COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM
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YOUR HOME.   YOUR CLUB.  YOUR COMMUNITY.
THE COMMUNITY AND CLUB ARE LINKED

The community and its club are tightly linked, and a healthy community with strong property values needs a healthy club component.  Historically, a community that has a high quality and financially sound country club maintains its property values better than a community without.  In other words, a community that has a declining or financially  unstable or unsound club will usually suffer some negative affect on property values as new buyers choose to live in the communities with better kept clubs.



COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM (CMP)

In a Community Membership Program (CMP), every resident financially supports the country club amenities at some level, in a manner similar to the way a homeowners association maintains all of its common areas and elements.

Problems at the Club

DUES REVENUES ARE DECREASING
Most private golf communities have hundreds if not thousands of homes that have a private club with amenities like pools, tennis courts, fitness centers and, of course, a golf course or two.  But in many cases, new or resale buyers decline the purchase of a membership in the club, leaving a minority of residents paying the bill for club amenities.  In addition, many clubs are experiencing a decline in membership numbers as once supporting resident members drop down to a membership category with lower dues levels or resign their membership all together.  The evaporation of golf club membership is a result of the changing demographics of residential buyers, increased competition from other private country clubs, more competition for family discretionary income, and the introduction of high-end public golf courses with a private club experience.  This means the all important membership dues revenue line item in the budget is getting smaller and smaller.



OPERATING COSTS ARE INCREASING
As dues revenues are decreasing, operating costs are rapidly increasing.  Labor and fuel costs continue to rise along with higher and higher insurance and property taxes.  The result is that the club's bottom line may be shrinking quickly or is already in the red.



MANAGEMENT IS IN FINANCIAL CRISIS

The club's owners, General Manager and Board of Directors have to look for ways to raise revenues and lower expenses.  On the revenue side, this may mean raising dues, golf fees, food and beverage fees, adding F&B minimums and even imposing annual assessments to cover operating deficits.  But because a club cannot forever raise dues or ask the membership to cover operating deficits, they have to implement cost cutting measures.  So they start to reduce the golf course maintenance budget, lower the number of staff members, reduce the hours of operation, change to a cheaper brand of golf cart, and generally reduce the quality of product and service to minimum levels.  These short-term financial strategies may work to make the profit and loss statement look good this month or year, but in reality what they have done is to perpetuate an out of control financial equation.


The Property Owners


HOW THIS AFFECTS REAL ESTATE AND MEMBERSHIP
When the financial condition of the club starts to decline, so do the amenities.  This affects the club's ability to keep existing members as well as attract new home buyers that want to join the club.  If the club isn't making operational profits, capital improvement projects have to be cut, landscaping expenses are scaled back, basic maintenance services are suspended, and amenities continue to erode in both physical appearance and perception by outsiders.  This feeds a downward spiral leading to an inferior club image that can quickly harm property owners real estate values, whether they belong to the club or not.

The Community

A CMP WILL HELP THE CLUB AND THE PROPERTY OWNERS
A steady and predictable stream of dues stabilizes club revenues so operating costs can be met and the club can make necessary capital improvements, whether through secured debt or capital improvement funds.  This sustains the economic viability of the club and the community in a fair and equitable manner among all who benefit from the existence of the country club amenities.

A community with a financially stable club tends to attract home buyers who want a high quality social and recreational country club lifestyle.  These new buyers are genuinely concerned with the lifestyle of the community and are more comfortable if the country club is supported by all the residents in the community, not just a few.





UNERSTANDING THE LINK BETWEEN THE CLUB AND THE COMMUNITY IS VITAL

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