Serving on the HOA board can be a very rewarding experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. The board is tasked with making decisions for the betterment of the entire community, effectively managing finances, calmly dealing with disagreements, and much more. As a board member, it’s important to follow best practices and keep the best interest of the community as whole in mind. Here are five best practices to consider:
- Know the rules. This means being familiar with all of the governing documents. You may not know them inside and out by heart, but you should know the most common policies and procedures and where to find these documents for reference. Storing copies of all governing documents online can allow for faster and easier access.
- Communicate with each other, the property manager, and the members. Effective communication is essential. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and stays up-to-date with projects, meetings, issues being discussed, proposed ideas, and anything else that affects the community. Board members should have clearly defined roles and expectations and practice transparency when it comes to communicating with the HOA community.
- Stay on top of finances. Practice solid financial management and seek the support of a property manager, CPA, financial planner, or other professionals if there are areas you are unsure about. Sound budgeting and decision making are key to running an HOA and keeping fees reasonable for homeowners. Make sure the board is conducting regular audits, reserve studies, financial reviews, and budget meetings.
- Maintain ethical practices. Put aside your personal interests and focus on the well-being of the entire community. Ensure that rules are being enforced fairly and consistently. Establish a written code of ethics and carefully consider the motivation and consequences when making decisions. Demonstrating sound ethics and integrity can help build trust in the HOA community.
- Act in a timely manner. Respond to member inquiries and complaints as soon as possible, even if you don’t have an immediate answer. Let them know that their message was received and you will get back to them – then follow through. Be diligent about not letting issues fall through the cracks. Have plans in place to deal with emergency situations so that problems are resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
You play an important role as a board member, so take your job seriously. Commit yourself to upholding expectations and responsibilities to make your HOA the best it can be. Consider partnering with a property manager like Kuester Management Group to support your HOA in operating smoothly and efficiently, boosting its knowledge, and creating a community homeowners are proud to call home.