This article originally appeared on Associaonline.com’s Living Better Blog
By Marisa Highsmith at Associa
Congratulations! You’ve accepted a position as a member of your community association Board of Directors.
You may have wanted to sit on the Board because you feel there’s business to be done and you are the one to do it. Or, perhaps you’re serving on the Board because someone else in the organization thought you were the person for the job. Regardless of the reason you’re serving an HOA, the fact remains — you accepted the position — so, let’s get started…
Learn These Valuable Tips To Make Your HOA Experience Outstanding
Before anything else, take time to read the legal documents that govern your Association, such as the Articles of Incorporation, Covenants/Declarations, and Bylaws.
These documents can be overwhelming for those of us that didn’t go to law school, but take time to read them anyway. Nestled in all that legalese you’ll find the duties to which you have been assigned.
- Do you have easements the Association maintains?…such as a path to woods or stream?
- What are the boundaries for your landscaper?
- Does the HOA clean the gutters of townhomes — or are owners responsible for that?
Those answers and much more are usually in there! Be aware there are also local and federal laws and ordinances you should know to ensure that you are compliant while conducting the business of your Association.
Reading up will make you a more knowledgeable board member and will help you quickly resolve many of the issues that lie ahead.
Open your mind to others’ views and be aware of your personal agenda. Your association is comprised of other members and you are charged with making decisions and spending funds on their behalf.
- You will undoubtedly be tasked with something that goes against your personal preference, but is best for the community as a whole.
- Outstanding Board members are able to recognize when their personal preferences may take sway over group needs — when this occurs, they adjust their frame of thought accordingly.
Always be prepared! You are not just a body in a seat. You have the authority to make decisions both large and small. Your manager most likely prepares information for your review prior to the Board meeting. Please read it!
- Reviewing agendas, financials, and other pertinent information allows you to ask questions before the meeting and come informed ready to make decisions. The Board meeting is the place where business occurs.
- Research happens in preparation for the decisions prior to the meeting which allows for conversation to be constructive and productive.
- When Boards are prepared, meetings flow well and action items get checked off the list which will make you one prepared, outstanding Board member.
Record the actions of your meeting appropriately. It’s said time and time again that meeting minutes are not called “meeting hours” for a reason. Record decisions of the Board, but leave the discussion and drama in the room — and off the paper.
Don’t forget to show up to the Board Meeting. When someone prepares for a meeting with the expectation quorum will be met and business will occur and members of the Board don’t communicate scheduling conflicts beforehand, it reflects a lack of commitment to the Board or to the Association and the owners that live in your community.
- Not showing up for a Board meeting can cause distrust between board members.
- Absenteeism can also delay very important, time-sensitive decisions. Outstanding Board members are on time, prepared and reliable!
Serpico Landscaping’s teams work with property managers, HOA board members, realtors, and landscape design committees for association boards throughout the SF Bay Area, to name a few! We value our commercial landscaping relationships with all these entities — and we encourage you to participate in these 5 outstanding ways above when being an HOA Board member!