When homeowners and the board aren’t on the same page, it can put a strain on the HOA. The board may find that there are more violations and pushback from members. Instead of everyone working together, it seems that everyone is fighting for themselves. This can put more stress on the community. Creating a harmonious environment that benefits the good of the group is ideal, but how can the HOA overcome these obstacles and bridge the gap?
- Improve Communication
First and foremost, clear and consistent communication is key. If homeowners feel that they are being left in the dark and not informed about decisions that are being made, of course there will be pushback. Make sure that meetings are well advertised, newsletters contain relevant information sent out on a regular basis, and contact information for homeowners is up to date.
- Welcome Input
At the same time, there should be processes and procedures in place for homeowners to convey their questions, concerns, and ideas. Make sure that voice or email inboxes are checked regularly and messages responded to – and followed up on – in a timely manner. Invite members to give feedback regarding proposed changes. Create a welcoming environment at meetings so that members feel comfortable getting up to speak.
- Increase Transparency
Another source of disconnect comes from lack of information as well as misconceptions. Make documents regarding HOA meetings, annual budgets, and rules and regulations readily available. If changes are proposed, ensure that the rationale behind why certain rules are being put in place is communicated, and what the goal is. A rule may seem frivolous at first until homeowners recognize how they benefit. Members should also be informed about how dues are being spent or saved so they can see where their money is going and what the return is.
- Encourage Involvement
Getting more homeowners actively involved is a great way to build a stronger sense of community. When members regularly attend board meetings and events, participate on committees, or volunteer in other ways, they feel a part of the organization and see how they can make a difference. Board members should also ensure that they are visible and socialize with members so everyone gets to know one another.
Board members and homeowners must work together for the HOA to operate efficiently and effectively. Partnering with a property management company like Kuester can help to build stronger relationships, improve communication, and cultivate trust and confidence in the board. When homeowners feel valued and heard, and the board is supported in fulfilling its duties, it can create a more pleasant and enjoyable community.