Category Archives: HOA


Social Engineering Coverage: An Essential Addition to HOA Insurance Policies

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are established to uphold community standards and ensure the smooth functioning of condominiums, subdivisions, and other planned communities. One of their primary responsibilities includes managing a comprehensive insurance program that covers potential risks and threats.  

However, the digital age has brought with it a unique, somewhat elusive class of risk—social engineering. This type of threat goes beyond traditional property damage or physical injuries and infiltrates into the realm of information security and cyber fraud. HOA boards should seriously consider incorporating social engineering policies into their association’s insurance policies to counteract these modern risks. 

Understanding Social Engineering  

Social engineering refers to manipulative tactics that fraudsters employ to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information, such as bank details or access to secure systems. They usually exploit human psychology and trust, rather than using technical hacking methods. Examples of social engineering attacks include phishing, baiting, pretexting, and quid pro quo, among others. 

The Relevance of Social Engineering Policies to HOAs  

Even though social engineering might seem more applicable to corporations and large businesses, HOAs are not immune to these attacks.  

For instance, scammers might impersonate an HOA board member and request payment from homeowners, thereby defrauding them of their money. Another example could be a fraudster tricking a board member into revealing the association’s bank details. 

The cost of such scams can be substantial, leading to significant financial losses and tarnishing the HOA’s reputation. Social engineering insurance can provide coverage against these losses, making it an essential part of an HOA’s risk management strategy. 

Benefits of Incorporating Social Engineering Policies 

  1. Financial Protection: Social engineering attacks can result in significant financial loss. A robust social engineering policy offers coverage against these losses, ensuring the financial health of the HOA. 
  1. Reputation Management: A successful social engineering attack could harm an HOA’s reputation. Ensuring you have measures in place to protect against these threats can preserve trust and confidence within the community. 
  1. Legal Protection: Depending on the jurisdiction, HOA board members may have a fiduciary duty to protect the association’s assets. A social engineering policy could help meet this obligation and potentially provide legal protection in the event of a lawsuit. 
  1. Encouraging Best Practices: When applying for a social engineering policy, insurance providers will typically expect the association to have preventative measures in place. This may encourage the HOA to adopt best practices such as regular training and awareness programs, therefore reducing the likelihood of successful attacks. 

Costs of Social Engineering Policies 

The cost of social engineering insurance varies depending on what kind of policy it includes. Social Engineering is not a separate policy. For HOAs it is typically located on their crime/fidelity coverage. It could also be attached to standalone cyber policy if that is how the HOA obtains cyber protection. Typically, cyber protection for an HOA is a part of the director & officers’ coverage and/or the crime/fidelity coverage.  

For an accurate estimate, HOAs should contact an insurance agent who specializes in such coverage. If social engineering is attached to the crime/fidelity coverage, then the cost will be rolled into that policy’s premium. For example, one carrier will write crime/fidelity coverage for $100,000 at $296 annually. The amount of crime coverage that a community should carry will vary and be based on the financial strength of the community. The best rule of thumb to figure out the amount of coverage needed is to use the following formula: 3 months of assessments + the amount in all reserve accounts.  

It’s also important to note that the costs of not having such a policy could be much higher, given the potential financial losses from social engineering fraud.  

For instance, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, business email compromise (a common type of social engineering attack) led to over $1.8 billion in losses for victims in 2020.  

Therefore, considering the magnitude of potential losses, investing in social engineering insurance could be a wise choice for HOAs. 

Remember, these numbers are estimates and can significantly differ based on the circumstances. Always consult with a knowledgeable insurance professional to obtain an accurate quote. Not all carriers will write or include social engineering. Ask your agent if it is included or can be added. Management company’s crime coverage does not include individual HOAs. Each community should carry its own crime/fidelity coverage.  

In an era where fraudsters are becoming increasingly clever, it is crucial for HOAs to stay a step ahead. Incorporating social engineering policies into the HOA’s insurance framework not only offers financial protection but also fosters a culture of cyber-awareness within the association. 

When considering the costs of such a policy, keep in mind that this is an investment that provides a safety net against potential significant financial losses. Furthermore, these policies incentivize HOAs to implement preventative measures, such as regular training and awareness programs, effectively reducing the chances of a successful attack. 

