7 min read
9 HOA Newsletter Ideas: Tips for Improving Your HOA Newsletter
HOALife Jul 20, 2022 9:32:04 AM
Looking for HOA newsletter article ideas and topics to cover? Wondering how you can make each of your HOA newsletters a success?
Like all organizations that care about their members, HOAs also use community newsletters to share relevant and valuable information with their community.
But a lot of times your HOA staff struggles with what to put and what not to put in the newsletter. Also, it becomes challenging to make it engaging enough or professional enough, so the HOA community members care about it.
So, this is exactly what we are going to address and solve today, by giving you tips and ideas on how to make your HOA newsletter a success.
Let’s get started!
Why is an HOA Newsletter So Important?
So, before we start laying down the groundwork for the newsletter, let us first understand why is it important in the first place. This will also help do justice to the content we include in it later.
It fosters the feeling of community
An HOA is built around a community, and to keep that community together is one of the best things you can do for it. After all, if you are looking to go beyond a typical HOA image of a stereotypical organization that controls the community, you need to put efforts accordingly.
And although, it does not technically fall under the purview of HOA duties and responsibilities, keeping neighbors neighborly can makes everything else you do so much easier and more impactful.
If the community members look eye-to-eye, so many of your HOA duties like managing compliance issues, how to spend the HOA budget, and agreeing on the common area looks will become easier.
Keeps the members on the same page
Transparency is key to a successful homeowners association. I mean, you don’t want your members to default on payments or be non-compliant, or utter the ever-so-common ‘Where’s the board spending the money after all!’.
A secretive board can bring about feelings of distrust in the community, so it is very important for an HOA board to be open with residents on policy changes, financial conditions, and generally, all decisions made.
When residents understand why the board is doing what it is doing, or why specific expenses are incurred, they are less likely to complain or lash out. And while the HOA board meetings are a great place to communicate these things, a newsletter is a great place to share related updates on a regular basis.
An HOA newsletter helps create an active community
You can stand out as an HOA based on the level of involvement of individual members of the community. If the HOA community is active and involved, the HOA can be a wonderful and fun place to live.
On the other hand, if the community is a passive one, where nobody bothers about their neighbors and limits to themselves, it beats the purpose of the community itself.
For members to be invested in the HOA, the leaders of the community should think of ways to bring the members together and increase their interest in community events. In addition, members who feel valued and heard are more likely to be active going further.
All this is done effectively with HOA newsletters. We will talk about it in detail in the coming sections.
So, now that we have understood the main purposes of a newsletter, let us see how to lay the groundwork for making a good one!
What You Need to Do to Make Your HOA Newsletter a Success
Before we start discussing ideas to put in the newsletter, there are certain things you should put in place for making your HOA newsletter a success.
Hire experts to design a professional look
A newsletter packed with information, however, useful or interesting will not hold attention if it is not supported well with creative visuals. Visuals serve as an aesthetically-pleasing vehicle that helps convey the content in an engaging way.
Also, the HOA newsletter must look professional as HOA is a professional organization.
So, unless you are a professional at designing, do not try to do the newsletter in-house. It is completely worth it to hire a professional to do it for you. Also, some design elements may vary for a digital newsletter and a printed newsletter, all the more reason to get professional help.
Understand the target audience and design the newsletter accordingly
Not just to appeal to your readers, but to make the most sense, you must understand your audience. Demographic is the first thing you must take into account, so you may ask yourself:
- What is the dominant age group among your members? Also, what are the other age groups that are there?
- Most members have families or are single?
- Which area is your HOA located in, and from which part do most members come?
- What are the popular occupations among your members?
- What income group do most homeowners belong to? Etc.
Once you have a solid understanding of the community you are serving, the newsletter can start taking shape. You will have a better idea of what colors to use, what photos and graphics to use, what words will have greater impact, the best-suited fonts, the overall content, etc.
Decide between print and digital newspaper (or both)
The format in which you send out your newsletter is important as well, and each has its own advantages. For example, printed newsletters cost higher to prepare and send, but:
- They do not have to fight spam filters
- They have a better chance of getting seen
- Have a longer shelf life
- Are preferred by the senior population, etc.
Similarly, digital newsletters may fight the fight of getting opened in an already crammed inbox, but:
- They are cheaper (you can make them in color every time, without costing an extra dime)
- Sent at the click of a button
- Easier to design, etc.
So, when done right, a combination of both digital and printed can cover the ground for you.
However, depending on your resources and your audience, you may choose to go with one option only.
Put branding in place
Whatever format you choose to publish your newsletter in, do not forget to brand it so people can easily recognize it as your HOA’s newsletter.
