meanwhile, an HOA mission statement, like a business’s, should explain your association’s reason for being in simple and concise terms. It’s a chance to define the purpose of the HOA and reveal what you do, how you do it, and why you do it.
Questions to ask:
- What is our purpose as an HOA?
- Why does our HOA exist?
In general, both vision and mission statements should be no longer than a sentence or short paragraph. Beyond setting precise goals, the statement should also define your values, culture, ethics, goals, and agendas as a board and a community.
Creating a values statement
The third portion of an effective vision involves something called a values statement. These are the core principles that define the culture and values of your community. The statement should make clear your association’s top priorities and beliefs.
Questions to ask:
- What are the unique values of our HOA?
- What values should guide our actions?
- What is our code of conduct?
You can also use this statement to help define procedures for dealing with violations. Be sure to consult your HOA governing documents for policies and procedures when dealing with conflict and association members who violate HOA rules.
Creating a vision for your HOA
Step 1: Understand your community
When creating a vision statement, it’s imperative that you understand your community and its needs. Every HOA has unique qualities. A community made up of young families will have different concerns than a retirement village. A single condominium is different from a gated community that has single-family homes spread over several hundred acres.
You also need to understand the budget and geographic restraints when determining your needs. You shouldn’t paint a grand vision of gorgeous community pools or a large park when you don’t have the budget or room for either.
Step 2: Determine your direction
Once you have a firm understanding of your community and its needs, you can determine the direction you want to take for both the board and homeowners.
Decide on your priorities and most pressing needs. Knowing what’s important will keep you focused. Without goals, every subject that comes up will become “urgent” and end up distracting you from your purpose as an HOA board.
Step 3: Write your mission, vision, and values statements
Now it’s time to put your community’s vision in writing. The statements should be concise and simple. Try to avoid having too many goals, as this will weaken your overall vision. Once you’ve created the mission, vision, and values statement, share them with your community.
Sample HOA vision statements
It might be helpful to consider a few examples that you can use as guidelines.
Here’s a good example from the Creekside Village Grand HOA board:
We envision a neighborhood that represents a high quality of living and is considered a desirable place to live by residents and non-residents alike. We encourage and support an association of neighbors who voluntarily work together to increase property values and promote the spirit of respect, caring, community, family, and friends.
Mission statement of the CVHOA Board
Our mission is to enhance our quality of life by maintaining our common areas and upholding our Covenants, Declarations, and By-Laws. As representatives of the homeowners, we will take an ethical and objective approach in representing their interests. We will seek out and support initiatives that strengthen resident bonds and will take actions necessary to maintain a safe, friendly & aesthetically pleasing place to live.
Guiding principles for the CVHOA Board
- Employ established management practices and sound business principles to make “best judgment” decisions with respect to enhancing the value of our properties as a whole and managing the affairs of our subdivision.
- Take a fair and ethical approach to uphold the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions and the By-Laws.
- Be good stewards in the administration of Association Funds. Conduct business with transparency, make available statements of receivables and expenses on a periodic basis. Make sound decisions keeping in mind the financial needs and obligations of the Association.
- Treat all issue and residents with respect. Work in a professional and objective manner to resolve issues. Practice solution-based communication and communicate resolutions in a clear and timely manner. Keep in mind the interests of the association as a whole.
- Actively seek out initiatives that will strengthen neighborly bonds and promote a safe, harmonious, and friendly atmosphere where neighbors treat each other with respect and work cooperatively towards the common goal of bettering our subdivision.
- Preserve and enhance property values by maintaining all common areas and entrances.
For some other good, real-world examples, take a look at these HOA vision, mission, and value statements:
Make it your mission to manage vendors effectively
A large part of your mission should be to ensure the effective hiring and management of vendors who provide services for your community. VendorSmart can help you in many ways, from vetting service providers to ongoing risk and compliance management. Contact us to get started.