One of the main causes of problems in homeowners associations is a breakdown in communication. When homeowners and board members are not on the same page, it can lead to confusion and disconnect. In a new statement to the press, Kuester Management Group details how HOA boards can enhance their communication efforts to improve community relations.
“A common mistake that HOAs make is that they only communicate with homeowners when there’s a problem,” says Bryan Kuester, President of Kuester Management Group. “Notices start popping up when dues are late, rules are broken, or new polices are put in place. However, it’s a good idea to also keep information coming when things are going well. Homeowners like to hear good news – not just the bad.”
Social media and community websites are a great way to keep homeowners informed, notes Kuester. Post articles that members will find helpful in maintaining their homes and resources that they can use to find more information or events. Highlight upcoming events within the HOA and invite homeowners to attend or provide ideas for things they’d like to see in the future.
If the HOA knows that in the summer there are typically issues regarding the pool or speeding in the neighborhood, send out polite reminders ahead of time so everyone knows expectations and how to keep things safe for all members. Consider holding a family program on pool safety or overall safety in the neighborhood so members know how to be more proactive.
“Catch people being good,” says Kuester. “Add some pictures and blurbs in the newsletter about great things homeowners are doing. Acknowledge the hard work of volunteers and committees and how their efforts have paid off and benefited the community. Let them see that their efforts do not go overlooked. A little recognition can go a long way in improving relationships and getting more people involved.”
Also send out periodic updates about projects or issues that were brought up at HOA meetings. Keep homeowners informed of progress and what to expect in the short and long term.
Oftentimes suggestions are made or plans are started, but then homeowners are left in the dark wondering when they’ll be done or what’s happening. Create a positive buzz and excitement by letting members know what’s going on, especially if it’s a hot topic. The same applies to issues or concerns discussed at meetings. Update homeowners so they know that the matter has not been forgotten about or pushed under the rug. Even if the board doesn’t have much to say, let homeowners know that a solution is still being worked on.
“It’s typically better to give more information as opposed to less,” says Kuester. “Transparency is key. When homeowners know that their best interests are priority and the board is being honest and forthcoming, it can create stronger relationships. Use various forms of communication strategically, whether it’s the community website, an email blast, a newsletter, or posting flyers. Keep everyone in the loop.”
Hiring a property management group such as Kuester can support HOAs in improving their communication efforts and ensuring information is clear, concise, and timely. A property manager can assist with meetings, documents, vendor relations, and other issues vital to running a more effective HOA community.
To learn more, visit www.kuester.com
Kuester Management Group, a division of Kuester Companies, works to protect property values and enhance the quality of life in each of its managed communities. Providing a full range of association management services, Kuester Management Group has worked to foster strong, resilient, and unified communities across North and South Carolina. The company is proud to offer on-site property managers, all zealous for building strong communities meant to stand the test of time.
More information is available at www.kuester.com or @KuesterCompany