Community associations today face many issues, real and perceived. We live in a media environment that tends to concentrate on bad news and negativity. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what our individual rights are -- or should be - and we have a tendency to lose sight of the benefits of community associations.
Community associations have created the only platform in the United States for real volunteer governance over communal values. One doesn't have to qualify for leadership, be certified, educated, or knowledgeable to serve in a leadership position in a community.
The size and scope of community associations today create a growing potential for future problems:
* more than 320,000 community associations in the United States;
* more than 63 million residences;
* an estimated annual operating revenue of $40 billion;
* board members numbering more than 2 million;
* estimated 400,000 or more people serving on committees; and,
* estimated 80,000 or more community managers.
But before we start tackling issues, let's go back to the beginning. How did community associations come to exist in the first place?
Most communities grew out of a need for commonality. They were typically small complexes with something in common -- a roof, an amenity, and water/sewer systems. They often grew out of corporate towns where workers lived in row houses and shared many of the same values. They often grew out of the informal neighborhood association where there might have been a common pool that everyone used and where kids hung out. They often grew out of the need for safety and security and to protect one's investment.
Others were created by forward-thinking developers that wanted to provide a specific living environment; a lifestyle that fit the changing demographics in their areas. They grew out of a need to escape crowded cities, and live a more pastoral way of life. After all, if you can't keep building up, you've got to build out -- and as transportation expanded, so did our ability to move out of the city!
Of course, community associations vary widely in size and scope; from an old house converted into eight condos in Denver, to a 14,000-acre development with seven golf courses and eleven lakes in Tennessee. From the most exquisite Ritz-Carlton resort communities in Aspen, to modern high-rises in downtown San Diego. The broad scope of community types is what makes the industry unique, and therefore, the respective values of the leadership so key to the success of each community. Let's face it -- the broad spectrum of community types are as diverse as the people who live and serve in them.
If you're looking for a partner who knows all the nuances of community management -- and is as passionate as you are about establishing a successful community, give N.N. Jaeschke, Inc. a call.
Don't miss Part 2 of this article in next week's Daily Transcript.
Written by Robert A. Felix, president and CEO of N.N Jaeschke Inc.