4 Tips for New HOA Board Members
Like many new homeowners association (HOA) board members, you’re probably eager to contribute and make a difference in your community. You were asked to run because other homeowners recognize your talents, abilities and can-do attitude. Keep that enthusiasm, but don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed at the onset and burn out. Here are four tips that can help adjust to your new role.
- Patience is a virtue. Even if you have served on another HOA Board, there’s always a learning curve. Every community has different rules and governing documents. Board dynamics also change as members migrate on/off and to different positions. Recognize that you can’t know and do everything yesterday. Taking a little more time to become familiar with the rules, issues, politics and people is time well spent.
- Sharpen your problem-solving techniques. You encounter many gray areas when you run a condo or homeowner association. Researching and identifying solutions is rarely black or white. Get comfortable in working with the gray area so that it comes more naturally. You, the Board and the community will reap long-term rewards if you can approach each gray situation as a unique challenge to do something better for the community.
- Support Board decisions. Emotions and conflicts are part of making difficult decisions. There may be times that other Board members see a situation differently than you. Speak up and share your facts and views. Then, accept and publicly support the final decision of the Board. Homeowners quickly lose respect for a Board member who publicly criticizes other Board members and/or decisions. When you leave the Board meeting, turn your support to the on position.
- Family must come first. Don’t get so wrapped up in working for your community that you let it cut into family time. It’s easy to do because the to-do list never ends. Remember that there are other HOA Board members and association volunteers to serve with you. Learn to say no, delegate and work in teams so that you can serve your community and still have a life.