6 Tips for a Happy Holiday in Your Community Association
The holiday season should be a time of cheer and a chance for everyone to unwind. For HOAs, however, it's a notorious time for conflict and rule enforcement. This year, plan ahead. Not just to keep the peace in the neighborhood, but also to have a good time. Make plans that will help the council and everyone else enjoy themselves this holiday season. Let's dive into a few smart tactics to ease the stress and increase the joy this winter in your HOA.
1) Post Signs for Guest Parking (and Other Policies)
Signs are a great way to help the entire neighborhood work in-tune with practical policies. Guest parking, flow-of-traffic, and safe walkways are all helpful spaces to mark with signs and pavement paint. Mark neighborhood areas like parks and donation boxes. Make sure your street signs are still in good condition, correctly oriented, and visible through the trees.
Sign-Worthy Holiday Policies
- Guest Parking
- Signs marking and pointing toward guest parking zones
- Paint designating resident's permitted curbside zones
- House Numbers
- Repaint curbs & mailboxes
- Distribute door numbers
- Donation Box Location
- Clearly indicate donation boxes
- Post signs on how to open boxes and what to donate
- Safe Walkways
- Indicate salted and maintained sidewalks
- Street Names
- Check signs and trim trees for visibility
- Neighborhood Entry/Exit Path
- Help guests & delivery drivers move swiftly without getting lost.
2) Plan Fun Neighborhood Events
Your neighborhood holiday schedule shouldn't be just about decoration and parking restrictions. Ideally, the HOA will mostly have fun with the holiday while providing some helpful guidance for a smooth community co-existance. So make it fun.
Plan a few fun (covid-safe this year) activities for the whole community. Send decoration kits out. Hold a digitally streamed holiday party. If it's legal in your neighborhood, shoot off New Years fireworks over the pool or parking lot and invite every family to watch from the vantage of their own homes.
3) Form a Neighborhood Package Watch
The holidays have always been a time for package delivery. This year more than ever before, we expect to see a spanning e-commerce and delivery trend. This will mean hundreds, maybe thousands, of packages delivered to doorsteps in your neighborhood. Porch piracy (the act of stealing packages from unattended porches) is a real problem in some regions and the holiday season creates a significant temptation.
Work together with your community to watch out for personal and neighbor packages. Use the existing home security systems and install new systems to watch for package security. Ask neighbors to receive packages if you won't be home. Propose organizing safe-package points around the neighborhood that are monitored digitally with shared responsibility.
Go Digital - Doorbell Cams
The number of smart home doorbell cams and porch-facing IP cameras is ever-growing. Neighbors may be able to share their porch feeds online for community porch monitoring, or just between trusted neighborhood friends.
4) Community Safety & Security Measures
This holiday, take measures to make your community feel safe. With the pandemic and safe holiday travel occupying everyone's worries, we could all use a little extra peace-of-mind. Start with neighborhood safety. Complete your maintenance checklist and take special care to secure all outdoor steps, walkways, and handrails. Provide salt where necessary with regular re-application and ensure there are rugs in all public building antechambers where icy shoes may be stepping inside.
. Consider testing out a new smart security system or increasing the attention paid to your community entrances. Create a system to register and reserve parking for guests and hand out tags so invited guest cars are always known.
5) Prep & Defend Unoccupied Homes
In addition to guest parking, there is also home vacancy to consider. Those who aren't hosting are off visiting relatives in a distant neighborhood. Their homes remain empty during this time which can create an attraction for mischief or crime.
Share this concern and host an organized effort to defend unoccupied homes in the neighborhood. Sent out advice on how to secure homes and/or make them appear occupied. Encourage neighbors to work together. Use parking spot sharing as an incentive to work together.
6) Don't Forget to Relax
Last but not least, remember to relax. HOA councils tend to get overloaded this time of year, but you don't have to. Plan ahead and prepare most issues to have nearly automated solutions. Don't get too stressed out about policy violations or guest management - then you will be able to keep a cool head during negotiations.
Plan a few quiet video-meetings with the council both to discuss plans and to relax with hot cocoa in hand and talk about your holidays. This time of year should be enjoyable and maintaining the holiday spirit inside the council will help to spread that cheer through the whole neighborhood.