An HOA newsletter is an excellent way to keep the community informed of various HOA-related news. But, it can be tricky to know how to write and circulate one properly. Read on to learn what you need to know about making and distributing an HOA newsletter.
HOA Newsletter Content: What Should Communities Include?
An HOA newsletter is like an exclusive newspaper just for community members. It’s important to include all the relevant information to keep the residents updated on neighborhood activities. Homeowners associations should also come up with creative HOA newsletter ideas that might capture the residents’ interests.
Regular HOA Newsletter Topics
What should you include in an HOA newsletter? Make sure not to forget these components to create a clear and informative newsletter:
- Date, Issue Number, and Volume Number. Add these important details to help residents keep track of events and issues in succession.
- Newsletter Summary. Not all residents will have time to skim through the entire newsletter. Hence, it’s best to dedicate a section outlining the summary of each issue.
- Note from the Board. Add a small section containing a note from the board or HOA president. This can include important announcements or reminders for homeowners.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). This section addresses the residents’ most common concerns and questions.
- Upcoming Events. Add a list of upcoming events occurring inside and outside the HOA. Note important details such as the date/event period, frequency, time, and location.
- Policy Changes. Include a section that details any major or minor changes to the HOA’s governing documents, rules and regulations, or other policies.
- HOA Management Updates. If the HOA employs a management company, consider adding a section to give relevant updates. This is especially important if the HOA is considering a change in management.
- Future Board Meeting Dates. Keep residents informed of the date, time, and location of upcoming board meetings.
- Resident News. Add a section that outlines various non-confidential resident news.
- HOA Contact Information. Include the contact details of the association, board members, or HOA manager.
Additional HOA Newsletter Topics or Information
Apart from the standard topics, the board should also come up with creative homeowners association newsletter ideas. Consider adding the following sections to the newsletter to make it more engaging:
- HOA Newsletter Articles. Add informative articles the residents may find useful in the homeowner’s newsletter. Topics can include anything related to home care, such as maintenance or energy-saving tips.
- Photos. Collect photos from recent events or any photo related to the topics outlined. Include them in the newsletter to invite homeowners to engage more in community events and activities.
- Recent Event Summary. Add summaries or highlights of any recent events the HOA or resident may have hosted.
- Relevant Local News. Include any local news reports that may be relevant to the homeowners. For example, there may have been policy changes to parking rules prohibiting residents from parking on public roads.
- Local Business Spotlights. Consider including spotlights sharing local businesses the residents may support. It may even include businesses run by some of the community members themselves.
How Should HOA Newsletters Be Distributed?
An HOA community newsletter can come in many forms. Some homeowners associations may distribute them through traditional printed media. However, many associations have adopted electronic newsletters to cut printing costs. What your HOA chooses will depend on several factors.
HOAs who want to offer something tangible to their members often opt for printed newsletters. It can be nostalgic for the residents who often read the newsletters that arrive at their doorstep. On the other hand, printed newsletters are more expensive. They’re also wasteful, as many homeowners may not even read the newsletters they receive.
In addition, a printed homeowners association newsletter comes with many considerations. For example, the association should be mindful of the page limit. The newsletter should not be three pages long so people aren’t overwhelmed with information. It should also have consistent formatting, font size, font and line thickness, and spacing.
Furthermore, printed newsletters should be more visually appealing. Everything from the envelope to the header should be designed well to attract readers. Printed newsletters also pose a scheduling challenge as the writers must meet deadlines weeks before printing. They’re also logistically demanding as the HOA needs to distribute them manually.
In comparison to printed newsletters, electronic newsletters cost little to nothing. They are also more environmentally friendly than printed newsletters. This may be why global printing and paper production has been slowing down. Apart from this, e-newsletters are more versatile as HOAs can embed links, add GIFs, and create more interactive elements to engage the readers.
The homeowners association can also use a simple, customizable template in Microsoft Word. There are also fewer restrictions when formatting the font, size, shapes, and colors. However, design and visual appeal are still important to keep readers interested.
Furthermore, e-newsletters are simpler to distribute as they can be emailed or uploaded on social media anytime, anywhere. Contributors and writers also have more time as they’re not rushing to meet a printing deadline.
Tips for Making a Good HOA Newsletter
What are some HOA newsletter best practices? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating your newsletter.
1. Create a Template
It can be hard to format and write an HOA newsletter even with a team. Hence, HOAS should create a template they can use and reuse for each issue. This reduces the amount of work needed and lets the contributors know what to include. It also saves time and simplifies the entire process.
2. Know Your Audience
The community members are the primary target audience of any newsletter. But, each community varies in demographic, culture, and what they value. Some communities are more family-oriented, while others are livelier and love community events. Consider the interests and needs of your community before crafting the newsletter.
3. Focus on Brand and Structure
The newsletter should be captivating and recognizable to its readers. Hence, it’s best to adopt a consistent branding and visual theme. This boosts the HOA’s reputation, fosters a sense of community, and makes newsletters more compelling.
In addition, try focusing on creating a clear and readable structure. This will allow the members to read the newsletter without getting confused or lost. After all, what use is an informative newsletter when it’s hard to read?
4. Publish Consistently
Community association newsletters should be published on a regular schedule. This allows community members to know when to expect a new issue. Schedule it often enough to keep residents updated on the HOA’s activities.
However, don’t schedule it too often, as that may exhaust the members. It may also be taxing on the writers as they may be unable to keep up with deadlines. Remember to inform the community how often or when they should expect newsletters to arrive.
5. Answer Community Questions
Some communities may have pressing questions regarding certain topics. For example, community members may want to know about the details of upcoming policy changes or an increase in HOA fees. If the residents are itching to know more about a certain topic, do not ignore them. Instead, address them directly.
6. Offer Clear Action Steps
Many community members want to help their HOAs flourish. Some may want to volunteer as part of the board or a specific committee. Meanwhile, others may simply want to know how to lend a helping hand. Take the opportunity to encourage member participation by providing clear action steps at the end. Give them an easy-to-follow guide, or let them know who to contact.
Helpful and Engaging for All Community Members
Creating a good HOA newsletter can be difficult for homeowners associations. But, it certainly offers many benefits as it disseminates relevant information in one go. It also fosters community and lets members know how to get involved.
However, it can be challenging to craft an HOA newsletter alone. If your community is struggling, Landmark Community Management can help. We offer industry-leading HOA management services to communities around Texas. Call us at 512-569-5527 or contact us online to know more!