Building Community in your Neighborhood HOA
Just because you have a cluster of houses, condos, or apartments sharing a common area, that doesn’t mean you have a community. Indeed, one of the chief responsibilities of the HOA is to cultivate a sense of community, something that will ultimately generate greater pride among residents and make for a more desirable place to live. In the end, building community in your neighborhood is something that can only increase property value—but what can your HOA board do to make this happen?
There are a few general tips worth keeping in mind:
- One of the best things that an association board member can do is to lead effectively through strong communication. In talking to other residents, it’s important that you see beyond the rules and regulations, and even learn to listen to more than just the words being spoken by community members. As they express their feelings about life in the community, really listen to what motivates and drives them. Understanding their fears or their hopes for the community will ultimately help you form more meaningful bonds and make better-informed decisions.
- Another way to generate a sense of community is to be proactive in obtaining resident feedback. This is especially true if there are rules or policies not being adhered to. Rather than double down on your enforcement of these policies, talk to people and find out what suggestions they have for improving the regulations.
- Also encourage residents to really engage with the community—whether their ambition is to help plan a neighborhood picnic or install new recycling bins, encourage them to do so. And recognize their achievements, as well!
- Finally, ensure that you’re taking full advantage of your community’s resources. Do you have a clubhouse, a common pool area, or an open space where a picnic or barbecue might be held? Using these facilities is a great way to generate interest in—and pride in—your community’s life.