What Every New HOA Board Member Needs to Know
Have you recently been elected to your HOA Board for the first time? Are you feeling a little in over your head? The stress and anxiety of learning on the job is a very common feeling for new HOA Board members, as you are now representing and making the decisions for your neighbors and close friends. Sometimes these decisions can be unpopular, and they can lead to unfortunate conflicts. Any advice can help, and having a roadmap that can help guide you through these issues is incredibly important. Let’s take a look at some of the principles you should consider as a new HOA board member.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you are first and foremost a representative of the community, and your primary job is to channel the interests and concerns of your neighbors into the decision-making process. This comes with certain responsibilities. As a representative, you are expected to put in the time and effort to be fully informed on the issues and decisions facing the HOA board, and the most important thing to consider when acting on that information is to not act in your own self-interest, but instead act in the interest of the people that you are representing in the community.
Reiterating the importance of being well-informed on the state of your HOA cannot be done enough. This includes your HOA’s current financial situation. The best way to be prepared to tackle the year’s problems is to carefully review the Association’s Reserve Study in order to have a full understanding of the problems plaguing the community, as well what problems are able to be taken care of before they become major impediments. Indeed, being an HOA board member is often a thankless job, as the sign of an effectual board member is being able to take care of problems before they even begin to affect the community.
Finally, engage with your community members as much as possible. It’s easy to become insulated into the world of the HOA board, and it’s easy to fall victim to groupthink when you only bounce ideas off of your fellow HOA board members. It’s important to constantly interact with your community in order to more effectively understand their positions and perspectives on the issues you are trying to solve. You may be surprised at how valuable the insights can be from your neighbors, and it can help bring new life and new breakthroughs to how you manage your community.
The last, and possibly most important thing to keep in mind is to not stress too much about your lack of experience. Everybody has to learn on the job when they start, and your neighbors chose you for the board because they trust your judgment. As long you work hard to stay informed on the issues and keep their best interests in mind, then you can certainly look forward to a successful and fulfilling tenure as an HOA board member.