With cyber threats becoming increasingly commonplace, social engineering insurance has emerged from being an optional extra to an essential component of risk management strategies. This integration reflects an understanding that safeguarding an association’s financial health and reputation extends beyond physical boundaries into the digital realm. It demonstrates a proactive approach in the face of evolving risks and signals to members that the HOA board is committed to ensuring the safety and security of the community in this digital age. 

Always consult with a knowledgeable insurance professional to understand the options available, tailor a policy that fits your HOA’s needs, and ensure the ongoing protection of your community.  

For more information or to request a quote, contact the experts at Community Policyholders at


HOA Insurance: Safeguarding Your Community

A well-functioning Homeowners Association (HOA) is essential for maintaining a thriving and harmonious community. Part of ensuring its success involves safeguarding the community and its residents against unforeseen risks and liabilities. 

Homeowners association insurance is a vital aspect of protecting the community and providing peace of mind to homeowners. Let’s explore the importance of HOA insurance and the types of coverage it offers.

HOA Insurance 101

Homeowners Association insurance, also known as HOA insurance, is a policy purchased by the association to protect itself and its members from potential financial losses resulting from accidents, damages or lawsuits within the community.

By incorporating insurance coverage into their full-service management policies, HOAs can better shield themselves from potential risks and liabilities. This ensures the community is well-protected and its board can fulfill their duties confidently, knowing their actions are backed up by comprehensive insurance protection. Properly insured HOAs foster a sense of security and trust among residents, creating a harmonious and thriving living environment for all members.

Types of HOA Insurance Coverage

Choosing the right insurance coverage is crucial to protecting your community, its members and its assets. There are several essential types of insurance coverage an HOA policy should include:

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is a fundamental component of an HOA’s insurance policy, a sort of safety net for the association that protects against third-party claims for bodily injury or property damage in common areas. If someone slips and falls in a community pool area or the association’s maintenance activities cause property damage, this will help cover the legal costs and damages.

Property Insurance

Property insurance is designed to safeguard the physical structures owned by the HOA. This can include clubhouses, swimming pools, landscaping and other shared amenities within the community. In the event of damage or destruction caused by covered perils like fire, vandalism, severe weather or other unforeseen circumstances, property insurance steps in to cover the repair and/or replacement costs, sparing the association from significant financial burden.

Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance

Directors’ and Officers’ insurance is crucial protection for the board members who volunteer their time and effort to manage the HOA. D&O insurance shields the board from personal liability for decisions made in their official capacity. It covers legal expenses and damages if they face allegations of financial mismanagement or breach of fiduciary duties. Having D&O insurance encourages qualified individuals to serve on the board without fearing personal risk for decisions they make while in service to their community.

The Importance of Adequate Coverage

Having the right insurance coverage for a homeowners association (HOA) is of paramount importance for several compelling reasons:

Financial Protection

A primary reason for getting adequate HOA insurance is to ensure financial protection for both the community and its members. 

Unexpected accidents or damages in common areas — slip and fall incidents, property damage, severe weather-related destruction — can mean substantial losses. Without insurance, the HOA and its members would directly bear these costs, potentially causing financial strain or even bankruptcy. 

However, with the right coverage in place, the policy steps in to cover these expenses, easing the burden on the association and ensuring the community can go on functioning smoothly.

Attracting Homebuyers

When individuals or families are looking for a new place to call home, they seek assurance that the HOA is being managed responsibly and has financial stability. Knowing the HOA has proper insurance coverage in place provides potential buyers with a sense of security. It gives homeowners the confidence that the association is equipped to handle things without putting undue strain on its residents in case of unforeseen events. This reassurance can significantly increase the desirability of a community, making properties more likely to sell quickly and at favorable prices.

Risk Mitigation

Litigation and disputes are always possible in any community setting, and an HOA is no exception. Accidents, property damage claims or disagreements with homeowners could lead to costly legal battles and strained relationships among community members. 

However, with comprehensive insurance coverage, the association is prepared. Insurance can cover legal costs and potential damages in the event of lawsuits, reducing the likelihood of protracted, expensive legal battles. That sense of security also helps foster trust, promoting a harmonious living environment where everyone feels protected and valued.

Let Goodwin & Company Guide Your Coverage Choices

Each community’s insurance needs are unique, so it’s essential to work with an experienced insurance agent who can tailor a policy to suit the specific requirements of your HOA. Ensure that homeowners are aware of the HOA insurance coverage and how it benefits them. Transparent communication fosters trust and understanding within the community.

