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Effective communication is the backbone of any homeowner association (HOA) or condo owner association (COA) in Texas. It not only ensures smooth operations but also builds trust and fosters a sense of community among residents. However, getting it right requires understanding what to do and what not to do. For boards of directors within Texas associations, here are key dos and don'ts for effective board communications to your residents. 

board communications dos and donts texas hoa or condo association

Dos of effective board communications

1. Explain Policies Step-by-Step

When you introduce or change a policy, residents may not immediately understand why these changes are necessary or beneficial. Take the time to break down the reasons behind the policy changes – the “why” behind the “what” – explaining the steps that led to the policy creation. This could involve discussions that occurred, data that was considered, and the alternatives that were explored. 

For example, if you establish a new guest policy that is critical for safety, explain how each step of implementing this may work. Address the questions residents will most likely ask, like: 

  • Does it involve a visitor management system that monitors access to the property?  

  • Will residents need to preregister guests through an online portal?  

  • Will there be a security checkpoint?  

Provide the date when policy will be effective, how implementation may affect residents temporarily (example: if you're installing a new gate system that interferes with entering/exiting the property), and the exact steps residents need to take to host long-term guests under the new policy.

Sharing the rationale—such as recent security breaches in nearby areas or feedback from residents about safety concerns—can help residents see the value in such a system and rally their support. 

For more on introducing new policies, see Dos and Don’ts of Board Governance for Texas HOAs and COAs

2. Celebrate Community Achievements Together 

Not all board communications have to be stuffy and formal - there are plenty of positive things to share! Cheer on the achievements happening within the community. Whether it’s a significant reduction in community-wide energy use, the successful organization of a charity event, or a notable improvement in local wildlife habitats due to a new community garden project, coming together to celebrate these successes can significantly boost community morale. 

For example, if an HOA has been focusing on sustainability efforts and achieves a milestone, such as a 25% reduction in water use due to the installation of drought-resistant landscaping, it's important to communicate this success.  

Sharing detailed information on the strategies implemented, the role residents played in reaching this goal, and the tangible benefits of these efforts (such as reduced community fees or improved local ecosystems) fosters a sense of pride and collective achievement. Additionally, celebrating these milestones can encourage more residents to participate in future initiatives, strengthening the community’s bond and dedication to shared values. 

3. Use Multiple Channels of Communication 

Relying solely on email or newsletters might mean missing out on reaching everyone in your community. Diversify your methods of communication. Consider using a mix of digital tools (such as mass comms apps or social media), community bulletin boards, and regular community meetings to ensure that messages reach all residents via their preferred communication methods. 

To see a list of the best board communications tools for Texas associations, click here.  

4. Provide a Dedicated Contact for Feedback 

Ensure that residents have a clear and accessible way to share their feedback or concerns by designating a specific contact person and his/her email address. This reinforces the board's commitment to transparency and accountability. It's crucial that this contact is responsive — acknowledging receipt of messages and providing feedback or resolutions in a respectful, timely manner. 

5. Ensure Prompt Responses to Inquiries 

Timeliness in board communications cannot be overstated. Prompt responses not only demonstrate the board's respect for residents' concerns but also help in preventing potential issues by addressing misunderstandings early. Whether it's a question about policy changes, concerns about building facilities, or feedback on board decisions, make it a point to reply to residents' inquiries as soon as possible.  

Try establishing a standard time frame for your board or on-site staff – this may mean aiming to reply within 12 hours, one business day, or something else that will work for your association. However you approach it, the most important thing is to stick with it. Consistency is key. Even if a resident's issue can’t be solved within a certain time frame, reply with an update on what's being done to address it. Let residents know they are heard, and their issue is important. 

prompt board communications dos and donts texas hoa or coa

Don’ts of effective board communications

1. Be Vague in Your Messaging

Clarity is key in board communications. Avoiding specifics or being vague about important details can lead to confusion, speculation, and unnecessary worry among residents. Always aim to provide clear, concise information that leaves little room for interpretation. This includes explaining the rationale for decisions, the expected outcomes, and any actions required by the residents. 

2. Ignore Feedback from Residents 

Communication is a two-way street. Failing to listen to residents' feedback, concerns, or questions can erode trust and reduce engagement. Make it a priority to provide avenues for feedback, whether through surveys, suggestion boxes, or a designated open forum at meetings. Acknowledging and addressing residents' inputs not only improves relations but can also provide valuable insights for future decisions. 

3. Neglect to Update Residents on Progress 

It's essential to keep the community informed about the progress of initiatives, projects, or policy implementations. Neglecting to update residents can lead to frustration and a feeling of being left out of the loop. Regular updates foster a sense of involvement and transparency, building trust, and ensuring residents feel valued and recognized in the decision-making process. 

