Consistent communication with homeowners is essential to the smooth function of any HOA. However, one-way communication alone does not fulfill this responsibility. Although critical, the act of mailing out updates and notices does not amount to a full-bodied homeowner communication strategy. It only comprises half of what should be a two-way flow between association and homeowner.
The consequences of uneven communication can reflect poorly on the HOA. Homeowners who feel unheard may take their concerns to social media groups and private forums. Actively collecting feedback to hear out homeowner concerns is the first step toward amending this problem.
We’ll explore the consequences of not having an open, candid environment in your HOA, and the steps you can take to get there.
Poor Homeowner Compliance With Regulations
Nearly every HOA responsibility relies on homeowners’ compliance with the CC&Rs. To achieve this, homeowners should not only have access to them, they need to understand why they’re in place.
Giving an explanation about the bylaws increases the likelihood that homeowners will adhere to them. It also opens the lines of communication for any questions or concerns. This can be vital to ensuring the overall contentment of the community. You don’t want a community that feels forced to blindly comply with regulations they don’t understand, let alone agree with.
Consider presenting HOA Welcome Packets to new homeowners. A welcome packet, complete with CC&R’s and your contact info, sets the tone for open communication. Be sure to include a welcome letter that encourages them to read the governing documents and reach out with any questions they may have.
Supplement this with regular mailings and newsletters to deliver updates. This demonstrates the HOA’s commitment to keeping homeowners informed. It also shows that the HOA is doing their due diligence with distributing important information. As a rule of thumb, don’t send mailings without including a way for homeowners to get in touch.
By improving communication, you may see more involved homeowners, timelier payments and less violations. The inevitable result is increased operational efficiency for the HOA.
Unhappy Homeowners Taking to Social Media & Forums
When homeowners have no outlet to vent, raise questions and express concerns, they create their own outlets. It’s not uncommon for them to take their frustrations to forums, social media groups, or hold their own meetings to discuss issues they aren’t happy about. This can lead to disharmony in the HOA, undermining its purpose as an organization.
Having a place for homeowners to communicate, share relevant information, and view updates is the best way to avoid these problems. HOA website platforms, such as Hoampage, offer access to community forums, interest groups, and provide easy ways to send direct messages to board members and homeowners. With Hoampage you’ll be able to strengthen the relationship between management and homeowners.
Unresolved Homeowner Disputes
HOAs are no strangers to homeowner disputes. Thankfully, many disputes can be avoided outright with a strong two-way communication strategy.
For example: in one HOA dispute, a woman refused to pay her dues until she could discuss recent changes to the billing process with her HOA. Instead of working with the homeowner, the HOA ignored her attempts to meet and ended up charging her exorbitant fees without clear communication.
Eventually, the costs grew so overwhelming that the homeowner fell into significant debt. The HOA later purchased the woman’s home for $3.24 when it was in foreclosure. Bad press aside, a woman ended up losing her home due to an HOA’s refusal to communicate. Had the HOA proactively met with the homeowner, educated her on the bylaws, and heard her concerns, this dispute – and the poor publicity that accompanied it, could have been avoided.
You can avoid situations like this by adopting a clear policy around how disputes are reported, reviewed and resolved. If phone, email or print correspondence do not suffice, ensure there is a process in place for homeowners to set up in-person meetings whenever necessary.
Ensure a Satisfied Community with Page Per Page
Two-way communication is an excellent way to help you run an effective HOA. The benefits of two-way communication include efficient operation, better bylaw compliance, and minimized homeowner disputes. The first step toward improving your communication is enlisting a partner like Page Per Page.
Page Per Page offers a comprehensive solution-suite to dramatically improve communication between HOA and homeowner:
- HOA mailings to keep homeowners up-to-date on key community details
- HOA websites to facilitate two-way communication
- Online voting to increase homeowner participation
Create a foolproof homeowner communication strategy with Page Per Page today.