HOAs (as well as the board and homeowners) usually expect to accomplish a lot each year. A balanced budget, idyllic surroundings, and a warm community are just a few things all involved parties wish to gain from successful HOA management.
With so many differing opinions and desires projected onto the HOA, managing the organization can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Plus, with more people seemingly willing to share negative experiences than positive ones, the HOA can sometimes feel like the neighborhood punching bag.
For these reasons, an important part of HOA community management is celebrating and sharing successes, no matter how big or small they may be.
Different HOAs will categorize success differently. From a fiscally rewarding year, to completed infrastructure or beautification projects, or even low violations and complaints by the homeowners, there are many ways to measure another year of hard work from the HOA.
Having homeowners feel positively about their community and its future is an important indicator of a positive year for the HOA. An HOA that invests in its community will ultimately be respected by the homeowners and earn their trust – the biggest success of all.
Below we have highlighted some successful HOAs and community associations that invest in their community with small and large gestures.
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Creating an Altruistic Atmosphere
The HOA should offer and encourage regular opportunities for community service. These good deeds can be directed within the community or outside of it. Any acts of service by homeowners and the HOA should inspire positive feelings of camaraderie and gratitude.
One HOA in Las Vegas supports community service both inside and outside of the community. One member of the Cottonwood Terrace HOA details acts of service that highlight a happy neighborhood, including a fundraiser walk for the Make a Wish foundation.
It is a huge success for the HOA to lead a community that looks out for one another daily. Part of HOA community management is encouraging and fostering this camaraderie.
Another way to create a sense of togetherness is by hosting a food drive. Residents can gather and donate food items to stock local food pantries. While the work is happening outside of the community, it also benefits the residents by creating a sense of accomplishment.
Organized service and random acts of kindness both help the HOA to create a friendly and thoughtful atmosphere for homeowners.
Protecting the Neighborhood’s Natural Environment
HOAs are often very focused on the man-made aspects of their neighborhood, such as homeowners’ lawns or exteriors. However, they should also consider protecting the natural habitat their neighborhood was built in.
It is an important facet of HOA community management to care for the neighborhood’s natural habitat to ensure the land remains a viable place for homeowners and future generations to live.
The residents of Sarasota County, Florida live amongst incredible biodiversity. Surrounded by oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams, water is the lifeforce of the area and important to maintain.
Six HOAs in the area have been dubbed Water Quality Champions by the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida. These include the Mira Lago HOA, the Rivendell HOA, the Stoneybrook HOA, the Meadows HOA, the Center Gate 5 HOA, and the Pelican Cove HOA.
These HOAs focused on protecting and improving their natural and manmade ponds and wetlands, improving water quality, reduced algae blooms, reduced erosion, and increased and varied wildlife in their neighborhoods. Their actions will continue to benefit the area and its homeowners.
The Pelican Cove HOA conducted studies to pinpoint flooding issues tied to an area creek bisecting the property. The results suggested removing various invasive species that were causing silt buildup and other obstructions, and because of this, the waterway now flows peacefully with no reported flooding.
The Meadows HOA discovered that some routine maintenance efforts can be harmful to the environment. Poor water quality was recorded in some of their neighborhood’s 85 lakes and ponds, which was thought to disrupt native flora and fauna. After much research, they decided to alter their usual landscaping to prevent runoff into the lake which drastically improved the water quality.
Center Gate modified their pond landscaping to only use native plants, with hopes of preventing pond erosion. After restoring their ponds to their natural state, not only did the HOA note less erosion, they also observed more turtles, bird varieties, and even some visiting otters.
Making changes to create a more ecologically friendly neighborhood has set these HOAs up for a more stable future. Being proactive about preservation of nature in the community ensures its continued existence.
Advocating for the Community’s Best Interests
HOAs improve the quality of life for their residents in many ways. An HOA can use its collective bargaining power to protect the interests of its homeowners and continue to make the neighborhood a desirable place to live.
In Tallahassee, Florida, for example, the Killearn Homeowners Association released a statement encouraging their local government to ensure a proposed road extension did not encroach into their neighborhood. Since this addition would increase traffic to the area, homeowners’ valued peace would be disrupted.
An HOA’s duties include protecting the neighborhood and staying informed on any issues, such as rezoning or infrastructure additions that would affect them. The Killearn HOA’s advocacy on behalf of their residents shows support for their wishes.
Since homeowners can’t always stay informed on issues that will affect their homes, the HOA can look out for their residents and fight for their best interest with the city councils or developers. Since Killearn was looking out for the community, they were able to raise awareness on the issue and prepare to advocate against it.
The Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association decided to raise awareness about the possible demolition of a historic, century-old schoolhouse in their community. The schoolhouse was considered an iconic and valuable presence, and the community wanted it restored rather than destroyed.
Good HOA community management will seek to protect aspects of the neighborhood through its words and actions. Through advocating for and protecting the neighborhood, the HOA creates a positive environment for all. An HOA that shows how it cares about its community will ultimately be a successful one.