Driving Community Engagement at HOA Amenities
Everyone has a story behind why they fell in love with their home during the purchasing process and it’s absolutely likely that the homeowner’s association amenities play into decision-making. Given amenities are an extension of the home, association pools, tennis courts, clubhouses and docks represent a sense of community, value and belonging for homeowners!
The weather is getting warmer and summer is nearly in full swing! Using the ideas provided, engagement can be driven using common areas that are diligently maintained and beautified.
Amenities are a social hub – capitalize upon the social atmosphere by holding board meetings at the clubhouse, children’s competitive swim leagues during the summer and even a town hall question and answer period about the association. If your property is equipped for foodservice, consider a periodic “member brunch” – food always draws a crowd!
Cover the bases – ensure that the association has proper insurance coverage for events and socials. Consult your insurance brokerage for more information.
Organize, Organize, Organize
A great way to drive community engagement is to organize special interest groups. Who is your association’s target customer segment? If it’s 55+, consider planning water aerobics or other light-intensity activity. Maybe your community is waterfront and caters to boaters – plan a coffee and boats social at the marina and docks. Should your community have families with young children, a summer swim or soccer league will bring the families out of their homes and into the amenity centers!
Don’t overlook educational groups – book clubs, cooking lessons and needlepoint classes are great options to consider.
As always, don’t forget to validate appropriate insurance coverage with your broker.
Utilize Logical Planning
Give ample consideration when creating amenities open and maintenance schedules. Don’t forget to analyze the busiest times of amenities and to keep in mind the work schedules of homeowners. If pools close early during the work weeks, homeowners won’t have the opportunity to relax by the pool after a hectic day at the office. If amenities aren’t available and ready for use, then the amenity doesn’t represent value to your association members. A good way to determine appropriate hours is to implement a wide availability and scale back based on usage or lack thereof.
The same concept should apply to maintenance cycles. Pools shouldn’t be closed for maintenance on peak days or times.
Outdoor Children’s Groups
Community children may be involved in various organizations, such as scouting. If your association clubhouse is under utilized, consider offering the space to local troops for weekly meetings. Space donation shows both goodwill in the community as well as makes life easier for busy parents.
When allowing an external organization to use association-owned facilities, even on a gratis basis, ask the group to provide a certificate of insurance (COI) to prove that they have ample coverage for hosting meetings. The association may have some liability should a claim arise.
Communicate and Market Effectively
Homeowners won’t attend events if they don’t know that an event is being held. Effective communication is key to hosting events and driving engagement. Email event invitations and club advertisements. Monthly event calendars are useful on a community website or newsletter to keep neighbors informed. A well-timed reminder email or notification can also help to increase participation. Living in a world that is endlessly connected, a website or app is a must for keeping a community association informed.
Be Earth Friendly
With increased activity at amenity centers comes increased consumption of natural resources. To stave off higher utility expenses, equip restrooms with automatic faucets and toilet flushers. Occupancy sensors can be installed on lighting systems to make sure lights are turned off. An upgrade to LED lighting may show a significant cost savings as well. Trash and recycle bins should be well placed to ensure that association members use them.
After implementing some of these ideas, we hope that you’ll see increased neighborhood engagement at your association amenities. When summer begins, families have more time for recreation and engaging community events may be just the respite parents need!
WANT TO STAY IN THE KNOW?
Click below to receive HOAMCO Today, our quarterly newsletter directly to your inbox!