The Holidays are Almost Here – Is Your Community Ready?

 

Holiday decorations can be beautiful, but can also cause problems for HOAs

 


The holiday season is almost upon us, and that means homes will soon be adorned with lights, sound, and decor, driveways will be stuffed with out-of-town vehicles, and your community will be teeming with holiday cheer. But all of that seasonal joy can be dampened if your residents aren’t up-to-date on the community policies. Now is a great time for the HOA to review its guidelines and send out friendly reminders to residents.

Here are several things to consider this time of year that can help your HOA community stay in the holiday spirit:

Decorations

We all know THAT resident; the one who sees the Grizwold household as a challenge to be accepted. Does your HOA have restrictions on what sort of decorations can go up, or what time frame decorations are allowed? If so, this is a great time to send reminders about rules for inflatable lawn décor, lights, ornaments, and other holiday outdoor decorations. Is music allowed (and if so, are there time and volume restrictions)? What are the penalties for violations and do you have a system in place to quickly notify the homeowner of any violations or penalties? Letting homeowners know about current guidelines before the season is in full swing can help avoid confusion, and alleviate any future headaches.

Visitors

Whether you look forward to a full house, or want to hide from in-laws, there’s no denying ‘tis the season for out-of-town guests to visit. Does your HOA make special exceptions during this time of year to account for the extra vehicles in the community? Does your community have visitor parking, or a community area for vehicle overflow? If additional parking isn’t available, what are some solutions that your association can offer? We highly recommend touching base with your homeowners to help them know what to do with visitors’ vehicles, while following the guidelines of the community. Now may be a great time to put exceptions and provisions up to a Board vote. Ensure your board has access to 24/7 voting, communication, and results with cloud-based software designed to streamline your community management processes.

Communicate and Stay Involved

Who doesn’t love a great holiday party? Now is the perfect time to host a community get-together for neighbors to get to know each other and to learn more about the HOA and the Board. Consider using the clubhouse, park or other community area that can accommodate a large group. Games, treats and libations are always a great way to bring a community together. Giving families and residents a place to get to know each other makes for a tighter-knit community and helps harbor goodwill towards your HOA and Board.

The holidays are an ideal time to share helpful tips and reminders, too. Communication during the holiday season – be it emails, fliers, social media posts, or website updates – helps keep the community safe, respectful, and happy! However, this can be a daunting task with outdated systems that rely on manual processes. Smartwebs can help streamline and simplify communications with your community, and make sure that you have a painless way to spread holiday cheer.

Be Kind

Most of all, remember that this time of year can be stressful for everyone; residents, managers, and board members alike. Josh Hurst provides a great reminder for this time of year.

It’s important for the HOA to pick its battles wisely and keep in mind the best interest of homeowners. Everyone has their own taste and style when it comes to décor.  It is worth starting an uproar over a light display that will come down in a few weeks anyway? If homeowners are in the spirit and not causing disruptions or violating clear rules, enjoy the celebration. The HOA may ask that light displays be reviewed by the architectural committee to prevent anything that is over-the-top and will detract from the appeal of the community as a whole.

HOA’s are here to ensure the community stays safe, desirable, and happy so don’t forget to weave in some holiday happiness in this most wonderful time of year!