Although homeowners associations are made up of many homes and families, that doesn’t necessarily mean that members feel connected or know one another. They may just all happen to live in the same area but go about their own separate lives. One of the roles of the HOA is to create a sense of community where everyone is working within the best interests of the group as a whole. When people are more invested, it can enhance decision making and improvements within the HOA.
But how can the board help to bring everyone together?
- Host Social Events
There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to bring homeowners together for fun activities and events. Consider holding barbeques, pool parties, holiday events, community yard sales, decorating contests, movie nights, and other activities. This allows everyone to socialize and get to know each other in a casual setting. Gather feedback from homeowners about what types of events they would be interested in to boost attendance.
- Encourage Participation
Whether recruiting for the board, committees, or volunteer projects, highlight compelling reasons for members to get involved. Identify different skill sets that are necessary, how participation benefits the community, and what is required. Oftentimes people want to get involved, they’re just not sure how. Keep promoting different opportunities throughout the year.
- Improve Communication
Communication is essential in bringing people together. Many disputes arise because homeowners are not on the same page or are unaware of rules or expectations. Being more open and transparent, consistently sending out newsletters, and alerting members to important meetings, events, and changes can reduce disagreements and apathy.
- Gather Feedback
Members want to know that their thoughts, ideas, and concerns are not falling on deaf ears or being overlooked. Make a conscious effort to address member input and gather feedback regarding proposed changes. Find out what is important to homeowners and how to align the HOA’s activities with what members feel most strongly about. The board and homeowners should be working together toward common goals.
- Create a Welcome Committee
Start building relationships right from the start. When new homeowners move in, have a welcoming committee in place to greet them and introduce them to the community. Provide copies of important HOA documents, information about the area, and other resources they may find useful. Let them know how to contact the HOA with questions or concerns and who to turn to for assistance. Homeowners should know that they are a valued part of the community.
Building relationships and putting the right processes and procedures in place can take time. What works for one HOA community may not work as well for the next. Kuester supports HOAs in improving communication, working together with homeowners, and effectively resolving problems to cultivate stronger communities.