Good communication is key to a happy and peaceful community. If you live in a community where the rules and bylaws are well understood by association members and questions are quickly and clearly answered, then you probably live in a community that values good communication.
For some people living in a condo community means getting involved as a part of the association, while for others it means not having the responsibilities of ownership like a typical home does. No matter what your reasoning for living in a community, there are some aspects that make it more pleasant than living in a single or multiple family home, or even in an apartment complex.
How Good Communication Can Help a Community
Effective communication can assist when life events cause a change in schedule or knowledge is needed about a policy. For example, every winter trash day tends to get pushed off by a day due to snow storms. A quick email or note to association members can help clear up any confusion when Mother Nature has thrown a snag in the typical garbage collection routine. These “immediately needed” communications are common several times a year when situations arise that call for all community members to be kept informed of a change or some sort.
Then there are communications that are meant to update the entire community on events or association news for the coming months. For example, updates are usually needed on a regular basis regarding capital improvements or bylaws that have been amended. Not all association members usually attend the board meetings so communication is needed to keep everyone in the community up-to-date on news.
In the last decade there has been much discussion in the HOA circles about what is the best way to communicate with association members. Disseminating information for the management team or Board of Directors to the community members can be done in several ways either using “high” tech methods or going “low” tech.
Using multiple methods to communicate with association members is a good idea. Some communities use a three-pronged approach. Three of the main methods include: letters placed in mailboxes or at doors, email, and text messaging.
Each of these methods could be used for different purposes. For instance, text messaging is a good method when you need an immediate response such as cars that need to be moved for snow plowing. In other circumstances, such as updates on board meetings, email or letters could be sent to keep everyone informed.
Some of the most common reasons for communications include:
- Sending an information booklet or pamphlet to potential buyers regarding dues and rules of the association.
- Announcements of Board Meetings dates and times
- Recap of the minutes of Board Meetings
- An explanation of assessments and budget plan for the next year
- Report on upcoming events or activities
- Reminders of hours of amenities
- Reminders of Rules at the start of each season (especially when amenities such as the pool or tennis courts open.)
- Monthly or seasonal newsletters
- Organization of community parties
- Details about construction, plowing, or landscaping that needs immediate attention
For more ideas of ways and topics for communication within your community, check out this article on Effective Communication in Associations. In addition, follow our blogs on our site or contact Thayer Associates on our contact page or call us at (617) 354-6480.