Just because new owners have received a disclosure packet when they signed a purchase contract doesn’t mean they read it. A welcome packet is a way to be sure your new owners are educated about their Association, especially amenities, benefits and rules. An owner who is educated is one who will most likely comply. If an owner does not understand a rule he has a chance to inquire before becoming a violator. Here are some suggestions for the content of a welcome packet:
1. Letter of welcome signed by the Board President and the manager, including time, date and place of association meetings, contact information for board members, and meeting protocol.
2. Information on location of the community billboard or website information
3. List of local addresses and phone numbers for electricity, water, trash, city offices, school district and other useful contact information.
4. Architectural guidelines and application forms for exterior improvements.
5. List of committees, descriptions of their purposes and sign-up sheet.
It is not surprising that new homeowners become offended when the first communication they receive from the association is a letter regarding a covenant or rule violation or a statement telling them they owe money. Is this the type of first impression the board wants new homeowners to have or would they rather have the homeowner receiving a positive communication with valuable information?
The information that is in the packet may prevent numerous phone calls and e-mails requesting information, forms or, worse, miscommunications and misunderstandings. The homeowner will not be able to say "I was not aware of the restrictions since I did not receive any governing documents when I closed". This will save the association money in the end by avoiding the cost of enforcement in many instances.
The benefits of a welcome packet far outweigh the cost. Spending a little time and money to establish good relations with new homeowners is a benefit for the association, the board and the manager. This positive first impression will yield many benefits to the Association