For print, branding means carefully picked:
- Color scheme
- Header & Footer
- Key information on the front page, etc.
For digital, branding includes carefully crafted:
- Consistency in ‘Send name’
- Subject line
- Preview text
- Header logo, etc.
If you can successfully create a visual brand, people are more likely to open your newsletter, especially if it also comes with great ideas.
Talking about ideas, let us explore them in detail now!
9 HOA Newsletter Ideas
Once you have the basic aspects in place, you must focus on the one thing that is the key to making any publication successful - content that matters!
#1. Encourage local talent to participate
Content is the King, but it can be hard to create content all by yourself that is engaging enough. The easiest way out of this and at the same time getting the community involved, is to ask your community members to pitch in.
From stories, jokes, poetry, visual art, and motivational statements, to riddles and quiz contests, nothing is out of bounds.
From your side, instead of writing fresh, you can even curate some content that you think will appeal most to your audience and will entertain or inspire them.
#2. Spark curiosity and boost economy
Another superb way of cooking up some great content is to talk about the interesting neighborhood establishments. Think specialty restaurants, local and family businesses, boutique businesses, etc.
This will not only spark curiosity but also boost the local economy and maybe some of your community members are also part of these establishments. It can be interesting to have a featured business, like the quaint florist no one knows about, or the best chicken pot pie around the corner.
You can also include events happening around the neighborhood in this list, like farmers' markets, flea markets, music events, etc.
#3. Empower the community to live and maintain itself better
After all, an HOA community is about wholesome living, and if you can support the people in doing that, they are likely to appreciate it.
So, any DIY tips from recipes, health, and well-being, to gardening and landscaping, saving energy, sustainable living, to interior decoration are a good idea.
And the fact that your community members will be getting these tips in their HOA newsletter, instead off the internet is pretty amazing, right!
#4. Celebrate your HOA members
Now, obviously, your HOA members must include some talented individuals and your newsletter is a great place to celebrate them.
And talent is not limited to performance arts, but we are talking about things like,
- Initiating a plastic recycling drive within the community
- Encouraging the neighborhood to donate to a thrift store
- Standing out as an HOA board member (as HOA board members are part of the community too)
- Running a community social media page, etc.
So, save a portion in your newsletter for a featured resident and make it a source of inspiration for all the members.
#5. Talk about HOA projects - ongoing, upcoming, and achievements
Do not shy away from showing off your HOA achievements in the newsletter. In fact, talking about successfully completed projects and better yet, projects that made a difference to the community fosters a sense of confidence among the members.
So, if you just automated the CC&R compliance process, talk about it. If the HOA just finished making some existing additions to the local park, talk about it.
Also, talk about upcoming and ongoing community projects in the newsletter, like repairs and maintenance, making the community season ready by cleaning the pool, etc.
#6. Make it scannable and easy on the eyes
For all the content tips to work, you must make the layout of both print and digital newsletters easy and attractive to the eyes at the same time.
For example, blocks of text are always unappealing, unless you are reading a book, so, it is best to have short paragraphs. Also, a corresponding picture to everything really makes a huge difference in bringing that experience to life.
Also, if you plan to put advertisements in your newsletter, you must space them in such a way that they do not seem like an impediment to the content.
#7. Separate column for important updates
Do not forget to include a section in your newsletter for important and relevant updates for your members, like:
- New rules and regulations
- HOA Minutes from recent meetings
- Board meeting dates
- Maintenance notices, etc.
There can be an announcement section also where you can mention things like the date the HOA is opening for membership, deadlines that residents need to be aware of, etc.
#8. Do not forget to proofread
A poorly spelled newsletter makes a bad impression on your community members and makes you look unprofessional. And that is really just the most basic thing to look out for.
On the flip side, a good quality newsletter can really lift up the impression of an HOA board and make it look polished.
So, make sure you proofread each newsletter edition before sending it out for print or to people’s inboxes. Take care of the formatting issues, grammatical and punctuation errors, sentence optimization, the overall flow of the language, consistency in the language, etc.
#9. Bonus Tip: Distribution is the key
After you have done all this fantastic work, it can go to complete waste if you do not pay proper attention to optimizing the distribution of your newsletters. Making your newsletter accessible in multiple ways can make a huge difference in how many members read and appreciate it.
So, think of the various options you have to distribute it, like other than emailing it and sending the hard copies by post, you can place some newsletters in common areas, etc.
And that's it...
We hope that your next HOA newsletter is going to be a fantastic one with all these tips.
Remember whether it is a monthly or a quarterly newsletter, delivering quality content to your members each time will make sure they look forward to receiving it.
All the best!