Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

Four Simple Steps to Community Building this Spring

Since we just turned our clocks ahead a few days ago, it means that spring is right around the corner. As we awaken from the cold, dark winter, spring will usher in new beginnings, warmer weather and longer days. The coming season is a great opportunity for association members to spend time outside in the common areas, enjoy some good weather and meet and get to know their neighbors better.

As spring arrives, here are four activities homeowner associations can do to foster harmony and good will within their communities:

1. Spring Brunch. Set up a few tables in your clubhouse or common area and ask your homeowners to bring potluck items. You can decorate the tables or the room in a simple springtime-fashion, with colored napkins, flowers and bright table coverings. Sharing food and eating together in a relaxed environment is an easy way to strengthen relations with neighbors and other homeowners. The association’s board of directors may wish to take a few minutes during the brunch to informally address the group, since many homeowners do not attend annual or board meetings.

2. Egg Hunt and other games for the kids. Although eggs are usually considered part of Easter, they need not necessarily be associated with the religious holiday. Children have a lot of fun hunting for eggs or playing other games such as capture the flag or even tag (anything to get them off their displays and outside!). These activities can be organized around spring as a theme, rather than Easter. In exchange for the eggs or participating in the other games, kids could receive creative prizes such as crayons, pencils, watercolors or handicraft tools. Involving children is a great way to increase participation of homeowners with families (offering babysitting and children’s activities is another effective way to increase participation at an association’s annual meeting, too)

3. Plant Potting Workshop for all ages. Another pleasant way for homeowners to spend time with each other is organizing a workshop on potting or re-potting plants. Springtime is ideal for such an event and kids are surely going to enjoy working with the plants and the soil, and learning about how to take care of them. All you need to do is provide the tools, pots, soil and plants (or people can bring their own plants) and the workshop can begin.

4. Spring clean up. What community cannot benefit from a general spring cleaning? Though many homeowner associations have landscape or other committees that maintain common areas throughout the year, why not invite all the owners for a Saturday morning raking, weeding and planting event? Pick a sunny day to maximize participation and offer lemonade and snacks to increase the camaraderie. One note of caution: we recommend that any use of ladders or climbing be restricted to contracted professionals who are properly licensed and insured.

Community building strengthens the ties between homeowners, tenants and board members and certainly promotes a healthy environment within a homeowner and condominium association. Working together and having fun builds relationships, familiarity and trust, which leads to a higher quality of life for all members within the community. For those of us who work with homeowner and condominium associations, there is no better time than now to urge our clients to get outside and foster community.