Involvement from community members is the cornerstone of quality HOA management. However, boards often struggle to increase participation from homeowners.
Ironically, less engagement from community members is often a sign that association management is going well. After all, homeowners are more likely to speak up when they have concerns than when they’re satisfied. However, a significant part of successful HOA management is getting homeowners involved in a positive way.
So, how can you encourage more homeowners to actively participate in your community’s association management? Here are some tips to get started.
Update your HOA’s communication platforms
Urging busy homeowners to get involved in HOA activities means connecting with them on platforms they’re likely to see. Be proactive about sharing real-time announcements on all communication platforms, including your community’s website, email blasts, newsletters, signage in common areas, member portals, social media, and all the other methods your community uses to communicate. Your community manager can help launch new platforms and will post frequent updates on all your HOA’s communication channels.
Activate your amenity set
Your community’s unique amenities play a significant role in what makes your HOA special. Use your amenities as a centerpiece for homeowner engagement. Ensuring that the pool, parks, trails, sports complexes, and fitness center, etc. are well-maintained will invite resident usage and enjoyment. Additionally, scheduling events and activities around amenities will not only serve as a reminder of the value that the association provides but will help re-engage and re-connect homeowners.
Invite board members to speak at events
Some homeowners are unlikely to ever attend a board meeting, but community events provide an opportunity to bring HOA announcements to them. Ask at least one board member to attend each community event and share a brief update about any exciting news on the horizon for the HOA. Putting a face to the board of directors helps homeowners see that the board is comprised of volunteers who are working hard to support property values by maintaining a well-run HOA.
Invite community members to join the social committee
A social committee can be a huge help for an HOA and alleviates some of the board’s responsibility for planning and executing events. Social committees are comprised of volunteer homeowners and don’t require elections.
Every HOA has a few homeowners with strong ties to the social fabric of the community and possess ideas for the types of events that would be well-received by the community. These are the perfect individuals to head up the social committee. Their “boots-on-the-ground” input is critical.
When putting out the call for volunteers, be sure to encourage involvement from different demographics who can bring diverse perspectives to the social committee.
Don’t give up
When it comes to increasing community member engagement, remain vigilant. If a particular event is not well-attended, update the idea next time the event occurs. Community events should evolve over time to remain relevant. Making incremental improvements will keep things fresh.
Once again, communication is important. Inviting feedback can help determine what resonates most with residents. Provide homeowners with plenty of advance notice to mark their calendars, then release event re-caps and photos after events conclude. Traditions take time to build. Consistency is key.
Remind homeowners their involvement is valued
In the rush of daily life, homeowners may miss out on important community updates. Continue to remind homeowners of available resources like the homeowner portal, maintenance request forms, and contact information for your community association management company, so that they can access the information when their schedule allows. When contact methods are easy, homeowners are more likely to share valuable feedback with their HOA management company and board.
Encourage homeowners to run for a seat on the HOA board (or join a committee)
If a community member has lots of great ideas about how the association should be run, urge them to run for a board seat during the next election cycle. Encourage them to speak with your community manager or other board members about what to expect when occupying this important position.
For those unsure whether they want to take on the responsibility of serving on the board, suggest they join one of the community’s planning committees. In addition to the social committee, many associations have separate groups for architectural review, landscaping, and more. These volunteer committees need people with all skillsets.
Involvement shapes your community
Whether serving on the board, participating in a committee, attending HOA events, or getting involved in another aspect of association management, engagement helps to shape your community. Community associations rely on homeowners volunteering their time and sharing their opinions to guide the future trajectory of the HOA. Volunteering time is personally rewarding and provides incredible benefits to your community.
Need more ideas to inspire community involvement? Our expert HOA managers can help!