Do homeowners in your area recognize and value the sense of community that living in a neighborhood with an HOA provides? Many residents lack the sense of community and may even feel isolated. As the HOA board and, if applicable, their management company work together, homeowners can identify the value of a community association, as well as feel a sense of community where they live.
As the HOA creates a stronger sense of community within the neighborhood, residents will recognize the many benefits that come along with living in a well-managed and maintained community. They’ll be happier to contribute to monthly/annual dues in order to improve their surroundings. The goal of the HOA is not only to fix things and make repairs but also to help homeowners to feel a sense of ownership and investment in the area they live, not just in their individual homes. In order to create this sense of community, there are some things HOAs need to do.
Here are some tips that can help you improve your community:
Communicate HOA Rules
When HOA rules are clearly articulated, misunderstandings can be kept to a minimum. Homeowners are less likely to be upset when they understand the role of the HOA management company in enforcing the necessary rules and regulations.
Utilize common areas as a way for residents to get together. Clubhouses, recreation centers, pools, and parks are there to help members interact with one another on a regular basis. These areas should be used for community activities and events that bring members of the neighborhood together.
By using the common areas, a social committee or board members can celebrate holidays or special occasions with their communities through organized, fun events. As the homeowners come together and socialize, they will feel a greater sense of community.
Residents should not feel alienated by their community association. But instead, the association should work hard to encourage open communication from within and invite members many opportunities to participate. The HOA Board and management company should work together by providing a channel of correspondence between the members, allowing each homeowner to feel they have a voice and their voice is valued when it comes to governing their community.
Create a Newsletter
Another great way to improve a sense of community is by creating a neighborhood newsletter. The Board can utilize this resource to announce upcoming projects and meetings, as well as any events that are scheduled. It’s also a great way for the management company to update homeowners on any changes or education that may be necessary. You can also add a special section for business owners in the community to market various services to homeowners. Newsletters can be made and printed easily and distributed around the community. This also provides an opportunity to engage in conversations with homeowners. You could also distribute a newsletter via email.
Create a Website
In addition to creating a newsletter, operating a website is another effective way to keep community members in the loop. It can be password protected, so that only residents have access. Bylaws, CC&Rs, and welcome information can be stored here for quick reference. Upcoming events, holidays, calendars, and any ongoing project updates can be shared on a community website. Many management companies provide a complimentary website to their clients. This is one of the important ways we have found to help build a sense of community within our associations.
Organize a Committee
By organizing a welcome committee to communicate with new homeowners, you will not only help new residents to feel welcome but also encourage them to get involved. You may even be able to persuade them to take an active part in the HOA board. It can be something simple, like a group of homeowners that delivers a fruit basket or pastry to new residents. Another type of committee would be an events committee. This group of residents can organize activities, parties, game nights, pool get-togethers, and other types of events that will bring homeowners together and encourage them to get to know one another.
By implementing these ideas within your own neighborhood, residents will feel more engaged in their community and gain a sense of belonging. Not only may they feel a greater sense of ownership through their participation, but they may also grow to recognize and appreciate the benefits of working with the HOA board and your partner management company.
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