Category Archives: Community Association

community texting for HOA

Benefits of Community Texting in HOA and Community Associations

Effective communication is vital when you’re fostering strong relationships and creating thriving communities. While traditional communication methods like email and phone calls are still important, community texting has emerged as a game changer.

The text chain has revolutionized the way residents, board members, and property managers interact. With its convenience, speed, and widespread accessibility, community texting has become indispensable for optimizing neighborhood communication.

Let’s explore the benefits of community texting and see just how you can leverage it to enhance engagement, streamline operations and build a stronger sense of community.

Instant and Direct Communication

Unlike emails that might go unnoticed or phone calls that can be missed, text messages are delivered directly to your mobile device, ensuring prompt and reliable communication. Whether it’s an important announcement, a community event reminder, or urgent notifications, community texting allows for the quick dissemination of information, increasing the likelihood of timely responses and action.

Increased Community Participation

Community texting provides an effective solution here by reaching residents directly on their phones, a device almost always within arm’s reach. With text messaging, associations can easily share updates, gather feedback, conduct surveys and promote community events, fostering a higher level of engagement with association management, the Board, and fellow owners.

Enhanced Accessibility and Reach

In today’s digital age, almost everyone has a mobile phone, making community texting a highly accessible communication method. Unlike emails that might be overlooked or phone calls that might not reach everyone, text messages have a significantly higher open and response rate. This ensures essential messages, announcements, and alerts reach a broad audience, including those who may not frequently check email or prefer not to engage through other channels.

Streamlined HOA Board Operations

Community texting offers property managers and HOA boards an efficient way to streamline operations by using a dedicated texting platform to schedule messages in advance, automate reminders for payment deadlines or community meetings and send personalized communications tailored to specific resident groups. This automation saves time and resources, giving management teams time to focus on other critical tasks while ensuring that essential information reaches residents in a timely and organized manner.

A Stronger Sense of Community

Effective communication is the foundation for building a strong sense of community. Community texting can foster connection, encourage collaboration, and promote a shared sense of belonging. You can use text messaging to celebrate community achievements, welcome new residents, organize neighborhood events, and even address concerns or conflicts.

By fostering open and transparent communication, community texting helps build trust, unity, and a positive community spirit.

Goodwin & Company is Here to Help

At Goodwin & Company, we understand the importance of effective community management. As a leading community management company, we are dedicated to helping associations create vibrant, thriving communities.

Our team of experienced professionals is well-versed in leveraging innovative solutions to enhance communication, improve operations and build stronger relationships within neighborhoods.

We’re ready to show you how we can help your association maximize communication, engage residents, and create a sense of belonging that elevates your community to new heights.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.


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.


Video Surveillance in HOA Common Areas: Balancing Security and Liability

Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) are responsible for maintaining the security of common areas such as parks, playgrounds, and swimming pools. In recent years, many HOAs have turned to video surveillance as a tool to enhance security and reduce liability. This article will examine the benefits and challenges of video surveillance in HOA common areas, and offer suggestions for how to strike a balance between security and liability.

Benefits of Video Surveillance in HOA Common Areas

Enhanced Security: Video surveillance provides a visual record of activity in common areas, allowing HOAs to respond quickly to any security incidents. This can include anything from theft and vandalism to accidents and assaults. By having a visual record of these incidents, HOAs can take appropriate action to resolve them and prevent them from happening again in the future.

Liability Reduction: Video surveillance can also help HOAs reduce their liability by providing evidence of what happened in the event of a legal dispute. For example, if a resident is injured in a common area, video footage can help determine whether the HOA was responsible or not. This evidence can also be used to defend against false claims and minimize the risk of costly lawsuits.

Deterrent Effect: The presence of video surveillance can also have a deterrent effect on criminal activity. Knowing that their actions are being recorded can deter individuals from committing crimes in common areas.

Challenges of Video Surveillance in HOA Common Areas

Privacy Concerns: One of the biggest challenges of video surveillance in HOA common areas is the potential for privacy violations. Residents may feel uncomfortable knowing that their actions are being recorded, and may be concerned about who has access to the footage.

Cost: Installing and maintaining a video surveillance system can be expensive. HOAs must carefully consider the cost of the system and the ongoing maintenance costs to ensure that they are getting a good return on their investment.

Technical Challenges: Video surveillance systems can be complex, and HOAs must ensure that they are using the right equipment and software to get the results they need. They must also be prepared to deal with technical issues such as hardware failures and software bugs.

