Community living is the pinnacle of comfort and warmth for many people. With uniformity, amenities, and a neighborhood of likeminded peers, residing in an HOA provides you with all the building blocks needed for a top-notch, high-quality lifestyle. When board members take care of their residents by drawing up concrete rules, enforcing those rules fairly, and using their leadership position as a way to improve lives, residents certainly feel all of the positive effects of their efforts.
However, many board members may overlook the sheer importance of community-building. And neighbors do not always act neighborly without a little bit of encouragement. It’s therefore up to the board member to cultivate a cohesive and friendly environment that’s built upon trust and respect. When residents feel engaged with one another, they are more likely to respect the HOA’s governance and allow any conflicts to be resolved without a hassle. From community events and an online forum to celebrations and newsletters, here are some of the best ways to build community in your HOA.
Bring Residents Together
Because every resident is busy with their own schedules, to-do lists, and daily tasks, getting together as a community in an informal and fun setting is a great way to foster relationships as well as a real sense of lasting community. Ongoing events, such as monthly movie nights or wine mixers, offer residents the chance to kick back, have some fun, and get to know each other on a personal level.
Seasonal events around the holidays are also an effective way to broaden a sense of familiarity and community that shows your residents you’re thinking of their happiness and wellbeing. In addition, throwing welcoming events is the perfect chance to acclimate new residents both to the community and to a new lifestyle. No matter how small or informal, these types of gatherings breed trust, and they let residents come to know their neighbors as friends.
Keep Residents Informed and Connected
Sending out a monthly, bi-annual, or annual newsletter is a great opportunity to keep residents in the loop and aware of community happenings. This not only fosters transparency between the board and residents, but it proves a standing dedication to making sure that residents are being taken care of. Whether sent out as an email or printed and mailed, a newsletter can be entertaining as it is informative.
It’s up to the board to decide the layout and content of the newsletter — they can include community news, HOA rules, a welcome message to new residents, a schedule of community events and meetings, or even ask for suggestions of what residents would like to see included. Educating residents about what’s going on as well as how they can play a role in the community’s operations is another powerful way to build a sense of community, mutual respect, and connectedness.
Build Trust Online
Because so much of our daily lives involves interacting with digital mediums, an online community is a relevant and effective way for an HOA to engage residents. A website or a blog allows residents an easy and accessible chance to connect with the community at their convenience.
Similar to a newsletter, a website or a blog can contain community happenings and news, as well as provide information regarding the HOAs specific rules. Particularly for new residents, photos of the neighborhood and its amenities as well as information about the board are great ways to cultivate a sense of community and trust. It’s important for residents to know that the board works hard to keep everyone happy and engaged, especially in moments of tension or conflict.
Building community in your HOA in thoughtful ways not only creates a neighborly atmosphere, but keeps residents involved and engaged both with the HOA’s operations and with each other. This allows residents to feel as though they’re being looked out for, and that their respect and wellbeing is always the top priority for the board.
When residents are connected to both their neighbors and to their board members, they are more likely to follow the rules with a sense of purpose and pride. Not only that, conflicts can be resolved easier if residents never feel any hint of distrust or disrespect. Engaged residents breeds happiness and peace throughout the entire community, and truly strengthens what makes an HOA such a rewardable way of living.