Many homeowners don’t feel a sense of community in their Neighborhoods or see the value their HOA provides. They know have to pay extra money on top of their mortgage to the community, but what value do they receive? This confusion and sense of isolation doesn’t have to exist in your community if your board and HOA Management Company work together.
If the HOA creates a sense of community with its homeowners, they’ll feel that there are some tremendous benefits for living in a HOA community and will be happier to pay their dues and contribute to the overall success of the community. The goal of any HOA is not to just fix things around the community, but to help homeowners become invested in their community just like they are in their own homes. To do this, HOAs need to create a sense of community. Here are some tips on how to create this:
- Common Areas
Highlight neighborhood common areas so that residents can come together. Leveraging clubhouses, recreational facilities and other common areas will help members interact with each other on a regular basis and will allow them to meet each other informally. Use these common areas to their fullest and organize as many events as you can there.
- Open Communication
A community association shouldn’t be some closed entity that alienates its members. Instead, it is the association’s job to promote open communication to and from its members. The board and management should provide a channel for feedback from its members, and by doing so the board is letting each of the homeowners know that their voice matters when it comes to governing the neighborhood.
- Fun Events
To create a sense of community, the HOA can schedule fun events that will encourage members to get to know each other. Sometimes, homeowners are too busy with their own lives to get to know their neighbors and fun events will get them out of their shell. You can create an enjoyable event for any upcoming holiday or make up any reason to have one. All that matters is that homeowners come together to meet each other and interact with one another.
- Communicate HOA Rules
If you don’t effectively communicate the HO’s rules, misunderstandings can happen and that can then lead to a dysfunctional HOA. Homeowners will be upset and might even try to get others to oppose the HOA board. This can easily be avoided if the board communicates the rules in an effective manner to avoid conflicts.
- Organize A Welcoming Committee
To welcome new homeowners to the neighborhood, set up a voluntary welcoming committee that will create goodwill among new homeowners. This small gesture will not only welcome them to the neighborhood, but it will shed some good light on the HOA and can even persuade them to become involved with the association in the future. The welcoming committee doesn’t even have to do much and can just be a few neighbors who come over with a small gesture like a pastry or fruit basket to welcome new homeowners to the community.
- Create A Newsletter
Another way to open up good communication between the HOA and the community residents is to create a newsletter, letting them know what’s happening with the board and the community. You can send your newsletter Quarter or as little as once or twice per year. Your newsletter can address any concerns in the neighborhood, advertise any upcoming community events and you can even add a special classified section that markets services from homeowners. These are easy to make and you can send them via email to save on postage or just walk around the neighborhood to distribute. If you have an HOA Management company, they can assist you.
- Create A Website
In addition to a newsletter, you can create a special website for your HOA and its community. The website can be password protected, with only community members given access to the site. Community documents like your bylaws and CC&R’s along with welcome information should be housed here. You can also include upcoming events, calendars or customize it to meet the needs of your community. Spectrum Association Management provides all of our clients with a complimentary website. We’ve found that it really helps build a sense of community and provides an added convenience.