The board is an integral part of the HOA and responsible for ensuring that things run smoothly. Being a board member means making a commitment to the HOA community and taking your responsibilities seriously. Many board members hold full-time jobs outside of their board position, so they must learn to balance commitments and prioritize. There are several ways that board members can improve their effectiveness to keep the HOA more productive:
- Familiarize yourself with the governing documents: Take the time to actually sit down and read through the CC&Rs, by-laws, and other policies. Make sure you know what is and is not allowed, the proper procedures that should be followed, and the expectations for board members. Ask for clarification about anything you are unsure of. Understanding these documents can reduce confusion when discussing issues and allow you to better respond to homeowner inquiries.
- Participate in HOA meetings: Attend as many meetings as possible so that you aren’t missing out on important information or disrupting decision making processes that require your attendance. Read through the agenda ahead of time so that you know what will be discussed and can come prepared with questions and talking points.
- Use available resources: Talk to present and past board members to learn from their experiences and seek guidance. Take advantage of educational opportunities to brush up on skills that are essential for running an HOA. Contact your property management company to find out about upcoming seminars, workshops, or courses they may be offering.
- Engage with homeowners: Get to know the people in your community and let them get to know you. Spend time talking to them about what they enjoy about the neighborhood and any concerns they may have. This can give you insight into areas the board should look into and situations that may need to be addressed. It also allows homeowners to feel more comfortable bringing up issues because they see a familiar face and know you are looking out for their best interest.
- Delegate tasks: Don’t feel as though you have to take on everything yourself. Maximize the use of committees and partner with your property manager on various tasks. Everyone should be working together in order to get things done, so maintain regular communication and speak up if you are feeling overwhelmed.
By taking steps to keep yourself educated and informed about community happenings, streamlining operations, and improving communication, you can be a more effective contributor on the board.