HOA boards manage the interests of the community – a duty that includes communicating with residents about the neighborhood. Keeping community members up to date on business matters seems simple enough, but many board members serve voluntarily, and juggle board duties with holding a regular job. Unless they have a plan for maintaining communication with residents, it is easy for a lack of contact to develop that makes homeowners feel uninformed about the HOA. That is why the board should have a plan for maintaining contact with the community.
Developing a Plan
A plan of communication can be developed with the assistance of the community's homeowners association management company. If a neighborhood lacks an HOA services provider, it should implement a plan on its own, carefully managing any budgetary measures associated with its implementation. Every board's style of communication is a little different, but a plan for reaching out to the community should ideally include the following measures:
The by-laws of most associations require them to hold annual meetings, but board members determine the informational quality of the meetings. In general, annual meetings are used to provide a summary of last year's accomplishments and apprption residents of upcoming financial goals, community development plans, and service changes. If the HOA includes the measures below in its communication plan, the annual meeting can serve as a recap of issues of which most residents are already aware.
Distributing a Newsletter
A community newsletter should be distributed weekly or bimonthly to apprider residents of community events and changes that may be in the works. If the board will hold a vote later in the quarter, or change vendors, telling residents about it well ahead of time will be appreciated. The same goes for ancillary changes that do not require a vote. Distributing a newsletter in print or online is a great way for board members to disseminate information without investing time in face-to-face meetings. If necessary, a provider of HOA services can handle the creation and distribution of the letter.
Maintain a website
People turn to the Internet when they want up-to-the-minute information. Maintaining a community website with the IT support of a homeowners association management company is a great way to give residents the information they need concerning repair plans, maintenance issues, security updates, etc. The website can also serve as a portal where guests submit questions for the board.
Holding Social Events
Last, but certainly not least, a community should hold regular social events that include all residents. As casual as the events may be, they offer residents an opportunity to speak with board members at length. Even if the conversation has nothing to do with the community, it makes the board seem accessible and amicable – hits every community hopes to see in its board members and HOA services staff.
In addition to these measures, some HOA boards also communicate through bulletin board postings, quarterly informational meetings, and by distributing a community newspaper. If your HOA needs to establish better communication with the community, a homeowners association management company will help it implement the right communication channels for the needs of its residents.