Here are five community management tips for HOA boards to truly make a difference in their neighborhoods:
1. Create a Vision
Every major project starts with a vision. In other words, the HOA board needs to define where it’s going before it decides how to get there. Board members can provide input regarding the ideal neighborhood and what it would look like. This process takes time and effort. Participation of HOA members should be encouraged in the process as well.
As the brainstorming continues among board members and residents, a vision will begin to surface. From this vision, the board can develop a vision statement that will capture what the board wants the community to become.
2. Focus on Achieving Core Goals
The next step in transformational community management is to take the necessary steps to turn the vision into reality. The vision statement provides a high-level road map to help plot the board’s goals. Goals can be developed into short-term and long-term goals.
For example, if the HOA’s vision is to be a green community, the board can develop several short-term goals, like recycling and drought-tolerant landscaping, that contribute to the long-term goal.
3. Communicate With Residents
Good community management requires HOA boards keep residents in the communication loop. If residents aren’t kept informed, they not only won’t feel like a part of the process, but they won’t be able to contribute. HOA members need to be involved throughout all phases of the transformational process.
Through ongoing communication and by encouraging member participation, HOA boards minimize conflict risk. Instead, they improve the chances of creating a more engaged and committed community.
4. Cultivate Leaders
Too often not enough residents get involved in HOA activities. In addition, existing leaders may become burned-out if nobody else steps up to the plate to help out. Strong community management requires new HOA leadership always be cultivated. Therefore, the HOA board must have ongoing plans in place to groom potential new leaders.
A formal succession plan ensures the transfer of valuable information from one board member to another. Plus, this type of community management planning helps keep the HOA vibrant.
5. Don’t Give Up
Transforming an HOA’s community management won’t happen overnight. Every HOA will experience hits and misses along the way. But remember to keep moving forward. Accomplishing the HOA’s goals will take time, hard work, creativity and a lot of commitment of the board and residents.
Working together, the HOA will be transformed into a community where everyone wants to live – and the neighborhood of every member’s dream.