Stepping into a new role can sometimes feel daunting. No one likes to come in blind to a situation unsure of what to do or how to proceed. As a new board member, you should feel well-equipped to tackle the responsibilities of your association’s governance at hand. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
At Keystone, our property association management team provides new board members a trifecta of support through new member orientation, exceptional management assistance, and continuing education and training. Whether you want to know exactly how to get started or what is expected of you once you’re on board, turn to these resources as a guiding light.
1. Participate in New Board Member Orientation
First, Keystone provides a thorough orientation designed to walk new members through the governing association docs, as well as educate on the roles and responsibilities. We carefully outline the most important aspects of becoming an effective board member and answer many of the most commonly asked questions new board members have. The detailed explanation of the governing documents include the CC&Rs, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and Rules and Regulations.
The first part of the governing docs consists of the convenance, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that define the rights and responsibilities of the owners and for the association. They establish the:
- Physical elements of the community property
- Restrictions and rights of common area use
- Duties and powers to enforce governing rules
- Collection assessment
- Physical maintenance (i.e. What does the association take care of vs. the members?)
- Architectural improvement and modification control (ex. What color can I paint my house?)
- Insurance provisions
Next are the bylaws which define the operating procedure. They outline the organizational structure of the board of directors and their duties and powers, officers, and establish committees.
Articles of Incorporation
The third set of governing docs are the Articles of Incorporation. These are what establish the association as a legal non-profit mutual benefit corporation that is filed with the Secretary of State.
Rules and Regulations
Finally, there are the Rules and Regulations, which define operational and resident conduct rules (i.e. pool hours, guest parking, reserving common areas, etc.). Board members have the authority to amend these without a member vote.
2. Work Together: Board’s Role vs. Management’s Role
The role of a board member is a valuable one, but it often leaves people wondering: Who’s in charge of what? The overarching goal of a board member is to protect, preserve, and enhance the value of the community association’s physical property. This is achieved by making business decisions at regularly-occurring board meetings as well as upholding several fiduciary duties, including:
- Duty of care. Making unbiased and reasonable decisions with care.
- Duty of loyalty. Refraining from engaging in conflicting interests.
- Duty of faith. Acting in the best interest of the association and its members.
- Duty to enforce. Following enforcement procedures as ruled by the governing docs.
This level of responsibility is not one to be taken likely. However, once new member orientation is complete, you still maintain the support of our HOA management company. At Keystone, our role is to:
- Empower the board to make great business decisions
- Recommend action to the board
- Execute the decisions of the board
By working together in a partnership with your community association management company, board members can feel supported in their actions and given guidance when there are questions or unique situations that arise.
3. Take Advantage of Tools and Continuing Education
Finally, in addition to the New Board Member Orientation, Keystone also provides tools, resources, and continuing education. These include:
- Board member portal (kppmconnection.com) – Provides real-time, easy access to download board documents, submit work orders, and run reports.
- Board packets – Provides updated materials such as meeting agenda, financials, violation reports, and new vendor contracts, just to name a few.
- Continuing property education and training by Keystone – Includes webinars and expert roundtable panels. For example, Keystone provides board members with opportunities to participate in annual legislative update webinars featuring attorneys that specialize in community association law. These expert attorneys will guide board members through any upcoming legislation that may affect how the association will be governed. Webinars also include Q & A sessions, providing opportunities to ask questions free of charge.
- Industry education – Keeps board members in-the-know on industry updates and trends through trade organizations, such as Communication Associations Institute (CAI).
Board members can also reach out to their property management team at Keystone during businesses hours and through an on-call system to provide emergency support outside of business hours. We’re here to empower you to make the best possible decisions for the community. By becoming a board member, you have the opportunity to make a defining impact in upholding the value of the property and keeping it a beautiful place to live.
Interested in learning more about how you can improve your community by sitting on the board? Let our property association management team answer all your questions. Contact us today to start a conversation.