There are many moving parts when it comes to running an effective HOA. It’s about more than just the board making decisions. It also revolves around homeowner input, property manager guidance, vendor services, and other relationships. Fostering a respectful environment with clear communication can improve operations and overall function. The relationship between board members and homeowners can be especially important. Making everyone feel heard and valued is essential.
- Be Social: Take time to say hi to neighbors and get to know one another. Participate in social events and get involved in activities happening in the community. This can help to break down barriers between board members and homeowners and increase personal connections. It’s important to remember that board members are homeowners too and they’re part of the community.
- Be a Good Listener: Listening works both ways. The board should hear out members and truly listen to their concerns and ideas, but at the same time, members need to listen to the board and their explanations. Misunderstandings and poor communication are at the root of many problems. Many people only half listen because they’re busy thinking about how they will respond – give your full attention to the person speaking and really hear what they have to say before jumping to conclusions.
- Be Timely: When homeowners bring up issues or questions, make sure that they receive a response in a timely manner and are acknowledged. Even if an answer is not readily available, acknowledge the question and let the person know that you’ll get back to them – then don’t forget to follow up. Homeowners should also be timely about bringing problems to the HOA’s attention so that they can be addressed quickly and efficiently. The HOA can’t solve a problem that they aren’t aware exists.
- Be Realistic: Rules are put in place and enforced for a reason. The Board doesn’t impose restrictions to punish homeowners or make their lives more difficult – there should be a logical explanation for policies and procedures. Both homeowners and board members should be realistic when addressing problems or ideas. Consider what makes sense for the overall well-being and interest of the community. Rules should not be proposed if they will only benefit a few people. Try to look at issues from both sides and consider homeowner and board member perspectives.
When board members and homeowners make a conscious effort to improve communications, listen to one another, be sociable, and keep the best interests of everyone in mind, it can make for a more peaceable and well-run community. Hiring a property manager can also help to facilitate improved relationships and communications among all parties. Contact Kuester to learn more about how we partner with HOA boards and communities throughout the Carolinas.