Last modified on February 2nd, 2021
By Brittany Benz
As many continue to work remotely and practice social distancing, it remains critical for association managers to stay connected to their homeowners and board members while fostering a sense of community for the residents. With fewer in-person interactions, the need for human interaction within your association is even more vital.
Here are three ways you can ensure residents feel looped in and informed about what’s happening in their associations.
1) Maintain Transparent Communications
When homeowners don’t receive clear, consistent communications or have a way to connect quickly with your team, their board, or fellow homeowners, they may feel disconnected.
To build a strong community, all of your communications need to be as transparent and easy to access as possible. As a community manager, you can help your homeowners communicate more effectively and stay in-the-know by offering modern tech features, like an online portal, that has built-in texting and email capabilities.
This gives board members and homeowners one place to check in on messages, architectural review statuses, meeting minutes, and the ability to quickly reach out when they have an issue or question. These tools ensure open lines of communication, as well as a central hub for self-service that helps homeowners to form strong community bonds with one another.
2) Find Ways to Connect Virtually
The lack of in-person events may cause homeowners to feel isolated and detached from their association. If they are longing for human connection, but are unsure of how they can reach out and connect with board members and other homeowners safely, it’s time to think “virtual.”
As a manager, you can foster friendships through virtual touchpoints that promote strong bonds and deliver value. Virtual community events, online annual association meetings, and community video conferencing calls can help homeowners get the face-to-face interaction and support they desire from their community association.
In addition to virtual events and activities, emailing weekly newsletters that include updates and opportunities to participate within their community is a great opportunity to stay connected. By providing these kinds of digital interactions, homeowners will feel more informed and connected to their association and see the value of living in their community.
3) Foster an Inclusive Environment
When homeowners feel left out and don’t actively participate, whether through the board, events, or communications, it’s hard for them to stay invested in the future health and happiness of their community. Strengthen bonds by cultivating an inclusive environment to create participation from all homeowners, especially tech-forward populations, like Millennials and Generation Z.
Think about how busy younger generations’ lives are with work and family, and how you can make their participation as convenient and tech-friendly as possible. Providing online, two-way modes of communication, like texting and email, and a digital portal that provides more flexibility and allows them to self-serve are a great start. You can also increase their engagement with the board by transitioning to online association meetings, where homeowners can view from anywhere, on any device.
Digital surveys are another great way to regularly engage and gather feedback, so homeowners feel their voices and opinions are heard. This can be especially helpful in determining how homeowners feel about how your association operates. After the survey, be sure to follow up with how you implemented their feedback and to continue to ask for their input.
If you can communicate consistently and clearly, foster connections virtually, and create an inclusive environment, you’ll strengthen the connections within your community now and in the future.