Contact us now for comprehensive HOA insurance solutions and secure your community’s future. Contact Goodwin & Company today for tailor-made insurance solutions that will protect your homeowners and their investments.

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.

successful HOA strategies

HOA Strategies for Success: Build a Thriving Community

Homeowners associations (HOAs) oversee shared common areas and amenities that play a vital role in a community’s quality. But successful HOA management requires more than just routine maintenance tasks; it involves developing effective strategies to foster a strong and thriving community and promoting the well-being of every resident.

At Goodwin & Company, we work hand in hand with HOA board members to help them create a foundation for success within their communities. Here’s a closer look at how we implement our strategies and help communities thrive for years with our quality management services.

Effective Communication

Effective communication is crucial, especially for HOAs and HOA management companies. Regular, transparent communication with homeowners is essential for building trust and maintaining a good relationship through a variety of communication methods:

Community Newsletters

Newsletters are an excellent way to inform homeowners about upcoming events, board decisions, and other important information. HOA boards can use emails to send newsletters out and provide more frequent updates, like reminders about payment due dates or changes to community rules.

Utilize an HOA Portal

Establishing a dedicated HOA website or online portal can also be valuable for building communication within your community. A community portal can provide a centralized location for information about upcoming events and meetings, community news, dues, and other essential factors. It can also provide easy access to community documents, like bylaws or financial reports.

Solicit Feedback

Your HOA website can also actively encourage communication and feedback from homeowners by letting them submit questions or concerns online, which can then be addressed by the HOA board or management team. This can help you be sure all homeowners feel heard and valued, and it builds trust and goodwill within the community.

Transparent Financial Management

Property management accounting services are a crucial aspect of HOA responsibilities. These duties include collecting dues and fees, budgeting, and keeping financial records. HOAs must ensure financial management is transparent, accountable, and in compliance with all regulations. To achieve this, you will need to establish and stick with these transparent procedures:

Clear Policies

Clear financial policies promote transparency and accountability in your financial management. This can include financial reporting requirements and regular financial reports to be made available to homeowners. Regular reports give your homeowners an idea of the HOA’s financial health and provide transparency on the use of funds.

Open Meetings

Open meetings allow homeowners to ask questions about the financial state of the community HOA and voice any concerns they may have. These meetings can also provide insight into how the Board and management team approach important decisions for the community.

By hosting and advertising regularly scheduled open meetings, homeowners may be interested in serving on a finance committee, where they can provide input on financial decisions and policies.


Another critical part of financial management is ensuring all financial records are accurate and up-to-date. HOAs should maintain financial records in compliance with regulations and retain all documentation for a set period. Financial records should also be available to homeowners upon request.

Proactive Property Maintenance

Maintaining common areas and amenities is essential for homeowner satisfaction and the success of the HOA. Well-maintained common areas and amenities add significant value and promote a sense of pride and community spirit among residents. Here are the best tools:

Maintenance Plans

A comprehensive maintenance plan must include a schedule of regular inspections and repairs. This schedule can vary depending on the specific needs of the community but should cover all common areas and amenities: landscaping, pool maintenance, paving roads, and fixing fences. Establishing a schedule of regular inspections and repairs gives HOAs the peace to ensure maintenance issues are identified and addressed promptly.

Hire the Best Vendors

HOAs should always consider reputation when contracting with service providers. Whether landscaping services, pool maintenance companies, or construction contractors, working with established providers ensures your maintenance tasks are performed at a high standard, and the association receives good value for their money.

Maintenance Communication

Another essential aspect of proactive maintenance is regular communication with homeowners. HOAs should inform their residents about maintenance schedules and any repairs, which can be achieved through newsletters, emails, and social media updates (or preferably all of these). Regular updates build trust and confidence and promote a positive relationship between HOA and residents.

Enforcing Rules and Regulations

Simply put, rules are necessary for a safe and harmonious community. HOAs play a crucial role in establishing and enforcing these community rules and regulations to promote the well-being of all residents. Establish a clear set of rules and regulations, communicate them to homeowners, and implement them fairly.


To be sure homeowners understand their rights and responsibilities, it’s essential to be clear with your HOA rules and regulations. They should be written clearly and concisely and communicated to homeowners regularly. Homeowners should also have ample opportunity to ask questions or provide feedback on the rules and regulations.


