It’s always a challenge creating community from a group of buildings. It’s key to have a HOA that is a neighborhood, a community who know and support each other. Rather than leaving people to their own devices, there are simple ways to foster community feeling. This starts with doing things as simple as smiling and waving at other people in the community, or stopping and asking how they are.
The HOA association that brings people together is more likely to have volunteers to help out, run for election and participate in meetings. If people know their neighbors it also makes the community safer, as well as just a nicer place to live.
Here are a few ideas of how create a community in your HOA:
- Common areas: Make sure all common areas are well-maintained, pleasant and accessible to everyone. If you have a space that a three year old and an eighty year old can use, then you can bring everybody together. Creating community isn’t based on the size of the area but it being a comfortable, welcoming space that everyone can enjoy. A few benches and trees dotted around make people want to sit outside, a clean, litter-free environment also encourages people to linger. Comfortable chairs, toys for children, a shelf of books that can people can read make the clubhouse an agreeable place to spend time. If you don’t have enough space, then maybe you could rent somewhere nearby for get-togethers.
- Fun events: Make sure the common spaces are used by creating events: a potluck dinner, bingo night, Taco Tuesday, a picnic, a soccer tournament, the list is endless! Have at least one event a month to bring everyone together. You could coincide them with open HOA meetings to encourage residents to attend. Every holiday is a new excuse to have a party, and it’s also a good way to get to know other cultures’ festivals and traditions, for instance, Chinese New Year, Day of the Dead, or Diwali. Doing this you promote inclusivity and learning in your HOA.
- Clubs: You can have clubs for everything, and they’re a great way to meet new people, and discover new activities. Have you always thought that a book club would be something that you’d enjoy if ONLY there was one nearby? Just join, or start, one in your HOA! You could have a knitting club, a gardening club, or if you have a gym, an exercise club. If you have a basketball court, a basketball team, the sky’s the limit! During festivals and holidays, you could have a decorating committee, or make it into a competition and give out prizes to the best decorated house.
- Volunteering projects: Create a donation drive for asylum seekers, or host an event to raise money for a local charity. Or simply have a group to assist the elderly or less-able with their shopping or household chores so that people get together to do good. Volunteering could be as simple as rallying around when someone is going through a tough time, or making sure that everyone is following State and HOA advice when a storm is coming. Here are some more easy ways to help out.
- Newsletter: To create a sense of community, people need to know what’s going on. You could have a digital newsletter on Vinteum Neigbrs, or a paper one, that could be distributed around the HOA. Depending on what people prefer. Be sure to make the newsletter personal to your HOA. You could include the projects, events and club get-togethers that are happening, as well as news of births, and achievements within the community. Residents could submit reviews of improvements or changes in the HOA, if the clubhouse has been repainted, do residents love the color or hate it? Pick the best/worst/funniest feedback and share it in the newsletter. Have residents been asking for something to change and you did something about it? Tell them, so they know they’re being listened to.
- Welcoming committee: A really lovely way to include people from the beginning is to have a welcoming committee who go round to peoples’ houses when they first move in to officially welcome them. The committee could help them move in, show them around, and give them a small welcoming present. That way at your next HOA event, they have someone to talk to and are much more likely to come, participate and integrate more easily into the neighborhood, join HOA clubs, committees, and projects.
- Bulletin board: Following on from the newsletter, you could adapt what’s in the newsletter to post on a board in the clubhouse, or in the pool changing rooms so people are sure to see it. Make sure it has fun photos, bite size text and lots of colors to capture people’s’ interest so they read it. Our Vinteum Neigbrs online bulletin board was created to bring your community together on a digital platform, and to share news, achievements, as well as cute cat videos!
- Website: Last but not least a website is a great way to get people together online. Vinteum Neigbrs is a platform that brings your community together both on the internet and through our app. We developed our platform to ensure residents’ peace of mind. We strive to create intuitive tools focused on improving communication and collaboration between property managers and residents, for community associations big and small. Visit our site to find out more about how we can help you to foster a community in your community.