Listening to homeowners is one of the most important roles of the HOA board. When homeowners are heard, it’s when the HOA and the residents can really work together. Although homeowner’s opinions can differ at times, the HOA needs to closely listen to homeowners every chance they get. Here are some tips on how you can make sure your board fully supports your homeowner’s rights to express themselves.
Listening to Homeowners and Acting in Their Best Interests
Managed communities succeed when the homeowners association board and the residents are on the same page. The community is better served when HOA and homeowners are working together to the benefit of the community.
The only way that can happen is if the HOA listens to the members. This way, the HOA can cater to the needs of its members better. The HOA, as a whole, is better taken care of. In turn, the quality of life in the HOA prospers as well. Property values can benefit over time over this harmonious relationship, too.
Although board members in an HOA are responsible for making important decisions in the association, it should be noted that decisions affect every homeowner. Thus, it’s important to be sure all homeowners are still given a voice. Every resident should have an opportunity to be heard in the community.
Here are the top tips for making sure your HOA homeowners are heard:
1. Improve Communications
Communication issues are a major cause of disagreements between HOA managers and residents. Thus, the HOA board needs to be proactive in informing the community. On the side of the homeowners, they also need to be receptive to updates from the HOA as well. That’s the only way to keep the lines of communication open between the HOA board and its members.
Figure out the methods of communication your homeowners most prefer. Select the ones that make the most sense, and use them to communicate regularly. So, if your homeowners are generally older, you might want to stick with mail or email. To make sure you include the younger crowd, it might be a good idea to use social media accounts and an HOA website for most updates.
Then, make sure to remind your homeowners about where they can look up information about the association. Invite members to subscribe to your emails, or to your social media.
2. Give Homeowners a Place to Speak Up
As much as it’s great to keep homeowners up-to-date, you still won’t be hearing what they have to say by just sending updates. So, make sure the communication is a two-way street.
Encourage owners to submit their concerns and opinions on a website forum, through surveys, or communicate with your community on social media.
Also, make sure to encourage them to leave feedback on your updates as well. So, if your residents don’t like the way the HOA is doing something, they can have a say about it. Then, the HOA has a read on the pulse of the community. as well.
You can also make sure time is set aside for owners at each board meeting to speak their minds. Update them on when the meetings are scheduled to be held and the topics that will be discussed. Your HOA manager can help with arranging this.
3. Work with Residents to Find the Best Solution
Your HOA residents are choosing to spend their time to help the community every time they come to the HOA meetings. So, make sure you respect their effort and listen to what they have to say. Board members, after all, have a duty to do what’s best for the community as a whole. These residents may be speaking not just for themselves, but also for their neighbors who feel the same way about something.
Listen and take notes when they speak up at meetings. Ask questions on specifics, and solicit helpful suggestions if they have any. The board can also try bouncing ideas off of them as well. The HOA board and residents may be coming from different points of view about an issue, and it helps to have a bigger picture of the situation.
Once the HOA board decides on a course of action, make sure to inform your homeowners as well. Let them know if their input helped the HOA board settle on a solution to a problem.
Listening to Homeowners Is Key to HOA Success
As an HOA board member, part of your responsibility is to make decisions that are best for the community. When it’s important, reach out to homeowners so they have a chance to voice their concerns and opinions as well.
Figure out which means of communication is best for your community and utilize it to the best of your ability. Make sure you are listening to homeowners, then prove it with immediate action to their issues.