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Giving Thanks to the Unsung Heroes of Your HOA

When you stroll the perfectly groomed grounds of your neighborhood or enjoy a relaxing afternoon at your community’s pool, it’s easy to overlook the amount of attention and maintenance required to keep your community looking spectacular.

The beauty and value of your homeowner’s association don’t simply happen on their own. It’s a result of the tireless work and attention of a dedicated group of volunteers: your community’s board members.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the ways your HOA’s board members are looking out for you by caring for your community, and how you can show your appreciation for all their hard work.

They oversee a wide range of amenities

Elaborate sports complexes, sprawling grounds, and large clubhouses tend to get all the glory, but there are many less obvious things that make your community special. An attractive entrance, spotless streets, and creative landscaping all add to the value of the houses in your association and all contribute to a great feeling when you come home.

Each one of these amenities requires close management to keep them attractive and safe but can easily be taken for granted. Your board members, along with the help of your association management company, are tasked with finding and overseeing the vendors who keep your amenities looking great and available for your use.

They use your dues wisely

As a nonprofit corporation, your association collects dues (“assessments”) in order to manage and maintain your HOA. They make the decisions that direct where funds are spent, including making sure they maintain the proper amount of reserves. Their decisions are outlined in your HOA’s annual budget, which, by law, is always available to you.

Part of their role in association management is maintaining a fiduciary duty, which means they are obligated to act in the best interest of the community. Mismanagement of HOA funds can be disastrous in the long term for an association, so board members weigh all financial decisions carefully. As a nonprofit, any monies collected by any HOA must be reinvested into the association or allocated to reserves.

If you’re wondering where your association fees go, your HOA’s annual budget will outline every expense, down to the cent. It is always available for review and can be a topic of discussion at board meetings when added to the agenda.

They ensure governing docs meet current needs

HOAs are guided by a set of governing docs that include Declarations of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), bylaws, and rules and regulations. Each of these specifies agreed-upon guidelines for the community, and CC&Rs and bylaws cannot be altered without a membership vote.

However, it’s up to the board to ensure these are updated to meet the current needs of the community. They review areas that may be outdated and generate new language that better aligns with what is best for all. This requires a multi-step process involving homeowner engagement and majority agreement, as well as legal implementation, so can be quite the undertaking when the necessity arises.

They act in your community’s best interest

Association members are volunteer-based. They run for a seat on their HOA board because they truly care about the current and future state of your community. Part of that is ensuring all members of the community continue to abide by the rules the HOA has established, including the board members themselves. They should act as examples for your community.

Although they make decisions for the HOA, no board member enjoys issuing violation notices – but they do take their commitment to you and your community seriously. As such, they are the first line of defense in ensuring your community maintains an aesthetic and atmospheric standard that reflects the HOA’s values.

If you receive a violation notice, remember it’s never personal. Board members are simply following protocol to protect the value of the properties in your association. They will provide context by referring to language in the governing docs, which will help you understand the reason for the notice and what can be done to remedy it.

How to show your appreciation to your board

If you love where you live, feel free to share your positive experience with your board members. As volunteers, the only currency they receive is their own satisfaction in making a difference as well as the appreciation of other association members.

Read More: How to Get the Most From Your On-Site Community Management.

Here are a few ways you can go out of your way to let your HOA’s board know you recognize the great job they’re doing.

Attend board meetings – Show up at the open session board meetings and weigh in on the direction of your community. Your attendance demonstrates to board members that you care about your community as much as they do.

Introduce yourself – Put a face to the people your HOA board represents. Establishing a personal relationship with your board members helps you see their personal side, not just the results of their decision-making.

Send a thank you – Small gestures can make a huge difference. If you see something you love about your community, send personal thank you notes or emails to the members of your board to share your appreciation.

Host an eventOpen your doors to your board members as a way to recognize them. Invite them to your home or conduct an informal gathering in one of your community’s common areas. Getting socially involved provides diverse ideas and activities to help boost overall engagement.

Join a committee ­– Volunteering your time is a great way to show your appreciation and HOA boards need all the help they can get. Successful HOAs rely on input from association members, not just the board membership. If there is an issue you feel passionate about, join a committee and lend your time to supporting the board.

Be positive – Many HOAs create private Facebook pages or other communication portals to share updates and allow homeowners to interact with each other about the property. If there have been changes you’re appreciative of, share it with the group. Setting a positive tone will encourage others to do the same and will let the board know they are on the right track.

Read More: How to Get the Most From Your On-Site Community Management.

It’s easy to go to the board with concerns and forget about what it takes to keep things running smoothly. Sharing a note of thanks or words of appreciation can go a long way. After all, HOA board members volunteer years’ worth of their time and attention to improve your association and maintain property values.

Take the time to give credit where it’s due. If you don’t know any of your board members personally, reach out and introduce yourself. If you do, take the time to offer a smile and a thank you. They’ll appreciate the recognition for all the hard work they’re doing for your community.

Though being a board member takes an additional commitment outside the chaos of everyday life, being active in creating the best possible community can also feel highly rewarding.

Thinking of running for a seat on your HOA board? Our HOA management experts can tell you what you need to know.

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