Monthly Archives: April 2023


How to Be an Effective Association Board Member

Joining a Community Association is a great way to create a sense of community and shared responsibility. Living in a community association also requires adherence to certain rules and guidelines to maintain harmony and avoid conflict.

As a Board member or manager of an association, it’s your duty to ensure your constituents live comfortably and happily in your community. This means getting these dos and don’ts right between everyone involved.

As seasoned association managers, our team has seen it all.  Here are some of our biggest dos and don’ts to keep in mind when living in a community association and how a property management team like Goodwin & Company can make creating a harmonious association an attainable goal.

Rules and Regs

DO Familiarize yourself with the community association’s rules and regulations. As a Board member, you are a leader within your association. Get closely acquainted with your CC&Rs to help you stay in the know about when a member breaks a regulation and what you can do to peacefully guide them back in line with the needs of the community. 

DON’T Ignore the rules as a Board member. Ignoring the community association’s rules and regulations can lead to conflict with your neighbors and can ultimately result in fines or legal action. Everyone involved has to do their part to create the best community possible. So, don’t let your decision-making power lead you astray from the rules you must govern.

Good Neighbors

DO your best to keep the peace between all members of your association.  Keep noise levels down and avoid parking violations like cars left in front of homes without the homeowner’s permission. 

Emphasize the importance of common courtesy and maybe even turn it into a game. How about creating a Neighbor of the Month award? This gives you the chance to reward those who go above and beyond to make the association an enjoyable living environment.

One of the best ways to keep the peace in your community is to take advantage of the portal that comes with your management team. Using your online communication tool, you can remind owners of their responsibilities as neighbors without officially calling anyone out. Everyone gets notified, and you now have documented proof that you’ve made an effort to stress local regulations if you do have to step in and take action.

DON’T let common areas go ill-maintained. Common areas, such as community pools and parks, are shared by all community members. Be respectful of these areas, ensure all owners and guests use them appropriately, and keep the grounds clean.

As a management bonus, reach out to your association management team to connect with reliable vendors that can maintain your common areas and keep your team 

Personal Space

DO Hold owners responsible for property maintenance. Your association is an exclusive community. So, you want to ensure your owners take pride in their property and keep the exteriors well-maintained and in line with uniformity standards.

This includes keeping yards tidy and free of debris and ensuring that any exterior changes made to a property comply with the community association’s guidelines.

Helping owners maintain responsibility for their home’s appearance lets your association remain attractive and inviting. This will lead to retaining your current owners and reeling in new, reliable members that want a beautiful place to call home.

DON’T Let association beautification fall to the wayside. You expect your owners to maintain their home’s exterior. So, make every effort to arrange regular inspections of your property and the utilization of reliable local vendors. Failure to do so can quickly lead to small problems getting out of hand and essential attractors like your landscape becoming an eyesore that drives potential owners away.

Trust in Goodwin & Company to Improve Your Association

Looking to maintain a safe and harmonious living environment in your community association? Goodwin & Company can help! By following these dos and don’ts, you can contribute to the well-being of your community association and make it a wonderful place to call home. Contact Goodwin & Company today to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving a thriving community association.



Thriving in Your HOA Community: A Guide to Making the Most of Your Membership

Welcome to the Homeowners Association (HOA)! You have just taken an important step in becoming a part of a community that is dedicated to maintaining the value and quality of life in your neighborhood. The HOA is a non-profit organization comprised of homeowners in a particular community, and its purpose is to enforce the rules and regulations set forth in the community’s governing documents, such as the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and the Bylaws. These documents outline the expectations for the appearance and maintenance of homes, common areas, and other community amenities.

As a homeowner in the HOA, you have the right to participate in the decision-making process of the community. This includes attending HOA meetings, voting on important issues, and serving on committees. You also have the right to access the community’s financial records and other important information. Along with your rights, come responsibilities. As a homeowner in the HOA, you are responsible for following the rules and regulations set forth in the governing documents, including keeping the appearance of your home and property in line with community standards, paying HOA dues on time, and adhering to any regulations regarding the use of common areas.

