Have you been a member of the HOA for a few years now, but are thinking about taking on more of a leadership role and helping making decisions and improvements? Are you considering throwing your hat in the ring and running for a board member position? Many associations hold their annual meeting in the fall, and that is when new board members are voted on. Now is a great time to start gearing up and thinking more seriously about your decision to run.
If you’re on the fence or have pretty much made up your mind to go for it, here are a few things to take into consideration:
- Do your research.
Read up on the responsibilities of each board position and decide which role might be a good fit for you. Gather information from a variety of sources so you have a diverse overview of the roles and what each entail. Learn more about homeowners associations in general, how they operate, common challenges they face, and their advantages.
- Talk to current or former board members.
In addition to any information you find online, go straight to the source. Arrange to speak with current board members or members who recently resigned. Ask about what tasks they took on in their role, why they chose to run, what they’ve gained from serving on the board, what they like the most and least, why they stepped down or are planning to, and what advice they would give the next person. Don’t be afraid to ask about what you want to know because joining the board is a big decision.
- Familiarize yourself with the governing documents.
Now is the time to pull up the association’s governing documents and develop a better understanding of what they say. Figure out the purpose of each document and what rules it sets forth for your association. You don’t have to memorize every detail, but it’s good to know where to look when you have a question and need more information. If there are changes you want to propose, look at what rules are already in place. Reading past meeting minutes can also be helpful so you can see what issues the board has been working on and what decisions have been made.
- Assess the commitment and your schedule.
Serving on the board requires you to designate a portion of your time to association business. Take a closer look at your schedule and make sure that you’re ready and available to make this commitment. Talking to current board members can help you get a better feel for the actual requirements (time and otherwise) of the role and what to expect.
- Be visible in the community.
Your fellow homeowners are the ones voting, so make sure they know who you are. Don’t just be a random name on the ballot. Put a face with that name by attending meetings and participating in events. When you’re out walking, say hi and talk to people. Let them know that you’re planning on running for the board and find out what they like most about the community and what some changes are that they would like to see. You want to be in touch with what is happening and what people think.
If you want more information about homeowners associations, rules and regulations, board membership, and running in the next election, talk to your current board and the management company. Kuester provides associations with a wealth of resources and support and can point you in the right direction. Contact us today for more information about how we help HOAs across the Carolinas.