From Board Meeting to BBQ
For most, the work-life balancing act leaves little time to build community. However, community associations have a built in infrastructure to help promote socializing beyond the board meeting.
With social media, we live in an atmosphere where personal interaction is no longer necessary to stay connected. This makes it harder to build the personal connections needed to effectively govern a community when everyone is hidden behind laptops or smart phone screens.
Personal interaction is critical to a well-run community. When neighbors get to know each other, they are less likely to project their community frustrations onto neighbors or board members. So, a more connected community will have a better understanding of governance decisions and the dynamics involved in community leadership.
The best way to bring folks together in your community is to set a schedule of periodic and enjoyable social events for residents. Residents can utilize social media to spread the word, which cuts down on time and expense of marketing materials. It is easier than ever to set up a social event, while reaching people on the platforms they use the most.
Consider establishing a neighborhood social committee to engage residents. This committee can set up periodic social events for the community. Events do not have to be a major production, just an opportunity to share some time with neighbors. Grilling cook outs, dog parades and other creative ideas also help encourage residents to get out into the community.
When neighbors get to know each other, it has a tremendous impact on governance. Understanding various perspectives, needs and challenges can serve to make the board more empathetic in the decision making process. From a homeowner standpoint, it personalizes the association leadership, creates buy-in, and helps enforce rules in the community. In the end, building positive community relationships is one of the best tools to ensure community engagement and support.