The HOA is managed by a volunteer board of directors, committees, and sometimes a management company. The board of directors is elected by the homeowners and is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the community, enforcing the rules and regulations, managing the finances of the HOA, and making decisions on important issues such as community improvements, maintenance, and resident relations. Committees are made up of homeowners who volunteer to take on specific responsibilities within the community, such as organizing community events or maintaining common areas.

So, how can you make the most of your HOA membership? Here are 12 tips to help you get started:

Get Involved: Attend HOA meetings, volunteer to serve on committees, and get to know your neighbors. The more involved you are, the better understanding you will have of the community and the more opportunities you will have to make a positive impact.

Read the Governing Documents: Familiarize yourself with the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and the Bylaws to understand the expectations for the appearance and maintenance of homes and common areas.

Pay Dues on Time: Be sure to pay your HOA dues on time to avoid late fees and to maintain the financial stability of the community.

Follow Community Rules: Adhere to the rules and regulations set forth in the governing documents to maintain the appearance and integrity of the community.

Maintain Your Property: Keep the appearance of your home and property in line with the community standards to protect the property values of all homeowners.

Offer Feedback to the Board and/or Management: If you have questions or concerns, reach out to the board of directors to ensure that your voice is heard.

Participate in Community Events: Get to know your neighbors and create a sense of community by participating in community events and activities.

Be Respectful: Be respectful of your neighbors and the community by following the rules and regulations and being mindful of the impact your actions may have on others.

Get to Know Your Neighbors: Building relationships with your neighbors can help create a strong and supportive community.

Get Involved in Decision-Making: Attend HOA meetings and provide input on important issues to have a say in the direction of your community.

Exercise Your Right to Vote: Take advantage of your right to vote on important issues by attending HOA meetings and participating in elections for the board of directors.

Review the Procedures for Submitting Architectural Requests: Familiarize yourself with the procedures for submitting architectural requests, such as changes to the exterior of your property, to ensure that your request is processed smoothly and efficiently.

By following these tips, you can maximize your HOA membership and play an active role in creating a thriving community. Being a homeowner in the HOA means being a part of a community that is dedicated to maintaining the value and quality of life in the neighborhood. By understanding your rights and responsibilities, getting involved, and being informed about the HOA management structure, you can help to ensure the success of your community for years to come.


Founded in 1978, Goodwin & Company is a best-in-class association management firm serving HOAs, condominiums, and developers. We blend diligence, professionalism, and a touch of humor while rejecting outdated business practices. By hiring, training, and retaining top industry professionals and supporting them with innovative processes, we consistently deliver exceptional management services. With offices in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Denver, CO, we cater to communities across multiple regions, always committed to doing what is right. Choose Goodwin & Company for unparalleled expertise in managing your HOA, condominium, or development project.


Code of Conduct Policy for HOA Board Members and a Sample Policy

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are an essential part of many residential communities across the nation. They play a crucial role in maintaining the community’s standards, enforcing rules, and preserving property values. One of the critical components of a successful HOA is a dedicated and responsible Board of Directors. To ensure that the Board operates effectively, it is vital to adopt a code of conduct policy that outlines the expected behavior and responsibilities of its members. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a code of conduct policy for HOA Board members and provide a sample policy to help guide your association.

Why a Code of Conduct Policy is Essential for HOA Board Members

Promotes Accountability and Transparency: A code of conduct policy sets clear expectations for Board members, ensuring that they understand their roles and responsibilities within the community. This policy holds them accountable for their actions and decisions, promoting transparency and trust among homeowners.

Enhances Board Cohesion and Collaboration: When Board members adhere to a code of conduct, it fosters a healthy and collaborative working environment. This policy ensures that all members communicate effectively, treat each other with respect, and focus on the common goal of serving the community.

