An informed community is a healthy community. Residents who are out of the loop can cause unintended problems for the board and fellow homeowners. Communities often print a HOA newsletter in order to keep everybody in touch with what’s happening in the community.
1. Ensure that Residents Read the HOA Newsletter
Newsletters that are published quarterly make its arrival more of a novelty than monthly issues. The downside of quarterly newsletters is that residents may forget the information posted months ago, whereas monthly letters ensure fresh content, although residents may be more less inclined to read each issue.
Email vs. Mailbox
The costs and time associated with delivering paper copies of a newsletter may be prohibitive, but many people check junk email infrequently, and may not read a full newsletter online. To prevent using a less efficient method of communicating with residents, consider sending forms that residents can use to indicate their preferred method of receiving communications.
2. Include Safety and Rule Reminders
It’s important to remind residents of safety reminders that are relevant to the season, like fire prevention in the summer. Reminders about safety and rule requirements things like Santa displays during Christmas or firework restrictions will help maintain order during festive times.
Remember to give the rationale behind certain rule reminders, or the purpose behind preventative maintenance in when preparing the community for flash floods. Don’t just tell the homeowners—involve them in upholding rules and safety. Constant reminders about continuous concerns like pool safety should be encouraged.
3. Be Interactive
The newsletter should be useful—even enjoyable for the homeowners. Get creative with crosswords covering winter preparation, lawn care, or insect control. Have the board president write a greeting, or get a chatty board member to write an advice column. Monthly and quarterly drawings, prizes, or trivia can keep readers coming back for more
4. Connect the Community
Running birth, anniversary, and event announcements can bring residents together. Including community police reports can make residents careful to watch out for each other. To encourage involvement in the community, post available committee and board positions alongside volunteer opportunities like a community watch. Similar to addressing rules, be sure to address covenants that may be in danger of violation (ie. political signs during election season), or as a reaction to an existing problem like pet waste. Friendly reminders about removing trashcans, noise, parking zones, and vehicle requirements can act as good preventative reminders for the community as a whole.
By keeping topics relevant and engaging, a timely HOA newsletter can help connect and educate the community.