Changing the direction of your HOA is kinda like turning the Titanic. Whether it’s a change in policy or the change to the whole system, it takes time and you’re going to hit some bumps along the way. Okay, maybe the Titanic is a bad example since it’s sitting on the bottom of the ocean. But if you plan ahead and make the right moves the experience can be a positive one.

As a manager I’ve had the opportunity to implement many kinds of change. Some went very well and some didn’t. Hopefully this example of a change that took place a few years ago can help you in your next big change.

The Problem

For years, this particular community allowed the satellite dish cables to run down the side of the building. The cables looked terrible and were usually nailed to the stucco making holes that needed to be repaired.

The Solution

After a lot of discussion and consideration, the board decided that they would no longer allow the cables to run along the exterior of the buildings. This meant that all the cables would need to be removed and re-routed through the interior walls. This was no small feat, and not all the homeowner were thrilled about the change in policy.


With this type of change you don’t just send a letter and start ripping down cables. We first notified all of the residents using various types of media, and then, we notified them again. We gave a specific date when the cables would need to be removed. We also made arrangements for a local company to move the cables at a very affordable rate.

This change was not necessarily easy, but because we followed the steps to leading change, nearly all the homeowners understood why the change was needed, they saw the shared benefit, and were able to overlook any inconvenience that was involved. Almost immediately the community looked better, and as managers we went from sending several cable violation letters each month to sending only a few a year. This change helped everyone understand the expectation and since there are no exterior cables, the dish installers no longer assume that exterior cables were okay.

The point is… change is important and essential, and when it’s done right, homeowners will understand and embrace the change. In the long run your community will be better place, and your job will be a little easier.

Burke Nielsen

Burke Nielsen

Founder and Account Manager at GoGladly
Burke is Gladly's top industry expert. After 12 years in portfolio management, Burke founded an HOA management firm, and has drawn from that experience to offer insider-level understanding to Gladly. One of Burke's rare charms is that he actually loves listening to your problems. His more traditional hobbies include camping, 4-wheeling, and spending time with his wife and 5 terrific kids,especially when he gets to nag them about homework (nag the kids, not his wife).
Burke Nielsen

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