Reduces Conflicts and Misunderstandings: Conflicts and misunderstandings can arise when Board members have differing opinions or interpretations of their responsibilities. A code of conduct provides clear guidelines to help prevent and resolve such disputes, creating a more efficient and harmonious Board.

Protects the HOA’s Reputation: Board members who act unethically or irresponsibly can damage the reputation of the entire HOA. A code of conduct helps maintain the association’s credibility by outlining expected behaviors and ensuring that Board members act professionally and with integrity.

Ensures Compliance with Laws and Regulations: A comprehensive code of conduct policy can help ensure that Board members remain compliant with local, state, and federal laws and regulations governing HOAs. This helps protect the association from potential legal disputes and fines.

Sample Code of Conduct Policy for HOA Board Members

The following sample policy can be adapted to suit the specific needs and requirements of your HOA:


The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to establish standards of ethical and professional behavior for all Board members of the [Name of HOA]. This policy promotes transparency, accountability, and a harmonious working environment, ensuring that the Board serves the best interests of the community.

General Principles

Board members shall:

Act in the best interest of the HOA and its members, putting the community’s welfare above personal interests.

Perform their duties with honesty, integrity, and professionalism.

Comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and the HOA’s governing documents.

Treat fellow Board members, homeowners, and vendors with respect and fairness.

Maintain confidentiality regarding sensitive HOA matters and information.

Avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any potential conflicts to the Board.

Attend and actively participate in Board meetings and association events.

Conflict Resolution

In the event of conflicts or disagreements, Board members shall:

Communicate openly and respectfully, seeking to understand others’ perspectives.

Focus on the issue at hand rather than personal attacks or criticisms.

Strive to reach a consensus, keeping the best interests of the community in mind.

If necessary, seek mediation or third-party assistance to resolve disputes.


Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the Board, as outlined in the HOA’s governing documents.

Adopting a code of conduct policy for HOA Board members is helpful in ensuring the smooth and effective functioning of the association. It promotes accountability, transparency, collaboration, and compliance, all of which contribute to a healthy and well-managed community. By implementing a code of conduct policy, HOA Boards can set clear expectations for members, reduce conflicts and misunderstandings, and protect the reputation of the association. Utilize the provided sample policy as a starting point to develop a customized code of conduct that meets your community’s unique needs and requirements.

the history of hoa

Exploring the History of HOAs

Homeowners Associations, or community associations, are an essential part of modern homeownership. Created to ensure homeowners maintain the value and aesthetics of the community, this concept has taken a few turns and refinements over the years. In this blog, we’ll explore the history of HOAs, including how they came to be, their purpose, and how they operate.

HOA Origins: How Homeowners Associations Began in the 1950s

While there were community associations going back as far as the 1800s, the true HOAs were first established in the 1950s as a way to maintain the aesthetic and architectural integrity of a neighborhood. Some say they were established so no one would paint their house neon pink or park their car on the lawn, but avoiding mishaps like these is only part of what an HOA has to offer.

The Evolution of HOAs in the Swinging Sixties: From Aesthetics to Lifestyle

By the 1960s HOAs started to get a little stricter. Rules were established about lawn height, the color of your mailbox and whether you could have a garden gnome in your yard. Some HOAs even went so far as to dictate what type of curtains you could have in your windows. This style of association has long taken up space in our cultural memory, despite modern HOAs having a much more transparent, easygoing style.

Safety and Community-Building: How HOAs Developed in the Seventies

In the 1970s, the term “neighborhood watch” was coined. Members would patrol the streets to ensure everyone was safe and adhering to the strict HOA guidelines. But it wasn’t all serious business: some HOAs began to throw block parties, complete with jello shots and disco dancing.

HOAs Go High-Tech: Managing Rules and Regulations in the Awkward Eighties

Along with the rest of America’s traditions, HOAs got a little more tech-savvy in the eighties. They started using computers to keep track of dues, rules and violations. But it wasn’t without its early hiccups, as anyone who was around then can attest. There are even stories about HOA computers malfunctioning and sending out homeowner letters about nonexistent violations, like having a goat in your backyard!

