Being part of the HOA board can be a very rewarding experience. You’re on the front lines of running the community and enacting meaningful change. You are an integral part of creating an environment where people love to live. However, this position also comes with challenges and board members may feel like their work is never done.
It is important for homeowners to remember that most boards are made up of volunteers. People who are passionate about where they live and choose to donate their time. Board members have full-time jobs and families just like everyone else. Part of being an effective board member is finding balance. If you spread yourself too thin, you run the risk of burn out and you’re not helping yourself or anyone else.
Tips for Balancing Life and HOA Responsibilities
Life is a balancing act. There is no perfect equation for balanced living – it varies from person to person. But there are steps that board members can take to reduce stress and have a life outside of board service:
- Know your role. While you may be the consummate team player, know when to step back and let others do their jobs. Not everything is your responsibility, even though you are eager to help. Set boundaries for yourself and don’t take on more than you can comfortably handle.
- Stay organized. The more organized the HOA is, the more smoothly things will run. Create a comprehensive schedule to stay on track with tasks and ahead with planning. Hold regular meetings so that projects or issues do not fall behind or pile up. Know what needs to be done, when, and by whom, so you can prioritize.
- Make use of committees. Share the burden of work with others who are willing and ready to help out. Establish committees to help with projects and tasks that do not have to be handled directly by the board. Set clear directions and expectations and have a designated leader to run each committee.
- Know when to disconnect. If you’re out to dinner with your family or hitting a few balls at the range, it is not appropriate to be discussing HOA business. If a homeowner tries to engage in this type of conversation, politely let them know that you’d be happy to hear their ideas or concerns at the next board meeting, or that they can submit a statement to the board for review. Allow yourself to disconnect and separate yourself from your HOA responsibilities. It can be a good idea to keep separate email accounts too so you’re not tempted to always be checking in.
- Hire a property management company. Partnering with a property manager can give the board assistance with many daily tasks, provide guidance, and help with organization. It can allow board members to focus on more pressing issues that cannot be delegated. A strong partnership can leave the HOA feeling confident that they are in good hands and everything is running smoothly.
Remember that running an HOA is team effort. You are one of many and not everything falls on your shoulders alone. Learn how to delegate and accept that others may not do things exactly as you would, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong. Doing so can help you to achieve greater balance and better enjoy life as a homeowner and board member. Contact Kuester to learn more about how we can provide valuable assistance to your HOA.