Heritage Hunt Golf & Country Club of Gainesville, Virginia was named Communicator of the Year in the Community Association of the Year Contest. They are managed by Associa Community Management Corporation (CMC). This is the essay submitted with the community’s application.
By Patricia Phillips
Heritage Hunt Homeowners Association (HHHOA) is an Active Adult community with 4,000+ residents living in single family homes, attached homes and two condominiums. The year 2020 has been challenging, particularly regarding communication. As with all homeowner associations, our HOA was required to shut down our facilities, management offices, and all the other organizations within our very active community. With a Board of Directors, 10 standing committees, and 130+ chartered clubs, our association had its hands full in 2020.
The Heritage Hunt Communications & Auxiliary Services Policy, No. 27, provides the Board, its managing agents, third party sources and residents of the community a guideline as to how, where, and when communication resources are to be used and how.
Heritage Hunt (HH) had a highly successful year keeping our residents informed in 2020 despite the pandemic. Communication is and always has been extremely important to us. In Year 2017, we had a historic 91.5% approval of a Master Plan for construction projects that are to complete over the next decade to ensure the community’s appeal and real estate values. This would not have been possible without our many communication resources. Our By-laws require 658 votes for such a plan to pass; residents lobbed 903 votes for and 84 against the plan. This was the largest vote for any matter since the community’s 1998 inception.
As chair of the Community Relations Committee, we are continually promoting improved communication methods to keep our residents informed and socially engaged. Heritage Hunt has multiple means of communication, including our website https://www.heritagehunt.net, social media, The Heritage Horn (monthly newsletter), weekly email blasts, bulletin boards, closed-circuit television, emergency telephone system, common area banners & signs, resident directories with community maps.
According to resident surveys, the most popular HOA communication tool is our monthly newsletter, The Heritage Horn. The Horn provides a structured reading piece that includes interesting and pertinent news about current community events, HOA actions, committee, and club activities. The Horn is 100% funded by advertising revenue. The Horn is also communicated through the various digital and online mediums employed by our management.
Despite the challenges during the pandemic, communications were almost a daily occurrence. While our facilities were closed and not much to report in our newsletter, our Lifestyle Director kept the community engaged with puzzles, trivia, HH history, interesting interviews with residents (via phone), and acknowledging new residents who continued to move into Heritage Hunt despite the pandemic.
New homeowners were welcomed to the community with socially distanced new homeowner orientations and when things began to open up, CRC continued our monthly “Mix & Mingle” happy hours for new residents. CRC hosts bi-annual Orientation Breakfast for new residents to meet others and become better informed about HH.
To keep our residents informed about issues inside and outside our gates, HH hosts town halls with local legislative representatives, county business developers, DMV events, and when things began to open up, we held Covid-19, flu vaccination clinics and 4 Red Cross Blood Drives.