HOAs in the 2000s: Balancing Community Standards and Individual Freedoms

By the 2000s, HOAs started to evolve. They realized that being overly strict and nitpicky wasn’t a great look or helpful duty, and they began to focus more on community-building and events. Some HOAs gave homeowners more slack when it came to their individual yards and home décor, but as with any other freedom, it remains a balancing act.

Today’s HOA: Understanding Their Role in Community Management

Today, HOAs are commonplace in many residential communities across the United States. They operate as non-profit organizations and are governed by a board of directors elected by the homeowners. The board is now responsible for enforcing HOA rules and regulations, collecting dues and managing the association’s finances.

HOA Rules and Regulations: What Homeowners Need to Know

HOAs also have the power to enforce community standards. These rules can cover everything from landscaping and exterior modifications to pet ownership and noise levels. Violation of these rules is no joke, and there can be serious consequences.

HOA Dues: The Cost of Maintaining Your Community’s Amenities and Services

Dues are a critical aspect of HOA operations. Homeowners band together to cover the cost of maintaining common areas and amenities like landscaping, security and clubhouse maintenance.

Goodwin and Company Knows Its History

HOAs have a long and storied history that dates back to the early 20th century. They have evolved into an essential part of modern homeownership, providing a wide range of services and amenities to homeowners. They play a critical role in ensuring that communities are maintained to a high standard, which can increase property values, and provide amenities and services individual homeowners might not be able to afford on their own.


Since 1978, Goodwin & Company has offered best-in-class community management to the finest homeowners associations and condominiums all across Texas. We are here to help manage your community in both good times and the more challenging times. We have the experience and resources to give your community the service it deserves.



Upgrading Common Area Access Control: The Benefits of RFID Tags and Cell Phone Proximity Detection

As homeowner association (HOA) board members, you are always looking for ways to improve the security and convenience of your community. One area that has seen significant advancements in recent years is common area access control systems.

Gone are the days of traditional key-based systems, as new technology has emerged to enhance the security and ease of use of these systems. Two such innovations are RFID tags and cell phone proximity detection.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags are small chips that can be embedded in key fobs or cards that residents carry. When a resident approaches a controlled access point, such as a gate or door, they simply hold their tag near a reader, and the access point will unlock automatically. This eliminates the need for residents to fumble with keys or remember access codes, making entry and exit much quicker and more convenient.

In addition to RFID tags, some access control systems now offer cell phone proximity detection. This works by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to detect when a resident’s smartphone is in close proximity to an access point. The access point can then be programmed to automatically unlock when the resident’s phone is in range, eliminating the need for them to physically interact with the access point.

One advantage of cell phone proximity detection is that it eliminates the need for residents to carry a separate tag or fob. It also offers an added level of security, as residents can control access to their smartphone through a secure app, which allows them to easily revoke access if their phone is lost or stolen. Furthermore, cell phone proximity detection has the added benefit of homeowners being less likely to share their phone with non-residents, thus mitigating entry of unauthorized visitors.

Another benefit of these new access control systems is that they are highly customizable. HOAs can set different levels of access for different areas, such as restricted access to certain amenities for non-residents. They can also program access points to automatically lock and unlock at specific times, making it easier to manage the security of the community.

Finally, these new systems often come with robust reporting capabilities, which allow HOAs to track access to different areas, monitor usage patterns, and quickly respond to security incidents. This data can also be used to optimize the management of common areas, such as ensuring that amenities are being used to their full potential.

RFID tags and cell phone proximity detection are powerful tools for HOAs looking to enhance the security and convenience of their communities. These systems offer a higher level of customization, reporting capabilities, and security, making them an excellent option for HOAs looking to upgrade their access control systems. It is important to work with a trusted vendor when implementing these new access control systems to ensure that you are getting the best solution for your community. With the right system in place, you can enhance the security and convenience of your community and provide peace of mind for your residents.