Improving your body corporate’s feeling of community

The common thread that holds a strata community together is the people.

As more and more people move into shared living for the first time, it should be a priority for other owners to develop a sense of belonging and ownership for each new member. Educating them from the start in a constructive way can plant the seed for a long-term positive relationship within your community.
There are many different ways that members of a community can try reach out to others. This could include providing new owners with welcome packs. Items that you could consider for insertion could be a cheerful welcome letter from the committee, instructions on how to obtain keys, where to park, child friendly areas, mailbox access, a list of amenities that include how and when they can be utilised, how to reach the committee or building manager if necessary and information about rubbish disposal.

It is a good idea to inform new members of all the wonderful amenities and community activities that may occur in your neighbourhood as well as what is expected of the owners. This helps to prevent any unintentional infractions and embarrassment for the new members and goes a long way towards garnering a positive relationship.

Ongoing communication between yourself and your neighbours can play a key role in educating owners. A website, or Facebook/Twitter page is an inexpensive tool that can provide a helpful on-going stream of current information to owners and even potential buyers.

A calendar of events is also a valuable tool that can help to keep owners informed of what’s going on and is a means of encouraging participation; this can range from activities such as garage sales and committee meetings to barbecues.

Becoming a member of the committee is also a good idea to help gain a sense of community. Serving on the committee will help you get to know your neighbours and allows the body corporate to tap into a vast array of experience and expertise that it might not have otherwise had. AGM’s are a great way for the entire community to come together to share views, concerns and recommendations about their homes.

Try introducing yourself to your neighbours, especially those with which you share walls. Have a friendly chat with them and use this as an opportunity to let them know more about yourself, your habits and your lifestyle. Kindly inform them that your bedroom is right below their living room, for instance. Ask questions about their schedule and lifestyle as well but always be nice and amicable. Simple gestures like that can prevent a lot unnecessary quarrels between neighbours.

By educating owners and improving the streams of communication, you can develop a harmonious community and generate involvement from its members.

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