HOA management (BOD) is more than property management (CAM)

I continue to be baffled as to how real estate attorneys and property managers, unlicensed in most states, have been allowed by state legislatures to advise and dictate to HOA boards (BOD) on how to govern a community by an Association that  is very similar to a local government body.  Governing a community is more than managing a property in a subdivision.   

 Many other experts and authorities have attempted to explain this complex concept of “what is management”  — including the renowned Peter F. Drucker. (The Practice of Management and Management). My take is a simple, down-to-earth explanation as part of “Reorienting the BOD and its followers,” the first step in A Plan Toward the Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance. 

Management (noun) – Management is an entity — an organization whether a business, a nonprofit, an HOA, a charity, a club, a group, or a person. It applies to any person, or organization, or entity at all levels with respect to its level of authority and responsibilities — CEO, president, division director, department manager, supervisor, or committee chair. The difference in organizational type is related to their purpose and mission. Businesses  are to make a profit for their stockholders. Nonprofit membership organizations, like HOAs,  have a mission or goal as  laid out by the founders and initial directors that is designed to attract and maintain members — for $$$$$  — who identify with the mission.

Management (function) —  Management is a practice (as first described by Drucker in 1973). It’s an actual application by practitioners/managers — whatever the designation: manager, governor, administrator, board of directors, trustee, etc. — of the set of beliefs, principles, and values held by the organization. The quality and success of the management function is measured by its performance in attaining its mission, objectives, and goals. They may set by its constitution, charter, bylaws, Declaration of CC&Rs, or by department/section/committee descriptions.

Executive level management — at the state legislature through its lawmaking authority or at HOA board of directors level — has final and total responsibility for the successful performance of the organization and sets the mission, goals, conduct and operation of the entity. It has the duty to 1) set policy, plans, rules, regulations, controls, procedures, etc., and 2) organize and structure the entity. All in keeping with its powers under the legal documents and laws granting it the authority to so act.

The very first task for the BOD is to determine just what is the purpose of the entity, and what should it be. Once this reason for being has been determined and stated in terms that permit the evaluation of performance, a valid mission statement can be issued.  From the mission statement a single goal  or set of goals can be issued that permit a measurement of the entity’s performance.  Value statements can be adopted to guide the BOD and members with respect to acceptable means and methods for achieving the goals.

A mission  statement has to be operational; otherwise it’s just good intentions. A mission statement has to focus on what the institution really tries to do.” (Managing the Nonprofit Organization, Peter Drucker, 1990).

The mission statement by the HOA Management Case Study #1 subject, SCG for example, speaks  in the present tense using the word “IS,” making it more of a propaganda statement — it already exists or has already been accomplished — rather than a condition, an ideal,  to be achieved.  Consequently, SCG’s mission serves no value for the establishment of goals that can measure performance, leaving the HOA essentially without any direction.

* * * *

Cautionary note:

Management when it fails to abide by the authorizing documents and marketing materials that appeal to the wants, desires, and wishes of the members will result in members exiting  the organization, taking their future member donations, dues, fees, etc. with them. With businesses, except small, closely held businesses, exiting is a simple task of selling one’s stock and buying another.

HOAs are more like a small, closely held businesses where exiting is not a simple task primarily due to the need to find some other private buyer (investor) willing to ignore why you are leaving. The status and situation of members can be viewed as a form of indentured servitude: you can’t leave unless you have  money to leave (like having paid off your servitude obligation), or you die.

Consequently, management in membership nonprofit organizations, like local governments, must keep the members happy.  Any changes or  modifications to the purpose, or mission, or goals of the organization must consider  the effect on the members.  And must follow the law and the controlling documents – the CC&Rs in HOAs.  The BOD is not a free agent to do as  it pleases as if the HOA were its own private club.

Social Engineers needed in HOA-Land and all America. Are you one?

The following material is primarily based on the Charles Koch (billionaire and philanthropist) book, Believe In People [note 1]. Quotation marks and italics have generally been omitted but are used within sentences to distinguish quoted material.

The theme of Believe is developing ‘Social Engineers.’  It’s a term used by Koch by which he means a person

finding new ways to break the barriers and overcome the injustices that prevent others from realizing their potential.’ He continues, ‘These individuals  disrupt the status quo to help others, especially the less fortunate rise’ (p. 7).  

