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Get Social!

12/01/2023 4:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Tom Westing, Advance HOA Management

Roughly a quarter of all Americans live alone and the need for socialization has become more important than ever in our communities.  COVID put a spotlight on loneliness and deaths of despair caused by isolation.  Increasing the sociability of our communities may not be in your job description, or even on your radar, but it may raise the property value of your community and make your job more enjoyable.

Each community is unique, and younger people may not have the same time and availability as retirees, but each community can create a culture of greater socialization however that may look.  Utilizing your communities' recreational facilities and amenities can be a great way to encourage socialization and events.

Here are some strategies to consider in helping your community become more social and engaged:

  1. Social Committee – Try to keep it consistent and plan at least one social a month.  Here are some fun things to consider: food trucks, concerts on the grass, pool parties, Halloween parades, holiday parties, etc.  
  2. Communication Committee – Periodically have interesting speakers share their stories or teach the community about a specific topic of expertise.
  3. Social Media Platform – One community I work with decided to purchase software called GroupValet.  It has been wildly popular with the community.  It has many great features such as “The Wall” where you can post about your lost cat or recommend a vendor.  It has a scrolling calendar of all events, board & committee meetings with Zoom links, and it is also a platform for reserving the tennis & pickleball courts.
  4. Hybrid Meetings – ensuring your community has capabilities to put on virtual, or hybrid, meetings allows members to participate in board and committee meetings from anywhere.
  5. Gathering Places – Places to stop and rest, socialize, and enjoy the beauty of the community – however that may look for your specific community is a constant reminder and encouragement to be a little more social.
  6. Directory – Whether digital or paper, a directory can help people know their neighbors.
  7. Welcome Committee – Having members welcome new residents and share important information and answer questions about living in the community can help show new members or residents the social culture of the community.
  8. Digital Monthly Newsletter – Providing updates on Board and Committee work in addition to highlighting social opportunities helps to keep members engaged with their community.  
  9. Interest Groups – Yoga, book/reading group, bridge, Mah Jongg, knitting and walking groups can all be great ways to connect members with similar interests.
  10. Committees – It sounds crazy, but the more committees the better.  It is a great way to encourage engagement and for newcomers to get acquainted with their neighbors.

When a community focuses on engagement and social events, not only do people love living in the community but they tell their friends about it.  We often see people moving in specifically to be near friends.  While the social scene isn’t the only reason people choose where to live, it can certainly play a role.

Helping your community become more social will take time, but the benefits are worth it.

Tom Westing has been in the HOA industry for about 20 years serving as both a portfolio manager and now an onsite manager at Cherry Hills III.  He currently works for Advance HOA Management.  

(303) 585-0367

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