In many communities, homeowners move in and out of the neighborhood throughout the year. That brings up a greater need to keep members informed and updated regarding HOA operations and expectations. One way to help new homeowners get off to a stronger start is to provide a comprehensive welcome packet that provides them with all of the information they may need. It’s not enough just to pass along a copy of the rules and be done.
Here are a few things to consider including in your HOA welcome packet:
- An Introduction. Compose a simple letter welcoming the family to the neighborhood setting a positive tone. Explain that the packet contains essential information to help them get settled in.
- Governing Documents. Of course you’ll want to provide current copies of all governing documents just in case the previous homeowner didn’t leave them. You can also include a link to the HOA website and information on how to access these files electronically if that is an option.
- Community Amenities. Outline available amenities within the HOA community and how to go about reserving rooms at the clubhouse, accessing the business center, or getting a passcode for the pool gate. Include hours of operation and basic rules and expectations.
- Contact Information. Make sure new homeowners know who to contact should they need something, and how to get ahold of these people. Introduce the board members, security or maintenance personnel, and any other key leaders within the community.
- Important Forms. Does your HOA collect basic contact information or have forms for parking permits, gate codes, or architectural review requests? Provide a copy in the welcome packet and let homeowners know how and where to submit them, and where to get additional copies if needed.
- Utility & Service Providers. Settling into a new home means setting up utilities and other services, which can be frustrating if you’re new to the area and aren’t sure what’s available. Provide contact information for local providers for electric, cable, Internet, trash and recycling, and other services that homeowners may need.
- Community Resources. As you welcome members into your association, also welcome them to the community in general. You can include information on nearby restaurants, recreational areas, entertainment venues, and other spots of interest.
- FAQ. It can take time for homeowners to review all of the governing documents and figure out what they still need to know. Write up a brief summary of frequently asked questions to get them started. Include the basics that homeowners need to know to get off on the right foot and feel more welcome in their new community.
Compiling a comprehensive welcome packet can help homeowners to better adjust to the HOA and put everything they need in place. Working with a property management company such as Kuester can help you to figure out what to include and how to make transitions run more smoothly. Make your HOA community a welcoming and enjoyable place for members to call home.