Moving into a community association, especially if you’ve never lived in one before, may seem daunting. There’s a lot to know—from governance, operations, and assessments to rules, architectural standards, amenities, and more. A well-crafted welcome packet can help simplify new residents’ lives.
The welcome packet is a vital tool for making a good first impression, cultivating positive feelings toward the community, and potentially getting someone involved as a volunteer down the road. Its contents will depend on the community, its features, and what the most important things a new owner should understand.
Here are a few relatively standard items that should be included in an association welcome packet:
Welcome letter. This general greeting from an association representative typically contains contact information, assessment amounts, and frequency and payment remittance instructions. It also directs owners to the association’s website, if it has one.
Community rules and regulations. Provide a brief and broad overview of the rules and regulations. Invite owners to seek more details in the association’s governing documents or to talk to an association representative about them.
Board and committee makeup. Illustrate the board’s structure, its directors, as well as existing committees and their members. Offer new owners a transparent look at the community’s governance. Part of this document also should include who to contact in the event an owner is interested in volunteering.
Amenity information. Does your community have a clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, or fitness center? Outline the operational hours, reservation system, rules, and other pertinent information. Help new owners understand what a large portion of their assessment funds and how to use those amenities.
Owner contact sheet. Ask new owners to fill out a form so the association can communicate with them. Compiling reliable email addresses from contact sheets for your association members makes getting information out much easier.
After developing your community’s welcome packet, ask yourself what other information would be useful to new homeowners, such as what assessments pay for and the community’s policies on short-term rentals. A series of FAQs can fill information gaps and can easily be written in a document or on the association’s website, if applicable.
Taking these simple steps will help new owners understand their rights and responsibilities—and may prevent a few conflicts down the road. They’ll also feel like they’re part of a friendly, welcoming community.
Erik Robinson is a senior community manager with Aperion Management Group, AAMC, in central Oregon. firstname.lastname@example.org
Article originally published in CAI Community Manager Ungated Blog June 2020.
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Swimming pools are allowed to reopen in Phase 2 of Gov. Kate Brown’s reopening plan. Even so, Central Oregon pool operators and property managers say they have to meet some challenging requirements in order to reopen.
The reopening guidelines for pools require on-site staff posted at entry/exit points, contract trace logs, regular sanitizing of high-touch areas and capacity limitations.
Julie Brown, a spokeswoman for the Bend Park and Recreation District, said Monday the district has not yet decided on a date for reopening the swimming pool at Juniper Swim and Fitness Center.
She said the district is still in the process of planning for the pool reopening, which would require them to hire more staff, and will release details next week. The rest of the facility reopened Monday, with rules in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic and Recreation Center (SHARC) has also not yet decided on a reopening date for its indoor pool or aquatic park.
Aperion Management Group in Bend, which manages homeowners associations for communities around Central Oregon, said all of the expectations asked of swimming pools will be difficult, although not impossible, for an HOA to meet.
Reporter Rhea Panela is speaking with property managers about how they plan to meet the reopening guidelines, and when community pools can be expected to reopen. She will bring updates to this story starting at Fox at 4.