They’re concerned citizens, mobilizing neighbors to support good policies and oppose bad ones.  They’re elected officials — of any party — enacting laws that secure for everyone the opportunity to realize their potential and contribute to society’s progress (p. 7).

You are a social engineer when ‘fighting a harmful public policy that’s affecting your family, friends, or neighbors’  (p. 7).  Homeowners in HOA-Land  are ‘less fortunate’ and are subject to top-down authoritarian governments.  Read on!

. . . .

With this preface material, what is the social and legal task before homeowner rights advocates and other concerned citizens?

A properly functioning government is a precondition for individual success and a thriving society (p. 13).     You’ll see the widespread assumption that those at the ‘top’ know best and that the people they consider beneath them can’t be trusted. This can be summed up as a top-down or one-size-fits-all approach  (p. 5).

If we are to go beyond fighting injustice one person at a time, then the core institutions of community, education, business, and government must be transformed (p. 243). Transforming these institutions so they consistently empower people to succeed is the job of Social Engineers (p. 10).

With respect to HOA-Land, see on Amazon [note 2], my Commentary [note 3].

Notes

  1.  Believe In People, Charles Koch & Brian Hooks, St. Martin’s Press, 2020.
  2. A Plan Toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance.
  3. Plan to Restructure HOA model.

America cannot be completely unified with HOAs

America cannot be completely unified with HOA-Land not subject to Constitution

Our new #PresidentBiden and #VicePresidentHarris have a task before them if they truly seek to unite America.  There are some 23% of Americans live under special laws for special entities known as #HOAs – #homeownerassociations – that are authoritarian local governments not subject to the #Constitution as required by all local and state governments.

In total, these fragmented HOAs constitute The HOA-Land Nation within America, actively encouraged and supported by all state legislatures to some degree or another.  Only the federal government can act Restoring the lost Constitution to HOA-Land.  I brought this very need to the attention of the Trump presidency with no results (Rogue presidents: Trump and HOAs). A Plan Toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance has been proposed to this effect.

I now call upon President Biden and Vice President Harris to truly unite all Americans under the Constitution and the laws of the land.

Escaping the HOA cult environment

There is a mass psychology present in HOA-Land — a cult environment. Everyone is vulnerable to cult recruitment. The followers cannot be held to blame because of their deceptive recruitment. There is a lack of awareness and information in regard to how the cult truly works and how it motives people.

Escaping the conditioning and indoctrination that creates the cult  mentality can be accomplished through debriefing techniques. The goal of debriefing is to get the cult member to think for himself and re-evaluate his situation. Debriefing methods can include:

educating the cult member on thought-reform techniques and helping him to recognize those methods in his own cult experience

asking questions that encourage the cult member to think in a critical, independent way, helping him to recognize that type of thinking and praising him for it

attempting to produce an emotional connection to his former life by introducing objects from his past and having family members share their memories of his pre-cult existence

Read more at Cult behavior within HOA-Land; Rogue presidents: Trump and HOAs.  The reorientation and reeducation required to attain substantive HOA reforms can be found in A Plan Toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance.

Failing to achieve substantive HOA reforms

Is there a way out?  Definitely yes!

It is not by going to state legislatures to be repeatedly rejected, or given token reforms but with no substantive redress of grievances. It is not by repeatedly expecting the courts to do homeowner justice in spite of the strong stare decisis precedent of pro-HOA laws and public policy favoring HOA-Land. It is not by expecting law colleges to provide a balanced educational program in law for students that includes HOA constitutionality.

And it is not by hoping that the media — granted special 1st Amendment protections to inform and educate the citizens on political matters — will measure up and so present the whole HOA truth that has been so long hidden from the public.

As a result of my 21 years of activism and advocacy for HOA constitutionality, and my education and detailed research, I have come to understand the greater social and political forces at work. These forces that have led to the current culture and environment surrounding the HOA legal scheme and structure. They are detailed in my “The HOA-Land Culture.”

Read more at Cult behavior within HOA-Land and Plan to Restructure HOA model.