“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford
Aside from using the resources your Association management professionals give to you, the most important trait for a board member is to be open and transparent to fellow unit owners. A very common complaint from Homeowners is a lack of communication from the board. In general, the best thing boards can do is to communicate as much as they can via email, or a well-crafted community association website. The more transparency owners feel about their community management, the better
- RULES AND GOVERNING DOCUMENT INTERPRETATIONS
“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to people who do” ~ Isaac Asimov
A board of directors is like a mini-version of a town government. There’s so much going on behind the scenes, and sometimes good decisions tend to suffer when boards don’t take the recorded and filed Governing Documents seriously. Directors cannot change the wording without presenting proposed changes to the membership. Calling one recorded section null and altering documents without a vote sets you up for disaster. See ACRI’s post on “What to do with a Board President Dictator.”
“A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.” ~ Milton Berle
As with any institution, politics do play a role in HOA and condo boards, and while unnecessary posturing is usually a big mistake, smart boards utilize a professional management service provider like Acri Community Realty, to help to make sure unit owners don’t have aggressive knee-jerk reactions to the regrettable news. Management should oversee and administrate problems and concerns of unit owners. Directors meetings should be held, on a regular basis in a formal setting. Records and minutes should be recorded and freely available to all. See this article that explains the difference on how Associations Govern.
- FORGET PERSONAL AGENDAS
“The best boards certainly have the ability to work together and listen. Keep in mind it is your neighbor that you are dealing with.” ~ Rinaldo Acri
One of their important roles is to bring everyone together. Board members have to be able to take an unpleasant assessment, and explain to everyone that’s necessary and the association needs it. Moreover, they have to leave their personal agendas at home. The best boards get along. Sometimes good decisions tend to suffer when boards and member discussions go badly.
- SHARE ALL INFORMATION
“Sharing is Caring” ~ Barney the Dinosaur
A good rule of thumb is to simply share as much information as possible with the owners. An open board is perceived as an honest and fair board, especially when it comes to financials and contracts. The more you can do to inform unit owners the better. If you’re providing the information, and they know it’s accessible, they have a sense of security. When board members don’t share the information, angry unit owners will use it against board members. The more you stonewall unit owners when they ask questions or ask for information, people will assume that you’re hiding something. It’s a good policy to provide more information than the owners expect. Providing a well crafted community Association Website helps as well.
Consider these tried and true How to be a Rock Star Board Member Facts
- As with any representative form of governance, people are relying on you to make sound and reasonable decisions on their behalf.
- The members are also allowing you to spend their hard-earned dollars so understanding what it means to be a good financial steward is a critical component of serving on your board.
- You cannot fulfill your fiduciary obligations if you do not show up, are not adequately prepared and take recorded documents lightly.
- Remember, even if though the role is a volunteer position, you might learn a hard lesson to the contrary in court.
By following and implementing this easy 5 Point guide on how to become a Rock Star Board Member you will be sure to make a stellar impact in your community. Your Association board will have a greater chance of success and longevity without any serious problems. And most importantly your neighbors will love you for it. Learn more about begin a board member see Acri’s post about “Having the Right Stuff“
“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” ~ Mark Twain