Balancing Security and Liability

Privacy Policy: To balance security and privacy, HOAs should develop a clear privacy policy that outlines the purpose of the video surveillance system and who has access to the footage. This policy should be communicated to residents to ensure that they understand the purpose of the system and their rights.

Maintenance: To ensure that the video surveillance system is working effectively, HOAs must ensure that it is well-maintained and that any technical issues are addressed promptly. Regular checks of the system should be conducted to ensure that it is functioning as intended.

Employee Training: HOAs should provide training to employees who will be using the video surveillance system to ensure that they understand how to use it effectively. They should also be trained on privacy and data protection policies to ensure that they are using the system in an ethical and responsible manner.

Video surveillance can be an effective tool for enhancing security and reducing liability in HOA common areas. However, HOAs must carefully consider the privacy implications of video surveillance and take steps to balance security and privacy. By developing a clear privacy policy, ensuring regular maintenance of the system, and providing employee training, HOAs can strike a balance between security and liability and provide a safe and secure environment for residents.

The Committee Charter: Setting Clear Guidelines for your HOA’s Committees

A Committee Charter is a document that outlines the purpose, goals, and responsibilities of a specific committee within an organization. In the context of a homeowners association (HOA), a Committee Charter serves as a guide for the board of directors and the members of a committee to ensure that the committee operates efficiently and effectively.

A Committee Charter should include important information such as the committee’s purpose, the objectives it is expected to achieve, its composition, how it will operate, and how decisions will be made. The Charter should also outline the committee’s scope of authority and the limits of its decision-making powers. This is important to ensure that the committee operates within its defined responsibilities and does not overstep its boundaries.

Having a Committee Charter in place provides several benefits for HOA boards. Firstly, it helps to ensure that committees are working towards the same objectives and that everyone is clear about their responsibilities. Secondly, it clarifies the roles and responsibilities of each committee member, which can help to avoid confusion and potential conflicts. Thirdly, the Charter helps to ensure that committees are working in a structured and organized manner, which can lead to more efficient and effective decision-making.

Another key advantage of having a Committee Charter is that it provides a clear reference point for future decisions. If there is any ambiguity or uncertainty about the committee’s purpose or objectives, the Charter can be used as a reference to clarify these issues. Furthermore, if the HOA board needs to review the committee’s activities in the future, the Charter can serve as a record of its objectives, responsibilities, and actions.

A Committee Charter is an essential tool for HOA boards when forming committees. It provides a clear outline of the committee’s purpose, objectives, and responsibilities, helping to ensure that the committee operates efficiently and effectively. By providing a clear reference point for future decisions, the Charter helps to ensure that the committee is working towards its defined goals and objectives and that everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities.

Here’s an example of a committee charter for a social committee in an HOA:

Committee Charter for Social Committee of ABC Homeowner’s Association

Purpose: The purpose of the Social Committee is to plan, organize, and execute various social events and activities for the members of the ABC Homeowner’s Association. The events will aim to build community spirit, foster relationships among members, and provide a sense of belonging to the neighborhood.

Composition: The Social Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and at least two (2) other members, appointed by the Board of Directors. The Chairperson shall be the primary point of contact and lead the committee in its duties.


Plan, organize, and execute social events and activities that are in line with the purpose of the committee.

Ensure that all events are well-planned, organized, and executed in a timely and efficient manner.

Keep the Board of Directors informed of the committee’s activities and seek approval for any major events.

Develop and maintain a budget for all events and activities and ensure that expenses are within the approved budget.

Coordinate with other committees, as needed, to ensure seamless execution of events.

Meetings: The Social Committee shall meet as often as necessary to plan and execute events. Meetings shall be held in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the Board of Directors. Minutes of each meeting shall be taken and a copy shall be provided to the Board of Directors.

Reporting: The Social Committee shall provide regular reports to the Board of Directors on the status of its activities and events, including the budget and any expenditures. The committee shall also provide recommendations for future events and activities.

Termination: The Social Committee shall continue until dissolved by the Board of Directors. The committee may be dissolved by the Board of Directors if it is deemed to be inactive or not fulfilling its purpose.

Amendment: This charter may be amended by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Long-Term Community Association Funding

What Are Reserve Studies for Long-Term Community Association Funding?

When planning long-term for your community association, one of the biggest factors that come into play is funding. It is quite costly to keep up with the many aspects that it takes to keep a community running and looking its best.

Yes, your structures in the community like the exterior walls or pool house may be strong now, but what about 10 or 15 years down the road? They are inevitably going to need a roof replacement or another type of maintenance. It is the association’s responsibility to take care of these repairs and other similar items that may pop up, so having the money on hand is key.