Enforcing rules and regulations fairly and consistently is essential to maintaining a positive atmosphere within the community. HOAs should establish a fair and consistent enforcement policy that is transparent to all homeowners. This can involve establishing a straightforward process for addressing violations of community rules, including a warning system and escalation process.


HOAs should ensure enforcement is carried out consistently and equitably. All homeowners must be held to the same standards, regardless of their position within the community. To ensure they’re carried out fairly, it’s important to establish an independent review process so that homeowners can appeal any decisions they feel are unjust.

Encouraging Homeowner Participation

Group participation is vital to building a strong and thriving community. By involving homeowners in community activities and decision-making, HOAs can promote a sense of ownership and pride among residents. This, in turn, will lead to improved member satisfaction and positive community culture.

Community Events

Hosting community events is an excellent way to encourage homeowner participation. They can be anything from block parties and potlucks to holiday events or charity fundraisers. They build a sense of community among residents and provide opportunities for residents to connect and socialize with one another.


Establishing volunteer opportunities is another effective way to encourage participation. This could be everything from serving on an HOA committee to volunteering for community service projects. Giving residents opportunities to contribute to the community promotes a sense of collaboration and unity among residents.

Gather Feedback

Encouraging feedback and suggestions from homeowners is critical for a strong and thriving community. Homeowners should provide feedback on HOA strategies, decisions, and policies through surveys, suggestion boxes, online forums, or social media communities. Listening to homeowner feedback means you can identify areas for improvement and make changes that reflect the community’s needs and desires.

Goodwin & Company Can Help You Plan Your Future

If you need a trusted partner in creating your strategies and managing your property, look no further than Goodwin and Company. Our team of experts is well-versed in the latest regulations and procedures, and we work tirelessly to ensure your property remains compliant at all times.

With our comprehensive approach to HOA management, you can rest assured your properties are in good hands. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you stay in compliance and maximize your property’s value.


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.

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.


conflict resolution

Best Practices for Conflict Resolution in Your HOA

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are a great way to maintain the value and quality of life in a neighborhood. Sometimes conflicts arise within an HOA, however, which can lead to tension and dissatisfaction among the homeowners. Whether it’s an issue between neighbors, a case of choosing sides, or a resident’s dispute with the HOA itself, it’s important to resolve things quickly and calmly.

At Goodwin and Company, we understand how important it is to feel a sense of peace, community and purpose within your neighborhood, and we’re committed to helping you at every step along the way. Read on for some basic best practices for resolving conflict in your HOA and reestablishing that sense of peace.

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Make sure all homeowners are aware of the communication channels available to them: email, phone, text chain, social media and/or in-person meetings. You can use these channels to make sure all important information is communicated to all members of the HOA. This will cut down on confusion and misunderstandings that might end up in conflict. When actively trying to cool a situation down, these same channels are invaluable to stopping trouble as soon as it starts.

Develop a Conflict Resolution Policy

A resolution policy is crucial to prevent conflicts. It’s best to establish a clear and concise policy proactively before any issues arise. This policy should outline the necessary steps, assign responsibilities, and establish a timeline for resolving conflicts. To ensure that all homeowners understand and actively participate in the resolution process, it’s crucial to obtain their agreement. By following these steps, you can prevent potential problems and foster a harmonious community.

Encourage Open Dialogue

It may sound basic, but this can actually be very easy to overlook in the heat of the moment. Encourage all parties involved to express their concerns and opinions openly and honestly. Ask follow-up questions and stick to “I” statements: “I feel…” “It seemed to me…” and so on, centering your words on your own experience and how the situation is affecting you. Listen carefully to each person’s perspective and acknowledge their feelings and concerns. It’s a simple thing, but it’s the key to civility and that’s what is going to get you through this trouble.

Be Respectful and Professional

Conduct all interactions with professionalism and respect. Avoid personal attacks and stick to the issues at hand. Remember that everyone involved is a member of the same community. Residents have chosen to create and live in a community with one another. That choice is a deeply important aspect of your neighborhood and collective life. Remember that every conflict has a resolution, and it’s the job of all parties to find it as easily and quickly as possible.

Seek Mediation

If you aren’t able to come to an equitable solution yourselves, consider bringing in a neutral third party to help mediate the conflict. This could be a professional mediator or someone outside the HOA who is trusted by all parties involved. When neighbors get upset with one another, it can really help to have a less involved voice of reason to help them find a solution.

