Effective HOA Communications

Effective communication helps to establish harmony in the community. The more effective the communication, the more successful will be the management of the association. A difficult aspect of communications is assuring that owners within a community have the opportunity to receive and/or access information. There are numerous methods for the association to facilitate good communications.

Informing a potential buyer: The first step to keeping the member informed about the association
  • Create an information booklet, brochure, or packet that briefs the potential buyer on the association
  • Review the association documents and/or the state statutes to determine what information the association is required to provide to a potential buyer
  • Explain how members can become involved and participate in the association
Welcome letters/committee: After a new member moves in, assist them in learning about their community
  • Provide a brief explanation of what the association is responsible for as outlined in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R's)
  • Announce the name of the management company and/or the Association Manager. Provide a list of documents that the new homeowner should have received when closing escrow on the property
  • Provide a map of the project that shows where the association amenities and facilities are located
  • Provide an explanation of the annual assessments; when assessments are due
  • Detail when the Board meets, if applicable
  • Have the Welcome Committee greet new members
Annual member meetings and annual reports: An excellent opportunity to showcase the association to its membership
  • Hold the annual members' meeting as required by the bylaws of the association.
  • Provide a recap of the past year's accomplishments.
  • Report on the upcoming year's activities and goals.
Association Newsletter: One of the primary vehicles for communicating with the members throughout the year
  • The Association should establish an ongoing, scheduled newsletter program
  • The goal of the newsletter should be to communicate a full range of information to the membership
  • Recruit homeowner reporters to draft articles
  • Always include articles about board briefings and/or minutes from board and/or annual meetings
  • Make the communication fun and easy to read
  • Use tasteful graphics to explain key points
  • Include consumer features, such as legal issues, trends, and general information that matches the demographics of the members

Social Activities: A good tool for stimulating interaction amongst the membership, as well as establishing board contacts
  • Plan and hold holiday parties and events
  • Organize block parties
  • Recognize outstanding members who participate in association programs
  • Ask if there is any interest in Association social clubs
  • On a periodic basis, plan a community wide event, such as yard/garage sale, craft/bake sales, etc.
Website/internet usage: To maintain a flow of communication, create a website that is available to the members any time
  • Include information that can be accessed by members of the association
  • Provide weekly alerts and reminders that facilitate positive interaction with the association
  • Announce any timely changes in operations, such as major repair work on the pool
  • Place links on the website that allow members to access local services, government entities, school sites
Bulletin boards/postings: A centrally located bulletin board (i.e., clubhouse facility, gate house entrance) where members can post and/or access notices and information
  • Select a convenient location for services providers to post flyers, advertisement
  • Members can place for sale items within approved flyers
  • Association meeting notices can be prominently posted.
Informational meetings: Over time, community associations will develop more political clout and become a major voice. It is important to recognize this trend and provide additional information resources to the membership
  • Invite local, state, and national government officials to meet with the membership
  • Organize a neighborhood watch kickoff meeting
  • Work in conjunction with the local police authorities to implement a community-wide policing program

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Then communicate some more!

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Source: Association Times
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