There are many ways to operate and govern a homeowners association. Some boards prefer to use a community association manager as an agent to interact with the membership and deal with day-to-day operations. Other boards may choose to be more hands on and active with governance and communication with their membership. While both approaches hold value, regardless of management style, one thing should always be at the top of your mind - homeowners associations are communities and the people who live there are your neighbors.
Once they’re done campaigning for a board position, some board members may become apathetic when it comes to interacting with the membership. This is understandable since many board members also have full time jobs which may limit their ability to donate the time necessary to connect with their membership in a continuing and meaningful way. However, there are many ways to stay connected with your membership.
Consider the following ideas for staying connected with your community’s membership:
- Create a virtual suggestion box where members can provide comments on the community;
- Host (socially distanced) outdoor meet and greets;
- Hold a virtual talent show to get to know the personalities of the members;
- Organize a socially distanced community walk;
- Start an email writing campaign within the community wherein each member writes a short bio of themselves and forwards the email on to the next member to do the same;
- Create a new member packet to be provided to new home owners in the community.
These are just some ideas on how to foster positive relations between the board and members of a homeowners association. Another way to connect with your membership is to ask them how they’d like to connect. Listening to your members is the first step in creating an effective relationship. You may be surprised that, as humans, just knowing a little bit about each other makes us more understanding and more tolerant of each other, especially when we disagree on things!