Homeowners associations play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life within residential communities. With their responsibility for managing common areas, enforcing rules, and making important decisions, the involvement of homeowners is essential for a thriving association. However, getting homeowners actively engaged can often be a challenge. Many residents may feel disconnected or unaware of the benefits and opportunities that come with HOA participation.
In this blog post, we will explore five effective strategies to encourage and increase homeowner involvement in your association this year. These practical approaches will not only help foster a sense of community but also ensure that the association operates smoothly, reflects residents' needs and desires, and achieves common goals.
Use Holiday Events and Charity Drives to Connect
Holiday events are right around the corner, and often, this is when most homeowners come out of their houses to find the community office - often with a box of cans to donate to the holiday food drive.
Use this opportunity to connect: host mini-events and laid-back gatherings with decorations that catch the eye. Post projects your committees are working on and improvements you're planning to make.
Strike up a conversation with homeowners who bring in donations or attend a community party about how managing the neighborhood is going.
This gives you the chance to make community governance part of the conversation.
At a minimum, you will get a few valuable opinions from the neighborhood. At best, several new homeowners will realize what they care about and that it's easy to get involved.
Ask What Homeowners Want to See via Survey or Questionnaire
Send out a survey! While most of your homeowners may not have the time or interest to get involved with local governance, they may be willing to share their thoughts on what the association has been getting up to, what they'd like to see in the future, and how they feel about your current plans.
The most accessible surveys are those hosted online, with smooth widgets and a few quick clicks to give the answers you're looking for
Slip in a question like, "Do you know how to get involved in community projects and decision-making?" Whatever their response, give a little snippet about how simple it is to attend a meeting, file an issue, or join a fun project subcommittee, depending on what each homeowner/family cares about.
Set Up Events Near Common Access Points
HOAs often see low participation because they are out of sight and out of mind. Staying in the office and meeting monthly or even weekly is still out of the way, and many homeowners will barely remember they belong to an HOA until dues come around. So get insight!
Start hosting events, even little ones, near common access points. Take a page from the Scouts handbooks and set it up near your condo lobby or one of your major neighborhood entrances. Throw a mini-party with balloons and snacks, with flyers about the latest issue or project you're working on. This is also a fantastic opportunity to select a few charities to support, classes, and scout groups to collaborate with, distribute matching mailbox ribbons, and increase community awareness of a rising issue.
Found a Video Chat Channel for the Neighborhood
Establish a shared chat channel where homeowners and their families can form social groups, share ideas, and chat on a slow weekend afternoon, and - of course - you can also use this meeting space as a friendly virus-safe way to hold meetings.
Suppose your homeowners get used to the idea of meeting casually through the video chat channel. In that case, you are also likely to get more casual attendants to meetings and votes and even see more spontaneous discussions focused on real community management issues.
Start Live-Streaming and Podcast-Recording HOA Meetings
Finally, release your HOA meetings and events as podcasts posted on the HOA web portal. Make it easy for new or newly interested homeowners to attend the next meeting and review what's happened in the recent past.
Live-stream your meetings as they happen, then save and publish the recordings on YouTube with an embedded link on your site to make it easy for homeowners to stay up-to-date, get involved, and get motivated to attend the next meeting.
You can (and should!) also record and post things like holiday parties and charity events because these heartwarming videos will further motivate your community toward togetherness and HOA involvement.
Increasing homeowner involvement in the association is crucial for creating a thriving and harmonious community. By implementing the five strategies discussed in this blog post, HOAs can break through barriers, overcome apathy, and foster a culture of active participation among homeowners.