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Developing a “Community” Through Fostering Relationships

A board of directors has an invaluable opportunity to develop a community and create and foster harmonious relationships with its members that too often goes by unnoticed and unrecognized. The new owner is a valuable tool in maintaining a community or in helping to repair a divided community. The common thread in all community associations is people, and people want to feel like they belong and that their community leaders care about them. Making a new owner feel welcome and accepted can prevent that owner from becoming disgruntled. A disgruntled owner only creates distrust of the Board and discord among the members.

Creating a welcome packet for new owners is a large first step in helping to create the sense of community. It’s an opportunity for the Board to introduce itself to the new owner and set the relationship off on the right foot. A welcome packet should include important information for new owners. Items to consider including are a letter from the Board offering a welcome; a one page rule summary (make sure to note that it is not all-inclusive of the rules of the association); how to obtain vehicle passes or parking passes; information on local parks, pools or playgrounds; pet registration forms; website information; community activities; mailbox access; a list of amenities with their rules and procedures; how to reach the board or management company; contact information for local utilities; where and when to pay their maintenance fees; etc. This is a good way to inform new owners of the amenities along with what is expected of them.

A welcome packet is a good start toward starting a positive and harmonious relationship.