The new year is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings – that can apply to your HOA newsletter as well. If you’ve been using the same layout and basic content for the past few years, it may be time to spruce things up. Effective changes can also attract homeowner attention and get them to pay attention since the newsletter doesn’t look the same as it did before.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

Update the layout. Find a new template or add a splash of color to make the newsletter more visually appealing. Break up large blocks of text with horizontal lines, bullet points, pictures, and other features. You want the information to be easy to scan and not too overwhelming.

Keep it short and to the point. No one wants to trudge through a two- or three-page story. Keep articles short and concise, conveying exactly what homeowners want and need to know. If a story does go longer, consider breaking it into more than one article and focusing each one on different aspects of the topic at hand.

Stay positive. Highlight the good things that are happening in the HOA community – projects that are wrapping up, improvements that have been made, upcoming social events, and the results of volunteer efforts. While you may need to devote some space to reminders about policies and procedures, try to keep the overall feel positive. And remind homeowners of why these rules are necessary for the betterment of the community.

Ask for contributions or feedback. Find out what homeowners really want to know and what information they’d like to see in upcoming newsletters. You may want to invite members to write articles too to share the workload and get them more involved.

Be consistent. Make sure there is a regular schedule for distributing newsletters and that it is adhered to. This makes it easier for homeowners to stay connected because they know when the newsletter will be sent. Post a copy on the community website as well, and have an archive where homeowners can access previous issues.

Members are more likely to take the time to read the newsletter if it contains useful information that is timely and easy to digest. Don’t use a lot of complex terminology or long, drawn out sentences. Keep it simple. It may take a few tries to optimize your newsletter and gain strong traction, but keep it up and continue listening to members about what they want and need to know.

Don’t forget that a property management company like Kuester can support your HOA in developing and distributing the community newsletter as well as fielding questions and comments from homeowners. Start the new year off on a strong note by taking the time to update your community newsletter and enhance communication efforts.

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