In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the homeowners association, board members are tasked with maintaining not only the values of the properties but also the lives of the homeowners within the community. However, without homeowner participation, the board can have a difficult time determining what the homeowners may be thinking about their HOA.
A key method for encouraging homeowners to participate is to foster a sense of community. If homeowners feel like their opinions are welcome and are heard, they will be more willing to show up to events, to meetings, and for each other.
So, how exactly can you build community in your association?
There are several ways to build a sense of community. First, advertising meetings and events is a great start. By providing that direct invitation to homeowners, the board can show how they genuinely want homeowners to be present in HOA happenings. Sending out frequent reminders will help keep these meetings and events top of mind, encouraging homeowners to mark down the dates and get excited for the opportunities offered by their community.
Second, general communication should also be a priority when building a sense of community. By establishing open communication and forming a transparent board-homeowner relationship, homeowners will feel more comfortable around the board and feel that their voice matters. Keeping homeowners in the loop of the HOA is vital, which can be accomplished via newsletters, eblasts, social media posts, etc. If homeowners feel like they know what is going on, they will be more inclined to jump into conversations in which they should really be included.
Another great way to build community is to host homeowner forums during board, annual, and town hall meetings. Including an open forum will signify to the homeowners that their opinions are not only allowed but encouraged. Homeowners will be more willing to attend knowing that their time is considered when the meeting is scheduled.
Building community can also be accomplished through offering incentives for meetings. For example, snacks or catering could be provided at meetings. An easy snack could be individually wrapped chips or cookies, or the board could even schedule a food truck to be parked near the meeting area, if the venue is within the community. Additionally, a raffle could be hosted at the annual meeting to further encourage homeowners to attend.
Likewise, offering prizes for community contests can build a greater sense of community. The HOA could host yard of the month or holiday decorating contests to encourage homeowners to prioritize property maintenance and create value for their own properties and also the community as a whole. Encouraging friendly competition among neighbors will help spark motivation to put effort into making the community feel spirited as well as allow homeowners to be recognized for their efforts.
Lastly, providing opportunities for homeowners to volunteer and get involved is another way to build community. Sometimes homeowners are not involved simply because they are unaware of ways they can help. By hosting community clean-up days or soliciting volunteers to judge contests, the HOA can help homeowners feel needed and appreciated. This way, homeowners can directly contribute to creating value in the community as well as encouraging each other for all their hard work.
Here at JellyBird, we aim to help you manage your HOA successfully. If your board wants more information about encouraging homeowner participation or has any questions about other HOA matters, don’t hesitate to reach out to a JellyBird representative today to see what we have to offer.
For more great information, visit Boardline Academy, where you can find free webinars to help you become the best HOA Board Member you can be!