RealManage Insight

8 Ways to Increase Communication with HOA Board Members & Homeowners

by Annette Byrd, CMCA®, PCAM® on Apr 5, 2022 9:30:00 AM

One of the most challenging issues in every HOA is increasing the involvement of its association members. It's their community, too, and they should be aware of what's going on and be able to vote when significant decisions are made. However, convincing your homeowners to participate can be difficult.

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HOAs are based on the guiding notion that homeowners can control their communities by jointly controlling the shared space in between. Every year, everyone pays their dues, and you can develop the property over time. However, except for a few particularly community-minded individuals, most homeowners do not want to worry about it. Most people prefer to know that their sidewalk repairs and pool maintenance are in good hands as they daily. But they would also like to vote on that one-of-a-kind initiative or assessment that is important to them, and they should be able to do so.

Increased communication efforts are the most effective strategy for a board to promote member involvement. By remaining in touch and visible, you can keep your members informed and grow the number of members who want to help guide the community in which they have a stake.

1. Go Digital with Web Communication

Go digital if you genuinely want to boost engagement and access with your members. First, integrate contact channels into your websites, such as an email form or live chat. An automatic live chatbot can serve as a FAQ and accept chat-directed questions. These functions are currently available as simple modules in any website builder, such as WordPress or Wix. Then, on the top page, present community updates and vital information.

Modern homeowners expect a website with communication channels. In addition, they know what to do with it, which will increase their willingness to ask questions and get involved.

2. Hold Regular Open Meetings

Make it simple for people to find and attend your meetings. Establish a consistent plan and routine. Post the location and time of the meeting on your HOA website, newsletter, clubhouse bulletin board, and even the reverse of other fliers. All of your homeowners should be able to appear and vote on HOA issues with confidence and ease when the subjects are important to them.

3. Send a Newsletter Outlining  Upcoming Votes and Decisions

You may enhance voting participation by keeping your members informed about what is being voted on. Most people are likely to be taken off guard by HOA decisions, but only because they are unaware of what is discussed or voted on. So make the items for the coming week, month, and year a part of the HOA newsletter, wherever it is posted or sent.

4. Door Tags for Important Voting Issues

You may want to increase the visibility of particular voting items and the meeting times to vote on them for matters such as critical special assessments and policy changes. While print marketing has had its day, most people will glance at a door tag to ensure it isn't a misplaced parcel or anything like that. As a result, your most important votes are far more likely to be recognized and acted upon as a true reflection of the community's desire.

5. Post Updates on Social Media

Create an account for the HOA on social media. Use this to share PR community updates such as playground hours and holiday celebrations. However, maintain an eye on your social media channels as a "customer service channel." Today, many homeowners are more comfortable communicating via social media and can even create a vibrant digital community for their area.

6. Reply Quickly to Emails and Questions

Respond promptly when you get emails, phone calls, or social media communications. Questions and requests are great because they reflect that your members care enough about their community to make comments and get involved. Unfortunately, many HOAs lose engagement due to delays in receiving responses from the office. If busy homeowner members cannot obtain information concerning their HOA, they may stop asking or attempting to become involved.

7. Establish a Routine Approval Process for Requests

Make it enjoyable and straightforward for HOA members to submit requests and gain approval. Home improvements, fence replacement, visitor parking, clubhouse bookings, and other submissions should all have a consistent set of policies and a manageable approval process. Ensure that permissions can be granted swiftly and that helpful feedback is provided with each rejection.

8. Work with a Community Management Company

You also don't have to rely just on the board's steam. Partnering with a community management business is one of the best methods to enhance member engagement across many platforms. The business approach to the Association operating model is Homeowner community management. The board directs Association management, which uses a business and logistics approach to the board's objectives.

A community management organization can create a website, manage a social media campaign, order fliers, and door hangers, run an email newsletter, and ensure that requests are answered.

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