Regular engagement between the Homeowners Association (HOA) and its community members is the secret ingredient for creating a healthy, vibrant neighborhood. Members share feedback, feel heard, and contribute to the community's overall success when they're engaged.
However, getting members involved can seem like an uphill battle, especially when they already have active, busy lives. So, how to improve HOA member engagement?
The following suggestions offer several ideas for how HOAs can engage neighborhood members and enhance their community's connection.
Regular communication is essential to build good relationships between the HOA and community members. Try using platforms that members will likely see and send online or postal mail newsletters, emails, and notices of community events. Use signage in neighborhood common areas, add a member portal, and use social media to send out helpful information, event details, and other items of interest.
Member engagement can sometimes become a circular argument because when the HOA manages the community well, satisfied members have fewer concerns, reasons to give feedback, or a need to engage with the HOA.
However, keeping the homeowners involved positively is essential to the HOA knowing what members want and need and its ability to keep them happy.
Host Community Events
When considering how to improve HOA member engagement, try bringing homeowners together and encouraging engagement through community events. For example, organize a neighborhood block party, an annual garage sale, or a holiday-themed event for families and kids.
If the community does not have green space, consider holding an event, such as an Easter egg hunt, at a nearby park. Monitor the turnout for planned events, and if the turnout is low, cross off that event and solicit feedback from the community on other events they would prefer.
Additionally, consider inviting HOA board members to speak at community events. Many homeowners will never attend a board meeting, and events offer a chance to bring the announcements to the members. Include brief updates on any new developments or exciting news and aid homeowners in getting to know the volunteers who work to help support property values through a well-managed HOA.
Creating member committees can help distribute some responsibilities and provide another avenue for member engagement. Forming a social committee, for example, allows homeowners to have some say in community events and may offer additional perspectives on which types of events community members would prefer.
Keep the Community Well-Maintained
Consider using amenities such as a pool, tennis courts, walking trails, a fitness center, or parks for community events. Keep them well-maintained to ensure members enjoy them regularly.
Hosting events often using the amenities can remind homeowners of the value the HOA provides while helping members connect. Additionally, when members see that the HOA does a good job maintaining the amenities and community, they can feel the HOA puts their fees to good use.
Take care of other common areas by scheduling regular maintenance services such as StormFilter system cleaning, which can prevent clogged storm drains and flooded areas during rainy weather. It can also prevent or minimize storm-related damage to homeowners' yards.
Good maintenance can help homeowners feel pride in their neighborhood, translating into pride in maintaining their properties. Neighborly, involved community members and a well-maintained community can increase property values.
Encourage Member Feedback
Maintain an environment where members feel comfortable providing their feedback and expressing opinions. Provide an option to keep feedback anonymous by providing a suggestion box. Otherwise, consider setting up a periodic Town Hall meeting where members can voice their thoughts.
Maintain Clear Guidelines
When a community has clear rules and guidelines, it becomes easier for members to comply because there are no questions about what is allowed. When policies are unclear, some homeowners may not follow them, which could cause resentment and negative feelings among other homeowners, especially if they feel impacted. Clear guidelines, communicated well and with periodic, tactful reminders, can ensure everyone understands the HOA guidelines and prevent misunderstandings.
Encourage Homeowners to Run for a Board Seat
If certain homeowners have several great ideas on how to run the association better, encourage them to run during the next election for a board seat.
If a homeowner is unsure whether they want to commit, suggest they get involved with one of the planning committees, such as landscaping or architectural review.
Let CatchAll Help Improve Your Community
A good outcome requires a multi-faceted approach when considering how to improve HOA member engagement. By implementing some of the above suggestions, the community can benefit from a stronger sense of community ownership, an increased feeling that homeowners have a say in how their community is operated, and a welcoming, inclusive environment.
The team at CatchAll Environmental provides a comprehensive solution to Stormwater management. We partner with HOAs to ensure your community is thriving, engaged, and environmentally responsible. Together, we can keep our communities sustainable and prosperous. Contact CatchAll today and learn how our "catch all solution" can help support and improve your community.