This is why a reserve study is absolutely necessary for a community association. Find out some of the key ins and outs of reserve studies and how they can help your community plan for the long term.

What is a Reserve Study?

Reserve studies are tools that are critical to the success of a community. They help plan and budget for future costs that a community will face down the road.

By focusing on a reserve study, association boards will be able to best understand what areas of a community are of highest priority. Reserve studies are helpful in preventing the potential liability of maintenance being done too late or not being done at all.

Sadly, many boards fail to do reserve studies or don’t let the process be handled by an experienced reserve study vendor. Don’t let your community association fall victim to failing to perform such an important task for your community.

How Often Should a Reserve Study Be Conducted or Updated?

The frequency of reserve studies varies by association and number of amenities, but, having one performed every 3-5 years should serve the needs of most associations. We recommend that your association hire a company that specifically works with reserve studies and help your community update its future needs each year.

After you have updated or created your reserve study you will find that your duties of directing investments will be much easier. This is because you have it all planned out to match with a specific timeline.

Items to Include in Reserve Studies?

Having a clear understanding of what items go into your reserve study is key. Identifying what your association’s large expenditure items are and how often they need to be maintained is the basis of reserve studies.

Think about examining:

  • Planned repairs
  • Replacements of common area facilities
  • Construction projects
  • Maintenance costs
  • Disaster reserves

Goodwin & Company Will Conduct Your Efficient Reserve Study

Let Goodwin & Company step in and help you plan your long-term budget. While we worry about your budget, you can spend the needed time to take care of your community. Get in touch with Goodwin & Company today to find out more about our community management services.


Laws and Regulations

5 Community Association Laws and Regulations Your Board Needs to Know: Part 1

Following state laws and regulations are simply a given when it comes to being an HOA Board. Sometimes, these laws can be confusing to navigate and precious time is spent trying to decipher these issues. With the help of an association management team, your Board can focus on improving the community and let their qualified management team guide them through the laws. Here are five legal issues that Community Association Boards face on a regular basis and how they impact a Board.

1. Foreclosure Regulations

In the past, community associations had plenty of power when it came to foreclose on a home that was delinquent on dues or other payments. However, recent laws have been put into place that helps assist homeowners that have fallen behind on payments. Foreclosure is no longer a given. In the state of Texas, the ability to foreclose on individual properties is taken away if 67 percent of the homeowners decide to strip this power.

However, in situations where foreclosure is able to occur, there are still provisions that include:

  • The debt due can be paid via a payment plan,
  • Foreclosure on a home cannot begin until 60 days past a written notification,
  • A court order is required for foreclosure on a home.

2. Election of Board Members and Unmet Quorum Requirements

A quorum, by definition, is the minimum number of HOA board members who must be at a meeting before business can begin. Your association bylaws will have the quorum requirements in them. Meetings that do not meet the quorum must be adjourned and rescheduled.

However, recent state law has shown that there is the permission of the election of board members at annual meetings, even when quorum requirements are not met.  In the past, if a board could not get a quorum for an annual meeting this election for new board members would not occur and if held, would be an invalid election.

3. Less Control Over Homeowner Property

While associations still have the power to make community members follow specific guidelines and bylaws, the past years have granted them less control over certain areas of homeowner’s properties. Some of the most impacting changes in power are:

  • Religious displays and flags may now decorate a home within certain limits. Religious displays are limited to 24-square inches and flags may be displayed on poles 20 feet or less.
  • Solar panels are now permitted on the property.
  • Barrels for rainwater harvesting are allowed within reason.

Your Board’s management team will be able to help the Board understand the limits of control in your community.

4. Liability Laws

Liability laws are important when it comes to the decisions that a board must make in certain situations. For example, is a landlord liable when an association is responsible for a certain liability like ice removal?

Liability laws can be confusing to owners of property because in general, they can be very fickle. This is why it is critical for your community association Board to hire an association management company to help iron out any creases and ensure that everyone involved in a situation knows where they legally stand.

5. Transparency is Key

According to law, all Texas community associations are required to host open meetings. They must also keep accurate records and alert homeowners of the date, time, and location of meetings. Failure to do so is grounds for a lawsuit on part of the residents.

Goodwin & Company Will Help Your Association Navigate Texas Law

If your association’s Board is having a tough time understanding Texas Community Association laws, let Goodwin & Company help. Our team has the experience, knowledge, and skills that will help your Board free-up time for other community matters. Contact us today to find out more about the services that we offer in your area.