Communication is an essential part of running an effective homeowners association (HOA). Members must be kept in the loop about what is going on in the association, how it affects them, and how they can get involved. However, there is a fine line between staying connected and overloading people with information. You don’t want to send out an email blast or post a notice for every little thing that happens. When members receive too many messages, they’re less likely to take the time to read each one.
This is where having an HOA newsletter can come in handy. Sending out a regular newsletter once per month, once per quarter, or whatever frequency works best for your community, can keep members informed without being overwhelming. Here are a few ways to create a newsletter that will actually keep readers’ attention:
· Keep it short and sweet. Skip the fluff when it comes to articles. Make them short and to the point, providing the essentials that homeowners need to know. Someone is more likely to read a paragraph or two on a topic than a full page or more.
· Break things up. Incorporate pictures, graphics, or other images into the newsletter so it’s not a huge block of text. Using a template that divides it up by story or section can help as well to make it more visually appealing.
· Make it relevant. Include information that is timely and that members need to know. Give members the opportunity to get involved and write articles of their own (with board approval) to give different perspectives and build connections.
· Highlight member accomplishments. Give a shout-out to members who are doing great things. Recognize them for their achievements and making a difference. Introduce new members or volunteers so they become familiar faces.
· Make it digital. Save time and money by creating a digital newsletter. Compile a list of member emails addresses and send the newsletter electronically. You can also post it on the community website. Members are more connected to technology than ever, so the HOA can use this to its advantage.
· Provide reminders. Is there an upcoming board meeting or social event? Is the community having a problem with people leaving their trashcans out? Devote a small section to highlighting upcoming events and reminding members about key rules that may be being overlooked.
Most importantly, customize your newsletter to your community’s needs. One size does not fit all, so if you’re using a template or another newsletter for guidance, remember to adjust it accordingly to fit your membership. Don’t include information just to take up space. Members will appreciate a document that is clear and to the point over one that contains a lot of filler.
If your HOA needs help creating or distributing its newsletter, Kuester can help. Our property managers provide the support, guidance, and assistance necessary to help associations stay connected with members and communicate more effectively.