Sitting on the board of your homeowners association is a rewarding way to get involved in your community, get to know your neighbors, and personally ensure that your property values are preserved and protected–for the immediate future and in the long run. Many residents want to serve on their HOA board but aren’t sure where to start. With our lengthy experience providing HOA management resources for homeowners associations across southern California, we have discovered that there are certain traits that make for excellent board members. Here’s what to look for when voting for board members or if you’re thinking of serving on your community’s HOA board.
Great HOA board members…
Every board member in a homeowners association is a volunteer. Therefore, they must have the time, patience and enthusiasm to dedicate themselves to community issues, even though they receive no monetary compensation.
The best board members want to get to know their neighbors, enjoy building community, and take pride in the place they live. They put their community’s best interests first and seek to build long-term value for their community, both socially and financially.
Are positive and optimistic
Managing a community comes with many challenges. Great HOA board members bring positive expectations to their role and refuse to get discouraged, even when faced with tough decisions.
Board members are there to serve their communities, not their own personal interests. Great board members understand this and demonstrate respect to all community members, regardless of how they feel about an issue personally. Their friends receive no special benefits; they know that HOA rules must be evenly applied to all community members.
Know that the rules apply to them, too
Jus because a resident serves on an HOA board doesn’t mean that they are exempt from any community regulations. Good board members understand this and never try to use their position for personal gain.
Take their role seriously
Board members work in tandem with a community’s HOA management company to preserve and protect the value of the properties in their community. They understand their responsibility as a fiduciary of a large non-profit company (the homeowners association) that controls millions of dollars in assets.
Have a mind for business
In addition to the social aspects of running a community smoothly, great board members are able to see the big picture and make smart long-term business decisions that will ultimately increase property values for all residents. They listen to the expert advice provided by their HOA management company and don’t rush into any hasty decisions.
Understand that their authority comes as a board, not a board member
Great HOA board members know that they possess no individual authority; rather, in their role as a unified board, they make group decisions that positively impact their communities. Therefore, they quickly support group decisions, even if they are counter to their own personal opinion.
Want to become more educated
Community management is a detailed business. Changing laws, liability issues, and responding to community needs in real-time require detailed knowledge and deep understanding of the concerns that can impact a community. Great board members take advantage of the training and HOA management resources offered by their management company and educational opportunities at trade organizations such as Community Associations Institute (CAI), to ensure they are educated enough to make keen decisions.
If you think you might be a good fit to serve on the board of your community’s homeowners association, call your HOA management company to learn more about the steps you should take. Or, read Keystone Pacific’s HOA Fundamentals for New and Returning Board Members which describes the role and expectations of board members. Finally, we recommend attending one or more community board meetings by volunteering for a specific committee so you can see the team dynamic firsthand to get a sense of how you might serve your community with your own passion, enthusiasm and expertise.
If you enjoyed this article, read our updated article where we break down the difference between a good community manager and a great one.
As always, feel free to contact us today to learn more!