You wear many hats when you’re an HOA Board member, and you’re called upon to solve many problems in the community. Associations face a variety of issues—from communications to accounting to legal issues to architecture and beyond. Board members need wisdom, knowledge, patience and compassion just to make it through the day. Here are six things that can help you be a better Board member and community mentor.
- Read your governing documents. Everyone doesn’t know what they say because they don’t read them, so it important that you can answer your neighbor’s questions. You’ll also be weighing in on decisions that are impacted by the governing documents, so read and re-read until you can almost quote the contents.
- Engage in every meeting. Don’t just attend a meeting, but actively participate in the meetings. Prepare upfront by reading the agenda, know the financial status, the vendors and keep abreast of what’s happening in the community. Keeping current on activities and news helps you make better judgments. Here’s a recent blog with tips on Board participation that can help you.
- Ask for help when needed. A good Board member recognizes what he/she doesn’t know and seeks professional advice. No one appreciates a “Know-It-All”, especially one in charge of his/her community. It’s up to you to find out what the experts say when it comes to maintenance, budgets, insurance, legal issues and reserves. If you skimp now, you’ll pay major bucks later.
- Be a team player. No one person can run a community by themselves. It takes a team of people, who leave their personal agenda at home, working together to create a successful community. Look for ways to involve other owners, so that you always have a pool of talent to serve the community.
- Look toward the future. Your Board is responsible for maintaining the property values throughout the entire community. When you’re contemplating decisions, consider how the issue affects today, tomorrow and the future of the community.
- Record meeting minutes. This is critical for an HOA Board. It’s often the only way that homeowners have of locating information about community decisions. Recording minutes seems simple enough, but this documentation is often lacking. If your Board doesn’t have a formal process for keeping minutes, check out these free templates to help you get started.