Follow Through

Once a resolution has been reached, make sure all parties follow through on their commitments. This will help build trust and prevent future conflicts. The covenants between HOA and homeowner don’t mean much if we don’t keep our word, even when issues get complicated or too drawn-out. Ultimately, everyone involved has the same goal. It’s just a case of getting there together, and that means compromise and commitment.

Learn From the Conflict

After the conflict has been successfully resolved, reflect on what went wrong and how this issue can be prevented in the future. Updating policies, improving communication or addressing underlying issues within the community are just some of the ways you can use this situation to improve life for everyone in the neighborhood.

Count on Goodwin and Company

Remember that conflict is a natural part of any community. By establishing clear communication channels and resolution policies, remaining respectful and professional, and seeking mediation when necessary, your HOA can fulfill its mandate by effectively managing conflicts to maintain a healthy, thriving community.

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 more challenging times. We have the experiences and the resources to give your community the service it deserves.

hoa spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your HOA

Spring is a glorious time of year. After a winter spent indoors and the business of fall and the holidays, spring can be as relaxing and refreshing as it is a time for work, especially cleaning, and preparing for summers. Let’s look at the best ways to approach annual spring cleaning in a way that supports and enlivens your HOA community.

1. Walk the Premises

Get out and have a look at your community, making note of anything that needs upkeep or further review. You can use this time to walk your neighborhood and say hello, if weather permits. Connection with your constituents only gets them more excited to live in your community.

Look at the lawns, backyard fences, street-facing windows and other visual markers of quality to be sure everyone’s property remains in good condition. There’s no need to be abrasive when you’re doing your light inspections, remember: simply ask in a friendly way about any issues that concern you.

2. Top to Bottom

We often forget what we can’t easily see, but that doesn’t make the hidden places any less important. Rooftops are worth checking for damage and missing shingles or tiles at this time, as well as making sure foundations are strong and foundation vents are in good repair. That’s the first step to making sure they are free of wildlife, which you’re also advised to do at this time.

3. Deep Cleaning

Start by creating a community spring cleaning plan to ensure you don’t forget any of those nook and crannies. 

Power-clean and/or refinish all HOA property, like the tennis court or pool deck. Spring is a fine time to make your community as beautiful as you know it can be, and with all these other improvements you’re making, a dingy pool house will really stick out. This is a great time for repainting, especially after a deep clean.

4. Landscaping

While landscaper and gardening visits are mostly scheduled year-round, there is a special excitement to planning out your spring foliage and florals. Make sure you have the correct amounts of supplies for this busiest gardening season like mulch, soil and whatever your landscaper uses for shared spaces.

If you’re too busy to coordinate a Board or community effort to spruce up shared landscaping, meet with your HOA management team to help organize a reliable vendor to come out and ensure your landscaping gets the TLC it needs. We have a few tips on hiring the perfect landscaping vendor

5. Pool Maintenance 

Those days of basking in the sunshine and taking dips or doing laps in the pool will be here before you know it. Make sure you’re prepared by cleaning up the area, checking all filters and traps, and making sure you’re stocked up on supplies, like chlorine, for the pool-using season.

Also, don’t forget to schedule a pre-spring pool inspection and cleaning before the sunbathers begin to congregate at your poolside. There are several ways to get your community pool summer-ready

6. Check Water Systems

Irrigation is key, especially in spring and summer, to maintaining a fresh, clean look. Spring is when the most plants bloom and flower, and you don’t want to miss out on that natural beauty. Check all sprinklers and garden beds for proper watering and make sure any hoses are hole-free.

7. Safety Patrol

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested twice yearly. It’s advised to make one of those tests during your spring cleaning, and the other post-summer. 

This is also a reminder to schedule your annual fire inspection and any health inspections that may be necessary. Your gym and any playground equipment should be tested, cleaned and tightened, and those high-traffic areas should be given special cleaning and maintenance attention. 

If there are any speed deterrents in your community make sure they’re in optimal condition, as well as any signage that may have gone missing or is otherwise in need of replacement.

Bring It Home With Goodwin & Company

Spring cleaning, organization and maintenance are an exciting time to prepare for the coming summer and coming year. Think of all the pain you’ll be saving yourself when summer comes around, and relax knowing you and your community are in the best of hands.

Reach out to Goodwin & Company today with all your HOA management questions, no matter how small. Our experts are here to help you with whatever you need.