An effective homeowners association (HOA) board is one of the biggest things that can set you apart from substandard communities. Successful HOA boards are always on the lookout for talented and passionate homeowners who are willing to work together to make the community a better place. They must also have what it takes to perform HOA leadership roles and duties. Here are important things to consider as you build an HOA board for your community.
Qualities to Consider as You Build an HOA Board
As you build an effective HOA board, you need to consider the people who will be part of the board. While you cannot always control who becomes a member of the board, you can help by attracting the right people. One of the most difficult things about an HOA board is that it is on a volunteer basis. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to find effective HOA board members in your community.
So, what makes a good HOA member? Here are some of the qualities you may want to consider.
1. Commitment to the HOA Board
Successful HOA board members are committed to their roles and responsibilities. Even though they may have busy lives, they still make time for meetings and regularly attend to community matters. If a board member is tasked with certain responsibilities, he/she makes sure that the job gets done.
When you form the HOA board, look for community members who are detail-oriented. These individuals will take the time to review and understand your community’s governing documents. A board member cannot make effective policies without a thorough knowledge of your HOA guidelines and procedures.
3. Knows How to Delegate
An effective HOA board is one that knows how to delegate. Choosing to handle everything and micromanage others will only lead to failure. A successful board member understands that he/she cannot be involved in each and every community matter. There should be mutual trust among board members, and the belief that each member is capable of handling tasks on their own.
4. Fair and Consistent
When you become an HOA board member, you gain some power within your community. A successful board member will not abuse this privilege. There should be no bias or favoritism on how you treat community members. Enforcement of HOA rules and regulations should be uniform for all homeowners.
5. Flexible and Adaptable to Change
Flexibility and adaptability are good qualities to have in your HOA board members. If things don’t go to plan, they will find ways or solutions to combat the problem. Effective HOA board members always keep the big picture in mind and don’t get tripped up on the minor details. They are open to innovations, technologies, and other modernizations that can benefit the community.
6. Smart Decision-Maker
From time to time, board members will have to make difficult decisions that might make homeowners unhappy. This might lead to disputes or disagreements.
An effective HOA board member will not take this personally. They must know how to resolve conflicts properly, instead of becoming petty or vindictive.
There may be other qualities that you want in your HOA board. It will really depend on the interests and needs of your community. List down all these qualities and keep them in mind as you build an HOA board for your community.
5 Useful Tips on How to Build an HOA Board
Associations have a lot of things to consider when building an effective HOA board. Here are useful tips that can make this process easier and smooth-sailing.
1. Elect Qualified Board Members
An HOA board member is an important position that admittedly, not everyone can perform well. You need to elect qualified community members that can fulfill the responsibilities of HOA board members. Existing board members should always look out for potential candidates in the community. Get to know them so that you can gauge their abilities, talents, and interests. For example, a board treasurer should have sufficient knowledge when it comes to accounting and finance.
2. Strive for Diversity
An effective HOA board is one that can peacefully work together. That shouldn’t mean that you will only elect members who have similar personalities or circumstances. You should always strive for diversity. A strong board is one in which a wide range of talents is represented and utilized. When discussing community matters, you want board members who have different viewpoints and ideas. This can lead to healthy discussions among the group.
3. Keep Meetings Short and Productive
Your HOA board members have busy lives. It would be unfair to expect anyone who is attending on a volunteer basis to spend hours cramped in a small room discussing HOA issues. This might lead to qualified board members from excusing themselves from HOA duties.
To strengthen the board and ease time concerns, keep your meetings short and be upfront about time commitments.
A short and well-organized board meeting is the mark of good leadership. Have a strict itinerary with a brief time set aside for members to bring up any concerns.
4. Provide Training and Education
More often than not, community members who are elected into the board won’t know how to run an HOA. You can strengthen your HOA board by providing members with training and education.
Everyone should know about your HOA policies and bylaws as well as their own job descriptions. It can be helpful to offer a training seminar for new members to give them a crash course on expectations, laws, and policies relating to the HOA. This will establish a firm foundation and protect against misunderstandings in the future.
5. Collaborate with Professionals
Despite having strong and talented members, your HOA board may still struggle from time to time. In these cases, it’s always best to collaborate with professionals.
An HOA management company can help take over daily operations and maintenance so the board can focus on more pressing issues. HOA managers have specialized knowledge and they can help your board with bookkeeping and other financial tasks.
An HOA attorney can also be helpful when it comes to government regulations and legal matters.
Build an HOA Board That Benefits Your Community
A strong board is the basis for a successful community. As you build an HOA board, keep in mind the essential qualities that you want your members to have. By attracting and retaining the right members, utilizing their skills, and educating them, you can go a long way in building a board that continually improves your community and raises the quality of life of your residents.