Community association boards often face challenges while managing their responsibilities and dealing with homeowners. Managing an HOA is a tough job, and it gets even harder when residents feel hostile.
While the board can certainly hire contractors to do this work, there are benefits to getting residents engaged in the maintenance process. Not only can it save money, but it can also build a sense of community.
Creating a good relationship with residents would also make it easier to resolve issues and foster a greater sense of pride in the property.
Let’s look at some of ways to encourage residents to take an active role in property maintenance:
- Create a volunteer program: This program can be designed to allow residents to participate in a range of activities. Board members can skillfully ask them to contribute their skills and time to the upkeep of the community. For example, residents can help with landscaping or cleaning common areas. Providing them with training and conducting appreciation events can boost their enthusiasm.
- Engage them through regular meetings: Boards should make an effort to communicate regularly with residents about upcoming maintenance projects and the work that needs to be done. This can be done through newsletters, emails, or even community meetings. By keeping residents informed, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership.
- Offer attractive incentives: Incentives can be a great way to encourage residents to get involved in maintenance. The board can offer a discount on HOA fees for residents who volunteer a certain number of hours per month. Additionally, they can be given free access to parking spaces or gift cards to local businesses. Alternatively, the board can organize community events such as potluck dinners or bingo nights.
- Plan a food and clothing drive: This is another great way to get building residents to know each other and the board better. It requires minimal effort and helps those in need. Volunteers can set up boxes in the common lobby, and interested residents can contribute cans of food or clothing.
- Lead by example: If board members are actively involved, it sends a powerful message to residents that maintenance is important and valued. They will be motivated to do simple tasks for property management such as weeding, painting, or cleaning common areas themselves.
These ideas can be implemented by a maintenance committee, and it can serve as an excellent way to manage maintenance tasks.
In addition to these ways, transparency is an important factor in gaining the trust of residents. The board can take the first step by making the governing documents available. These may include information about the finances being utilized.
Boards can also conduct surveys regularly to understand the priorities of residents. This will help the board plan maintenance activities more efficiently.
With a little effort and the right approach, boards can win the confidence of residents, and both can thrive together in the community ecosystem.
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