Homeowners entrust HOA board members with making decisions that are in the best interest of members and that help the association to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. These elected officials hold a great deal of responsibility for what happens within the organization, and they must be knowledgeable about everything from budgeting and rules enforcement to conflict resolution and architectural policies.
No one person knows it all, which is why the board works together as a team, relying on each person’s knowledge and strengths. In addition, they partner with other professionals who bring specific expertise to the table. However, it is important for HOA board members to continually be enhancing their knowledge and training. Here are a few tips for becoming a stronger asset to the team:
1. Read up. From familiarizing yourself with your association’s governing documents to staying abreast of local, state, and federal laws that impact how the HOA operates, always be reading. Look for reputable blogs or podcasts to follow about running an HOA. Set up alerts for when news stories are released on certain topics. Stay up-to-date with what is happening in the industry and in your area.
2. Partner with a Management Company. One of the benefits of working with a professional management company is that they have a plethora of resources to support board members. Community managers are trained in association matters and can provide sound insight and guidance. Many companies also offer periodic training seminars or can steer board members in the right direction to find courses. You can learn a lot from staying connected with your community manager, asking questions, and taking advantage of their vast knowledge, training, and experience.
3. Join a professional organization. There are several reputable organizations related to HOA management such as the Community Associations Institute (CAI), as well as state-level associations. These organizations are continually putting out information and holding training courses for HOA board members. Boardline Academy also offers educational opportunities. Look around to see what is available in your area, and talk to your community manager to see what professional organizations they recommend.
4. Engage in professional development. You can also look for continuing education opportunities outside of those specific to HOAs. For instance, taking a course on accounting, budgeting, or financial management, or brushing up on conflict resolution or leadership skills. Think about what areas you feel you have room to grow in, and take the initiative to improve yourself personally and professionally.
Ongoing education is essential for HOA board members. There is always more to learn and things are always changing. Be the best board member you can be by taking advantage of learning opportunities. Kuester provides a wide range of support to associations and assists board members in improving their understanding of how to effectively run an HOA. Contact us today to learn more!