Proper HOA Communication Will Keep Your Association Running Smoothly
Communication is the secret to every strong relationship and is no different when it comes to homeowner’s associations and homeowners. Open communication between HOA board members and residents is crucial to the positive culture of a community. Once homeowners feel like the HOA is trying to hide things or ignore their requests, they lose trust in their leaders. Here are seven ways board members can improve HOA communication with homeowners and maintain or improve their reputation.
- Transparency is important.
We understand that not every pending issue can be publicized, but the HOA should try to be transparent about their practices. This includes being honest with other board members as well as homeowners. When homeowners understand the reasons behind decisions, they are more likely to comply with new regulations. One of the best ways to be transparent is by always being honest about the HOA’s intentions.
- Acknowledge requests.
It can be tiring continually listening to complaints and requests for changes from homeowners. Often, these individuals just want to be heard and acknowledged. Instead of brushing homeowners aside, board members should take the time to actively listen, confirm their concern, and let them know the board will discuss the issue at the next meeting.
- Hold open meetings.
If an HOA isn’t holding open meetings with the community members, it may be difficult for homeowners to trust the decisions being made. Homeowners have the right to know how their annual fees are spent, what progress is being made on updates, and have an open place they can bring their concerns and praise. Meetings provide the opportunity to have a conversation with residents which increases their trust.
- Provide updates.
Updates on proposals or property maintenance are essential. If there is news to share, it is imperative that residents are updated quickly, especially if it impacts their everyday lives. Some HOAs utilize websites while others post updates.
- Be professional.
Whether pleasant or not, board members must always be professional and positive when communicating with homeowners. Lack of professionalism could upset homeowners and risk unhappy neighbors.
- Create an HOA communication system.
It is best for every HOA board to have an established system on how to communicate news – good and bad – with homeowners. Where will you share the information? Who is responsible for sharing it? Who will accept any questions regarding the matter?
- Hold board members accountable.
As difficult as it is being an HOA board member and managing responsibilities, every board member needs to hold one another accountable. If a volunteer says they are going to do something, but doesn’t, board members should ask them when the task will be completed or if they need any help with it. When one board member doesn’t perform, it can make all board members look bad.
Many homeowner’s associations rely on the help of AR Management for HOA communication and onsite property management. Contact our office to learn how we can help.