A successful homeowners’ association (HOA) takes more than a committed board of directors. It takes an involved community and homeowner volunteers, too. In fact, a large part of why HOA members don’t get involved is due to the fear of responsibility and lack of time and awareness.
As a board member, it’s your responsibility to encourage homeowners to take an active role in the community by offering frequent and transparent communication. When community members are informed, they’re more likely to participate and help the community thrive.
To grow your HOA and strengthen your community, here are four ways to get homeowners more involved.
Following a simple, four-step process to get more HOA community members involved takes dedication. An HOA can elevate the homeowner experience with transparent communication, member engagement, and constant feedback. Here’s where to start.
An essential way to help your community get more involved is by creating opportunities for members to join committees.
Many HOAs consider committees to be integral to their operations. Not only do they support the board, but they also help the HOA increase engagement and grow. The top 5 communities you should create in your community include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
The welcome committee works as the community’s greeter and host. Some may even consider it the first impression of the community.
A large part of its responsibility is to help new members feel welcomed and connected with other residents. Some ways the welcome committee can greet new members is by:
○ Creating and distributing welcome packets.
○ Providing direction regarding dues, community centers, events, and bylaws.
○ Hosting welcome events or new members gatherings.
The social committee is responsible for planning and executing community social events, such as seasonal festivities, parades, garage sales, block parties, and neighborhood gatherings. Most importantly, they help build community spirit and strong relationships. Moreover, the social committee:
○ Plans and executes all social events.
○ Works alongside the welcome committee.
○ Assists in creating the annual social event budget.
○ Schedules and plans all events accordingly.
○ Provides members the opportunity to network and engage during social events.
An HOA’s social media committee works as a form of outreach for the community via social media platforms. Some may even consider them to be more like the news anchor of an HOA.
A large part of its responsibility is to enhance engagement and communication via Facebook or Instagram. It also takes on the responsibility of promoting the community for potential homeowners that may be interested in moving to the area. Additionally, it:
○ Promotes and brands the community through digital platforms.
○ Displays updates and important events through social media or the community website.
○ Communicates with members through social media conversations.
○ Posts pictures and videos of the community's events and social gatherings.
To be on the social media committee, members must have relevant experience with using social media platforms and creating digital content.
The purpose of the HOA maintenance committee is to help guide, oversee, and approve multiple projects, such as community renovation and sidewalk repaving.
The responsibilities can range from managing common area repairs, landscaping, and seasonal maintenance. Other tasks may include:
○ Promoting a healthy and safe environment.
○ Creating and executing all maintenance plans.
○ Overseeing maintenance repairs and general upkeep of community buildings, property, and common areas.
○ Advising and supporting the HOA board with all matters regarding maintenance repairs.
○ Reviewing policies and guidelines as needed to ensure all maintenance projects meet the community’s guidelines and regulations.
The architectural review committee (ARC) plays a significant role in reviewing exterior changes to homes within an HOA. Having such a committee helps in maintaining the community’s property value and aesthetic.
The ARC also regulates and reviews all architectural changes to ensure every request meets HOA standards and regulations. This means:
○ Managing and monitoring the ARC application process.
○ Enforcing guidelines and standards set forth by the ARC.
○ Evaluating applications for accuracy and review.
○ Making objective decisions regarding guideline compliance, which may include the approval or denial of any exterior changes.
Hosting a community event is a great way to get homeowners more involved in the community. Events also allow the community to network and create strong relationships among one another.
In most cases, events are planned and executed by the social committee, but other committees, such as the welcome or special events committees, can also get involved.
1. Inform your social committee and board about the need to host an event.
2. Choose a theme or occasion based around the event.
3. Select an appropriate date and time.
4. Select an accessible location.
5. Create a reliable budget.
6. Assess your list of vendors and contacts.
7. Schedule and assign volunteers for the event.
8. Promote the event via social media or your HOA website.
There’s nothing better than getting direct feedback from those living in your HOA. Hearing out members’ opinions, concerns, likes, and dislikes is a great way to improve amenities and operations.
Online tools with digital voting options can make this process easy. Every participant can give anonymous feedback, which will make a big impact in the way communities adapt and flourish.
In addition, digital voting enables communities to collaborate, engage, and make better decisions by considering different thoughts and opinions through a single digital platform.
For example, TownSq offers a digital voting feature that allows communities to collaborate through their digital platform. With TownSq, voters can:
○ Gain a unique, user-friendly, and accessible experience by participating.
○ Contribute feedback and suggestions for executive board members and committees.
○ Access the app through any smartphone, mobile device, or computer.
○ Increase trust and participation between the board and homeowner.
You shouldn’t hold back on creating real relationships with homeowners. Focus on them and hear what they have to say. When residents feel heard, they’re happier and more inclined to participate.
Inviting local vendors and neighboring communities to your events helps foster partnership and connection.
Vendors can sponsor an event or hand out free products or coupons to get exposure. Vendors you might consider reaching out to include local pest control, landscaping, or maintenance companies.
As for neighboring communities, residents living through the same experiences tend to find it easier to connect, build friendships, and do more for their community.
Additionally, collaborating with a partner community can ease the burden of paying a big sum towards an event. That means bigger, better HOA events for your communities!
By following these four steps to increase homeowner involvement, you’ll notice a difference in participation and engagement from residents and committee members alike. They’re more attuned to how their HOA functions and better understand how the board works on their behalf. The more residents are satisfied with the board, the more willing they’ll be to get involved. Board communication is key to getting homeowner participation. Learn how board members can improve communication right now.