Welcome to the board! Being a new HOA board member, you are going to be wearing many different hats and stepping into a few challenging roles to help make sure your HOA is running smoothly. Now that you’ve been elected, the big question is…What’s next?
For many newly elected board members it is their first time in the position, presenting a pretty steep learning curve. Lucky for you, Vesta has a few tips to get you more comfortable in your new position.
Just follow these board member basics and you’ll have all the tools you need to become the best board member you can be!
1. Understand your role
While you volunteered for this position, you also should realize that it is not to be taken lightly. The board is responsible for the management of all aspects of the association. You are a key element in ensuring that your association continues to operate and that all of the residents are happy with the HOA they chose to live in. Vesta has an article on understanding the roles of the HOA board that you can read here.
The best way to quickly learn how your association achieves these goals is to read your association covenants, by-laws and other governing documents. Don’t be afraid to ask veteran board members about their responsibilities and the minutia of the job. Often experience is the best teacher, so talking to seasoned board members is a great way to figure out what to do and more importantly, what not to do.
2. Team up with a great property management company that you can trust
If your board works with a property management company that you trust to do right by your community, you can use them as a resource to help you ease into your new role! Working effectively with your management company is a great way to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of what they offer.
Having a close relationship with your HOA’s CAM will open doors for you and the rest of your board that will lead to efficient and effective methods of management. As a part of their services, your CAM should be providing you and your residents with clear communication in enforcing your association’s policies and assisting with your budget, financials and even managing your vendors!
If you want your board to be effective, all board members should be participating, both during and between meetings. Make sure you’re going to every meeting you can, volunteering for projects and taking an active role in the management of your community.
Everyone on the board should be doing whatever they can to make every meeting count. When a meeting is run poorly, more issues are created than solved. While making sure your meetings are productive can be a tall order, it can really be as simple as following procedure, reading the agenda, keeping accurate minutes and reviewing what was discussed at the end of the meeting.
You can find some tips about leading productive board meetings here.
Many of your neighbors will probably agree that communication between the board and community is vital to the success of a community. Transparency is necessary if you want to maintain a positive relationship between your board and your neighbors. Make sure you keep your community informed about issues, ideas and changes that are going on in the community you both live in.
5. Take advantage of the Community Associations Institute
In their own words, CAI is an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities. CAI serves community associations by providing guidance through seminars, workshops, conferences and education programs for community managers and other industry professionals.
CAI offers many educational services including online training and in-person workshops that you can attend. Many property management companies also host board certification classes that you can attend
Volunteering for your community is rewarding and challenging; it’s important to take some time now to learn about your role as a board member and how to best serve your association. Following these guidelines is a great way to ensure your transition is smooth and that you enjoy your time on the HOA board!