Clear and effective communication is an essential part of many aspects of our lives, and HOAs are not excluded. Consider the fact that the board is making decisions and enforcing rules that impact a significant number of people. If homeowners are unaware of these policies or don’t understand them, this can cause some serious challenges.
Let’s face it – not everyone attends board meetings; therefore, they must get their information from other sources. It is easy for misunderstandings to occur as others try to relay what they heard. This makes it even more critical for the HOA to disseminate information in multiple ways to reach as many members as possible. Different topics may require different approaches, so know your audience and which tactics are most effective. Also, make sure you are abiding by the governing documents for your HOA as to how and when certain information must be distributed.
Here are several ideas for diverse ways to convey content to homeowners:
- Website: Maintaining a comprehensive website gives members a single place to access a variety of information. Upload governing documents, include pages about committees and projects, add contact information, and make it a one-stop-shop for homeowners. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll be able to contact someone for assistance.
- Social Media: Create community pages on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With so many users on these sites every day, they can check out new posts and interact with others from the neighborhood. It can be a great way to send reminders about upcoming events and meetings.
- Email: Send news directly to their inbox. Keep messages short and to the point to encourage members to read them in their entirety instead of just skimming or deleting. Use email strategically so members don’t feel as though they’re being bombarded with constant messages.
- Newsletter: A quarterly (or however often you choose to send it) newsletter can be a valuable way of highlighting projects, reminding homeowners of important guidelines, promoting upcoming events, and recognizing the work of individuals or committees within the neighborhood.
- Meetings: Board meetings and the annual meeting are always an important time to focus on business and give homeowners an opportunity to voice their ideas, opinions, and concerns. Make sure that meeting minutes are promptly distributed or posted for review by members once the meeting has concluded so that they know what occurred.
- Special Events: Bring homeowners together for block parties, holiday gatherings, community yard sales, and other events. Make sure that board members are in attendance and engage with attendees to build positive relationships and make themselves more well known.
- Face-to-Face: Meet with homeowners who have questions or concerns to clear up misinformation. Create a personal connection and let them know that what they have to say is important and you will work with them to find an answer.
Also, ask for feedback from the community about what they prefer and the best ways to communicate. Strategies may differ from one HOA to another and one board to another. It’s about finding what works for your community. Kuester Management Group can help to organize and facilitate communications and events to build stronger, more informed organizations.