Anonymous | 06-13-2014
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Homeowner apathy is perhaps the top reason why things are often tough in Association communities, but there may be many other reasons homeowners don't get involved in things. Lack of homeowner involvement can cause many issues in a community, like Association rules being broken more often, which can lead to fines and other legal situations.
Get Association Members Involved
Using a few strategies an HOA board can get community members involved in their Association. A few of those tips follow:
Newsletters - A community newsletter is an excellent way for an HOA Board to communicate with and inform members of important matters. Keep the newsletter short and make sure attention catching articles grace its pages. An E-newsletter may be the way to go because it will save paper costs and so many people prefer receiving things electronically these days. Ask for advice from community matters and make sure members know of important votes or issues coming up. They will feel important and may take more interest in their community.
Social Gatherings - Don't just gather Association members for meetings and other weighty matters. Make getting together fun sometimes. Sponsor tennis and swim meets for all ages, theme parties, barbecues, holiday events and other gatherings that will get the community involved. Ask for members to help out at the events, not just attend. This will help get some interaction between Association members.
Board Meetings - Everyone in the community generally wants to be kept up on what's going on. An HOA Board should always send out meeting reminders, financial summaries, budget reports, rules updates, fine schedules and other pertinent information. It is best to provide a cover page with an overall view of what's in each document. Members are probably not going to go through pages and pages of a document. Give them a concise view of what is in a report and the community member can decide how closely they want to inspect it.
"Crisis level" Tactics - In some communities sometimes nothing seems to work. After trying everything you can think of the HOA Board may still be dealing with homeowner apathy. The community just does not seem to want to get involved. This may require drastic measures to be taken. Sometimes a rude awakening is needed. The Board may have to find its most pressing issue and put out a bulletin to send to all members. It may read something like, "Special assessment may be needed on all homeowners". Put this in large letters on top of the bulletin and send it out. If this does not spur community involvement then nothing probably will.
An HOA Board should strive to get homeowners engaged in community matters. A concerned Association makes for a better run community and takes some weight off the Board that runs the organization. If homeowners care about their community the chances are better for getting good things done in that community.
Getting people involved may not be easy. It may even take some drastic steps to spur homeowners into action. The HOA Board just needs to be diligent and engage community members as much as possible. In time a great neighborhood organization will form and continue to be involved.
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