There are millions of people in the United States who are currently living in apartments, condos, and single family homes governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA). These governing bodies help regulate the neighborhood, ensuring that a common set of rules are followed in order to protect home values and maintain communal amenities. The HOA typically has a board that runs it; the board members are people from the neighborhood who usually volunteer their time in order to run, manage, and facilitate the HOA. Many of these groups are using association management software to run the HOA, making easier and more fun than ever to communicate with the community.
There are so many great reasons to get involved with your HOA. Let’s take a look at some of them and then an overview of how you can get involved, whether you want to be a board member or just stay involved without making a commitment.
Why You Want to Join the HOA
Help Correct Problems in the Neighborhood
Serving on your HOA board is a great way to help make positive changes in your neighborhood. Maybe you’ve noticed an issue with parking, neighbors not keeping up with their yard work, or houses falling into disrepair and bringing down property values in the area. Being on the HOA board means you can help enact and enforce rules that could correct those issues. Some people feel their HOA has too much power and is becoming too stringent in their application of the rules; that’s another great reason to join. When you are on the board, you can help correct the issue of overeager enforcement of the bylaws, too.
Meet More of Your Neighbors
Being on the board of your HOA is a great way to meet more of your neighbors. During meetings, events, and handing out flyers door-to-door, you’ll come in contact with more of the people who are living around you. This can create more of a community environment where neighbors watch out for each other! You’ll be able to connect with more of the people around you, get to know them, and learn more about what they’d like to see in the neighborhood, too. Using association management software allows you to connect with neighbors digitally, too, by doing things like messaging each other and even sharing photos.
Shape the Future of the Community
What dreams do you have for your neighborhood? Do you want to see property values rise, more community spaces for families, or big neighborhood-wide events during the holidays? When you serve on the HOA board, you’ll be able to help put plans into place to make those dreams a reality. The HOA shapes the future of the neighborhood, and if you care about what’s happening in your community, this is the place to be.
Help Plan More Community Events
HOAs often organize and manage community-wide events that can really make the neighborhood stand out. That might be garage sales, holiday festivals, craft fairs, and so much more. These are the things that make your neighborhood feel more like it’s own small town and less like just the street where you live. Planning these events can be a lot of fun, and when you are on the HOA board you’ll be able to get feedback from the community that can make those events better and better. You may have fresh ideas about how to get more of the community involved in these events and help make your neighborhood an even better place to live!
Build Your Resume & Gain Skills
Being a part of an HOA is like being a part of a small business! You’ll be managing budgets, making decisions, and enacting plans that impact your community. These are all valuable skills in the workplace, too, and being on the HOA could actually help boost your resume. It shows employers that you care about your community, are a responsible citizen, and you are passionate about making a difference. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone like that? This is an especially good benefit for those who may be rejoining the workforce after a break or who don’t have much work experience yet.
Even If You Don’t Want to Join…
Life can be busy! You may not be able to serve on your HOA board because you are too busy with work or your family. Or maybe you just aren’t sure that serving on the board is right for you. That’s okay! But you should still try to stay involved as much as possible. Here is how:
Stay up-to-date on all of the latest HOA news, including reading newsletters and visiting the HOA website regularly.
Cast your vote. If there is an issue that comes up for a vote, try to make your feelings about the issue known so you can still have a say in the future of your community.
Attend events when you can. It’s a great way to meet more of your neighbors! After the event, if the HOA asks for feedback, be honest about what you like and what could improve the next time.
How to Get Involved
Are you ready to serve on the board? That’s great! Your HOA should be able to provide you with information about how to get started. Board members are generally elected by a vote after they fill out an application. Be sure to read the rules about what’s required of board members and think about whether or not you’ll be able to fulfill those duties. If you feel confident, fill out the application and submit it to the board. They may ask for a short interview or a casual meet-and-greet to get to know you better and see if they feel you’d be a good fit for the board. If you have questions about the process, ask a serving or former board member for answers and advice! They should be able to answer your questions and give you valuable insight about applying for and serving on the board.