HOA Participation: Overcoming Apathy Among Homeowners:
It’s one of the most common questions we receive from HOA Board members: How do we get homeowners to participate in committees, in HOA events, or even in Board service? We’d love to have all hands on deck, but most of the people in our community are just apathetic!
That level of apathy is, unfortunately, pretty common in HOA circles, though perhaps apathy is putting it a bit harshly. It’s not that people are uninterested in the affairs of their community. It’s just that they are so busy in other parts of their lives, and often they do not fully understand the needs of the Association or how they can contribute.
With that said, there is no way to force homeowners to care about HOA happenings, but members of the Board can work to woo and entice them—overcoming indifference, impressing on them the level of need, and hopefully cultivating a spirit of volunteerism within your HOA community.
- Communicate regularly—letting homeowners know not just what the needs are but also about the Board’s achievements.
- Give public affirmation where it is due, recognizing and honoring those who volunteer on the Association’s behalf.
- Socialize your HOA membership. Make sure your community is interactive. The more homeowners get to know each other, the more willing they will be to volunteer on one another’s behalf.
- Give your volunteers real jobs to do—jobs with specific responsibilities and real value. Don’t give them busywork.
- Be an encourager! Don’t berate those who don’t volunteer, but gently push them toward service.
- Be respectful of people’s time. When you recruit volunteers, make clear to them what kind of time commitment is expected of them.
- Try to match people with jobs they are interested in or are good at.
- Remember that recruiting volunteers is a year-round concern—not just something to think about at your annual Association meeting!
Be diligent and proactive in cultivating a spirit of volunteerism in your community, and cut through the apathy to find homeowners’ passion for community.