Membership enthusiasm plays a key role in the success of every community. When homeowners are engaged and excited, the whole community can feel it. It makes the HOA a vibrant, bustling place to live. Not only does an engaged membership support high property values, close-knit homeowners are integral to creating a true sense of community.
So, how do you inspire homeowners in your HOA to love the community? How do you encourage them to take the time to get more involved?
Read on for our surefire tips to get homeowners to deepen their interest in the place you all call home.
Looking good, feeling good
The easiest way to get homeowners more excited about the community is to make sure that the grounds themselves looks great. The HOA plays a major role in maintaining the community’s appearance because the HOA’s rules & regulations are what establish the standard of living. It goes without saying that any eyesores or major repairs should be handled as quickly as possible. However, keeping up an eye-catching aesthetic is a great way to instill pride of ownership among members. That means not just making sure that the front gate and office look great, but ensuring that homes, lawns, streets, parking areas, amenities, walkways, parks, storage areas, garbage/recycling zones and every other nook and cranny of the community are clean, well-lit, and impeccably maintained.
Keep homeowners in the loop
Create a sense of inclusivity by putting a solid communication network in place. Make sure the information members need is available as quickly and conveniently as possible, and that everyone knows whom to contact with questions. Because your community’s membership has diverse needs, be sure to put in place a lot of communication methods so everyone can stay in the know in the way that’s most comfortable for them. Use community websites, phone calls, emails, eNewsletters, an HOA Twitter account, written notices, printed community newsletters, and common area message boards to share information with the membership.
In addition, set up password-protected board- and membership portals that make it easy for members to serve themselves. These digital tools can include billing statements, maintenance requests, board meeting minutes and other important information that your HOA wants to share with the membership, but not with the general public. Your property management company might already have some of these tools in place for you. Ask your community manager to give you a run-through.
Finally, go the extra mile to facilitate communication between members themselves. Large-scale communities have lots of success with Facebook and NextDoor groups that allow members to communicate directly.
Hold more community events
One of the most fun ways to make people feel more invested in the community is to simply invite them to get to know one another in person. It might seem old-school but chatting over food and drinks strengthens relationships in as little as a few hours.
Community social events work best when they’re driven by the membership. Form a social committee to brainstorm a calendar of annual events that makes sense for your community. Because each community is unique, each of your events should be unique. Once you have your ideas, solicit additional volunteers from the community to help bring the events to life. You’d be surprised how much bonding goes into planning events, as well as attending them.
The best way to build a lasting sense of community through events is to iterate on your ideas, not just host a “one-and-done” event. If your event had 50 attendees last year, try for 75 this year. If you had one live music act at your music in the park night, next time add more bands to the lineup. Remember that not everyone will be able to attend every event, so creating repeating seasonal or annual events will enable more homeowners to get involved.
Ask your manager to help expand on your planning committee’s ideas and to spearhead the communications efforts before—and after—the event.
Articulate a clear vision for your community
Putting a well-developed strategic plan in place for your HOA helps define the type of environment the membership wants the community to be. Your association’s strategic plan should contain a clear general statement about what you’re trying to accomplish as a community, which should, in turn, support property values. If you don’t already have a strategic plan in place, your property management company can help you to begin laying the groundwork.
Communicate this vision to the membership. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Create a one-pager that outlines the vision for the community, upcoming initiatives that support the vision and the positive impact these initiatives will have on the community. Demonstrating to the membership how the community’s strategic plan is coming to life makes homeowners feel more involved in the journey.
Your community should be a place you are excited to come home to, even if you’ve lived there for years. Effective communication, fun social events, and a clear vision for the HOA continue to remind homeowners why they were interested in the community in the first place and will make each day more exciting than the last.
Looking for more ideas about how to get homeowners more excited about your community? Our expert property managers have lots of ideas. Let’s talk.