Account manager walking with HOA board member around property

Encouraging Resident Participation When Making HOA Landscaping Decisions

Michael Tomaino Michael Tomaino

Landscaping sets the tone for HOA properties. Whether it’s passersby, potential buyers, or long-time residents, curb appeal plays a significant role in the perception of the property and the environment it possesses. Equally as important are the functional design of the landscaping and maintenance thereof. Both can play a massive role in cost-effectiveness and are a reflection of the community.

While landscaping matters in a general and big-picture sense, it is particularly important to residents. After all, they experience it every day and are directly affected by it. It only makes sense that residents should be involved in HOA landscaping decisions; the question is, how do you boost participation?

Resident Participation for HOA Landscaping – Why It Matters and How to Promote It

As a HOA property manager or the board member of a homeowner association, the quest for increased HOA landscape buy-in from residents can be frustrating. Chances are, the majority of residents have opinions, but persuading them to share them in an official capacity is easier said than done. Throw in the difficulty of balancing strong emotions with active involvement, and the recipe for HOA landscaping success is more complicated than one may think.

Account manager walking with HOA board member around property 3

The Importance of Resident Participation in HOA Landscaping Decisions

Every HOA property is unique, and a large part of the equation is the residents who call it home. Topography, climate, and other physical factors matter, but the experience and use of the property are just as—if not more—important than the more technical factors. How a landscape functions and caters to the individuals that exist within it is vital.

Property managers and professional landscapers may be qualified and in positions to make HOA landscaping decisions, but those who live in the community are able to provide experiential feedback about how the landscape functions, issues that may exist, improvements that could be made, and the general feelings of the residents at large. These considerations are extremely valuable and should play a huge role in determining any HOA landscaping changes.

Any alterations to the HOA property will directly affect the people living there. Understanding the gravity of these decisions is essential as a property manager, and finding ways to effectively communicate the importance of resident participation is a must.

HOA common area landscape maintenance near water

Strategies for Communicating with Residents About Landscaping Projects

Depending on the size of the community, the approach to effective communication can vary dramatically. That said, there are several strategies that can prove worthwhile when implemented in a way that fits your community and encourages resident participation in HOA landscaping.

Before a landscaping project can be communicated to residents, it must be thoughtfully planned and thoroughly understood by those directly involved in it. This may include property managers, HOA board members, professional landscapers, and more. Once everyone is on the same page, messaging about the project can be conveyed clearly and concisely.

Be sure to utilize every communication tool at your disposal to maximize the reach of your message. Community message boards, printed flyers, push notifications, email campaigns, bulletin board materials, HOA newsletters, and social media posts are all examples of how you can reach people through different avenues. The more diverse and consistent your communication, the higher the likelihood of residents catching wind of the project and getting involved.

As part of the campaign to raise awareness for the project and communicate the plan clearly, bringing a representative from the Tampa Bay landscaping company you’ve partnered with is a great idea. They bring expertise on the subject, can explain the project from the perspective of a professional, and inspire confidence in residents.

Account manager walking with HOA board member around property inspecting weeds

How to Gather Feedback and Suggestions from Residents

Communication is a two-way street and acts as the foundation for the success of current and future projects. Prioritizing it and genuinely lending credence to resident feedback boosts involvement and encourages HOA landscape buy-in. The question is, how do you best gather suggestions to create this healthy dynamic? Depending on the size and format of your HOA, you can implement several strategies for gathering feedback.

Holding open in-person forums with the HOA landscaping committee (and a landscape company representative) allows you to field questions and allow people to voice their opinions and concerns. This is one of the most effective ways to get residents involved in HOA landscaping decisions, as it brings people within the community together in a traditional format where they can connect and discuss.

Other outlets also provide valuable opportunities for sharing suggestions. An active social media fosters engagement, a physical drop box with comment cards is a classic way to facilitate communication, and online forums can serve your community well by granting easy access to everyone. A combination of multiple methods of gathering feedback is typically the best approach.

HOA common area landscape maintenance

Tips for Creating a Transparent Decision-Making Process

Once you have boosted resident participation in HOA landscaping, you’ll want to make sure that residents not only feel included and heard but also respected. In other words, what you do with their participation and feedback during the decision-making process is equally as important.

Transparency is paramount in establishing trust and fulfilling your end of the resident participation bargain. To nurture this healthy relationship between residents and their involvement in HOA landscaping decisions, ensure that a clear process for decision-making is in place, and follow that process as closely as possible. Be sure to keep residents updated throughout the process, encourage regular feedback, and be willing to make adjustments along the way.

When it comes to communication and transparency, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If you are unsure if you are being clear and open enough, chances are you could do even better!

HOA commercial residential common area landscape maintenance2

Landcrafters HOA Landscaping Services: How We Can Help 

Planning an HOA landscaping project—whether it’s an addition to the community or the decision to work with a new landscaping company—is a big deal. It can be easy to get caught up in the details and lose vital resident participation. As property managers and HOA landscaping board members, it is important to remember that the decisions that are made directly impact the residents living within the community.

For more landscaping insights, including those related to HOA landscaping, be sure to reach out to us and visit our blog. Whether you talk to a Landcrafters team member or binge our informative blog posts, you’ll benefit from our over 20 years of experience in landscaping in Tampa Bay.

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Michael Tomaino

Michael Tomaino

Head Gardener for Landcrafters, Inc. Michael Tomaino, a cornerstone of Landcrafters since its inception, oversees all aspects of business operations with a wealth of experience. With years of adept team management and leadership under his belt, coupled with a robust educational background, both within and beyond the industry, Michael is dedicated to steering Landcrafters towards becoming the foremost landscape management provider in the Tampa Bay Area.