Financial
Dec 20, 2023

Seven Strategies for Building a Stronger Sense of Community in Your HOA

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Orr - CEO, Community Association Management Services

The desire for a sense of belonging and connection with neighbors is universal. Homeowners Association (HOA) living provides a perfect ecosystem for creating an environment that can generate a sense of community, enhance the quality of life, and, by extension, improve property values within the association by making it a sought-after place to call home. Building a close-knit community within your association requires intentional efforts and strategic initiatives. In this article, we'll explore some effective ways to foster a sense of community and enhance the overall living experience for residents.

1. Establish a Neighborhood Welcoming Committee
First impressions matter, and a warm welcome can set the tone for a positive community experience. Consider creating a Neighborhood Welcoming Committee dedicated to greeting new residents, providing essential information about the community, and offering a helping hand as they settle in their new home. This small gesture goes a long way toward making newcomers feel valued and integrated into the neighborhood.

2. Leverage Community Amenities
Many HOAs boast a range of amenities, such as pools, clubhouses, and other common areas. These spaces are functional and can serve as catalysts for community bonding. Organize events like picnics, live entertainment, or outdoor movie nights to encourage residents to gather and interact. Properly utilizing these amenities helps promote a feeling of unity among homeowners.  For associations without dedicated amenities, don’t despair – be creative, for example, holding an annual cookout in a quiet cul-de-sac.

3. Develop a Lifestyle Program
Consider implementing a lifestyle program tailored to the interests and preferences of your community. This could involve organizing regular events, workshops, or classes that cater to diverse hobbies and age groups. Whether it's a gardening club, fitness classes, or community book club, a well-rounded lifestyle program adds vibrancy to the community and provides residents with ample opportunities to connect. Routinely survey members to determine the interests (and skills!) of community members. Provide the opportunity for interested members to volunteer to coordinate or chair events.

4. Enhance Communication Channels
Effective communication is essential to any thriving community. Implement various communication channels, such as newsletters and community websites, to keep residents informed about upcoming events and important updates. Regular communication fosters a sense of transparency and inclusion, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding community matters. Social media groups can be successful in some communities; however, they have the potential to be counterproductive if not implemented carefully (read our article on using social media for your HOA here).  Another important reason to maintain contact information is for use during emergencies.

5. Prioritize Transparency
Transparency is key to building trust within the community. Keep residents informed about the HOA's financial status, upcoming projects, and decision-making processes by emailing regular updates. Hosting open forums like town hall meetings and Q&A sessions allows residents to gain insights into the workings of the association and fosters collaboration. 

6. Ask for Resident Input on Major Projects
Empower residents by involving them in some of the decision-making processes, especially when it comes to significant projects or changes within the community. Conduct surveys or town hall meetings to get feedback on proposed initiatives. Allowing residents to voice their concerns and preferences helps ensure that major decisions align with what members want and creates a sense of ownership and shared responsibility.

7. Actively Listen to Feedback
Listening is a crucial aspect of community building. Establish a way for owners to provide feedback, where residents can express their opinions, concerns, and ideas. Addressing feedback demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and shows residents that their voices are heard and their opinions are valued.

In conclusion, building a strong sense of community within your HOA requires deliberate efforts and a commitment to inclusivity. By establishing a welcoming committee, leveraging community amenities, developing a lifestyle program, enhancing communication channels, actively listening to feedback, and prioritizing transparency, your HOA can create a vibrant and connected community that residents are proud to call home.

About Community Association Management Services
In business since 1991, CAMS is North and South Carolina’s premier community management company. With experienced local managers in each of its nine regions, CAMS provides innovative solutions to the community associations it serves. Additionally, CAMS was featured on Inc. Magazine’s 2022 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. To learn more, visit www.camsmgt.com/choose-cams.

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