Congratulations, new HOA board member! You’ve earned a role that will help you give back to your community and make impactful changes.
Amid the celebration, however, you may find yourself facing doubts. Even though being part of the HOA is honourable, we often hear about the challenges members face. You might worry about your ability to serve effectively and how you will overcome obstacles.
That’s why we’re here to cover six things new HOA board members should know. Reading this post is sure to set yourself up for a successful term (and even increase your chances of reelection!).
Partner With a Community Association Management
There’s a good chance that your HOA already uses community association management. These services make members’ lives easier by updating financial records, maintaining recreation centres, and everything in between.
However, if no such partnership currently exists, you’ve found your first task as a new member. Work with your board to find the perfect management partner. That way, you will have a much more practical workload. Plus, your initiative will make you the board’s new hero!
2. Don’t Be Overzealous
Advocating for a partnership with a management partner is a bold move that will significantly improve your HOA.
However, we recommend that this move be your only overzealousone. At least at first.
Trying to do too much too soon can cause more problems than it solves. We know you want to change your community for the better, but realize that you can’t build Rome in a day. So you’ll need to take some time to familiarize yourself with how the board works before launching into action.
3. Learn From the Past
Scared of making mistakes? Look into the actions of past HOA boards. Their errors will prove to you that no one is perfect, and they’ll also show you how you can do better.
Now, you don’t want to crack open the HOA history books with a critical mind. You should also research why they made the decisions that they made. For instance, if you feel passionate about passing a particular policy, there may be a good reason why past boards never approved it. This insight can help you overcome personal biases and help you make the decision that’s best for your community.
4. Understand Meeting Etiquette
As a new board member, you need to understand meeting etiquette. Otherwise, you may annoy your fellow members or even waste everyone’s time.
Perhaps the most important unspoken rule is to show up to all the meetings. Or at least as many meetings as you can attend. Your absence means you’ll miss out on essential matters and require others to fill you in.
Before you go to a meeting, prepare by reading the agenda ahead of time. Then, you’ll be able to prepare relevant questions and keep everyone on topic. Also, ensure that you provide brief comments to respect the board’s time.
Finally, read and abide by your organization’s guidelines. That means acknowledging everyone’s roles, adhering to proper voting procedures, etc.
5. Understand Your Role
Having run in an election, you should understand your new role. But now is as good a time as ever to brush up on your obligations.
Read HOA governing documents to know exactly what your community expects from you. You should also know where your responsibilities end so that you don’t cross any lines.
6. Find a Mentor
Some boards will assign new members a mentor. This guide will prove much more valuable than any orientation packet by helping you navigate your new role. You can feel free to ask questions, pick their brain for advice, and more!
Even if your board doesn’t formally assign mentors, we recommend that you seek one out. Most members will be more than happy to help a rookie. After all, they want you to succeed as much as you do!
The Bottom Line — Embrace Your New Role
Becoming an HOA board member is an exciting endeavour. While you should keep all of our tips in mind, perhaps the most important thing is to embrace your new role! By staying active and asking questions, you’ll be able to serve your community in the best way you can. We wish you luck on your exciting new journey!