4. Speak Down to Residents 

Always remember that your board and residents are part of the same community, striving to make it a better place for everyone. When conveying messages, it’s important to use language that is inclusive and respectful, acknowledging the diverse perspectives and contributions within the community. Speaking like a fellow community member, rather than an authority, fosters a more open and collaborative environment. Board communications mean working together to find solutions and make improvements, recognizing that everyone’s viewpoint holds value. 

5. Forget to Establish Clear Responsibilities Among Board Members 

A common pitfall in board communications is the lack of clear roles and responsibilities when it comes to who communicates what information to the residents. Without designated spokespersons or clear responsibilities, messages can become mixed, contradictory, or even lost. It’s crucial that each board member knows his/her area of responsibility and that there is a united front for every message you communicate. Establishing these responsibilities and cohesion can streamline the process, ensuring consistent, accurate, and timely information reaches your residents, reinforcing trust. 

board communications best practices texas hoa coa dos and donts


Effective board communications is a balance between leveraging modern technology and maintaining traditional communication methods to cater to all demographics within the community. By following these dos and don'ts, you can foster an environment of transparency, trust, and mutual respect. 

board communications texas hoa or coa best practices dos and donts  

Quick Guide to Help You Decide: 
Which type(s) of board communications should your HOA or COA use? 

Before sending your next message to residents, see below the nine most effective communication methods for Texas HOA and COA boards. Know the best medium to use for each type of message (and how often to use each) to ensure residents hear you loud and clear.

Here are the top nine types of board communications:

1. Emails 

  • Updates on community projects. 

  • Reminders about policy changes or deadlines. 

  • Recommended frequency: Monthly or bi-monthly  

Email messages are ideal for conveying information that requires residents' attention and for sharing educational content about the community's operations and industry trends.  

2. Community website 

  • Archive of documents: Bylaws, CC&Rs, meeting minutes. 

  • Event calendars for community gatherings. 

  • Resource sections for new and existing residents. 

  • Recommended frequency: Continuous updates as they become available 

A well-maintained community website serves as a central hub for essential documents and resources. 

3. Social media platforms 

  • Event promotions to boost participation. 

  • Spotlight on local vendors or community achievements. 

  • Urgent alerts in real-time, such as weather warnings. 

  • Recommended Frequency: 2-3 times per week (or more in case of emergency) 

Social media platforms provide a space for informal interaction, sharing light-hearted content and real-time alerts that keep the community connected. 

4. SMS alerts 

  • Immediate text messages about emergencies or significant issues. 

  • Last-minute changes to event plans or schedules. 

  • Recommended frequency: As needed  

SMS/text alerts ensure urgent information reaches residents quickly, especially when immediate action or awareness is crucial. 

5. Physical bulletin boards 

  • Important notices that require widespread attention. 

  • Community event flyers and announcements posted in common areas. 

  • General reminders for community. 

  • Recommended Frequency: Monthly or as needed - keep material fresh and eye-catching 

Bulletin boards are a traditional but effective method for reaching residents who may not frequently check their phone or email. 

6. Annual meetings 

  • Yearly summaries of the association’s achievements and projects. 

  • Future planning discussions and resident feedback. 

  • Elections for board positions. 

  • Recommended frequency: Yearly with updates as needed 

Annual meetings are important for transparency and resident involvement in the association's operations. 

7. Direct mailings 

  • Printed newsletters of community news and announcements. 

  • Payment invoices or statements. 

  • Formal notices such as policy changes requiring legal notice. 

  • Welcome packets for new residents. 

  • Recommended frequency: Quarterly or as needed  

Direct mailings remain an important tool for delivering official communications that residents need to keep in hard copy, such as payment requests or legally required notifications. 

8. Phone calls 

  • One-on-one conversations with residents. 

  • Quick responses for time sensitive responses to residents. 

  • Alternative to emails/texts for residents who opt into phone calls as preferred method. 

  • Recommended frequency: As needed  

Phone calls are ideal for quickly getting back to residents who may have called with time-sensitive issues, or for taking conversations “offline” for a one-on-one conversation. 

9. Mass communications 

  • Printed mail (newsletters, payment invoices/statements, formal notices) 

  • Email alerts (emergencies, important announcements, educational material) 

  • Text messages (messages for those who have opted into text comms, emergencies) 

  • Resident portal (payment info, important announcements) 

  • Website (sections for current and potential residents, community info, governing docs) 

  • Phone trees (urgent info, emergencies, for residents who opted into phone call comms) 

  • Recommended frequency: As needed  

Your property management partner should be equipped with the resources needed to send mass communications to all residents within your HOA or COA on behalf of your board. Work with your community manager on crafting and sending messages via multiple platforms in accordance with your association’s communication policy. 

Sending mass communications to your residents? We’d love to learn how we can help your board communicate more effectively. Contact us here and we’ll be in touch soon. 


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Wednesday March 20, 2024