What makes a good HOA board member?
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
If you’re reading this article, chances are you are already a part of a homeowners’ community and want to become the community association’s board member. Many people want to be a part of an HOA board to be able to improve their own lives and the lives of other residents in the community.
HOA board members are people just like you, who come from all walks of life. They have different backgrounds, experiences, and perceptions, which is what makes them all work so well together to bring about the improvement that the community is looking for. If you are interested in joining your HOA's board, read on to know what it takes to be a great HOA member.
What makes a good HOA board member?
Board members mostly look after the betterment of the residents and homeowners in the community. They work hard so that others in the community don't have to. It takes a certain amount of selflessness to look past the personal rewards and towards the betterment of your community. And that also includes being flexible enough to accept change even if it is a better way of doing things.
It’s natural that when you are working with people and for people, you know how to deal with them. You are not going to be of much use if you don’t know how to listen to other people’s problems and get tongue-tied when trying to speak. A good member of the BOD knows how to enforce the governing documents, hire the service of a management company, be persuasive, and stay optimistic so that the community feels at ease when talking to them.
No one is an expert in everything that is required in an HOA. Even if you want to do things yourself, you should know that there are things that others will be able to do better than you, and you should have the humility to accept it - again, for the good of others. You should be able to ask other members for help or call in a professional when required.
When working with others, there is a certain amount of thick skin that is required to be able to let things go and not take them to heart. While it’s true that two heads are better than one, disagreements would inevitably arise when it’s a handful of people working together. A competent board member would disagree, and will not let bias, pettiness, or the desire for revenge, take over sound reasoning.
You can’t let biases take over your decision-making, and that means not doing the things yourself that other community members are not allowed to do - even when no one’s around to see it. This conscientiousness will become an example for the rest of the board members and people of the community.
Do board members of HOA get paid?
Board members are volunteers, which means they don’t get paid. The board members have many responsibilities to perform. You should join the board only if you are confident that you have enough time to undertake the duties. It requires commitment, professionalism, time management, and the ability to take on challenges, without any compensation.
While HOA board members don’t get paid, HOA managers get compensated for their job. The board members hire the manager and delegate most of the day to day tasks to them. HOA managers specialize in managing planned communities. They perform many duties and get compensated for it.
Role of HOA board member
A Homeowners Association (HOA) is an organization in a condo or planned residential community that makes rules for the residents and enforces them for the betterment of the community. Anyone who lives in an HOA community has to pay for the administrative costs that are incurred in maintaining the community’s common areas, such as parks, roads, pools, and gyms. The community association gets a board of directors, while all residents automatically become members of the association when they start living in the community.
Even though all members have a different story to tell in terms of background and experiences, you’ll find that they all have some qualities in common that make them good board members of their respective HOAs. Individuals on the board are responsible for:
Overall association management
Making policies and rules
Delegating tasks to other people
Hiring a manager or management company
Enforcing the association’s bylaws and governing documents
Getting property management services
Looking after taxes and assessments
Taking disciplinary actions
These members make sure the community’s matters are run according to the relevant state and federal laws.
How many board members should your HOA have?
The number of BOD is different for different HOAs. Most HOAs have a minimum of three and a maximum of nine members. However, the association’s bylaws will state the exact number of board members.
Being on the HOA board, you may assume the role of a president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer. Or you may become just a member without any designation. The homeowners elect the board, after which the board members elect members to the official positions from among themselves.
Are you ready?
If you’ve ticked all the boxes for the above characteristics - congratulations! You’d be a great asset to the HOA and homeowners. But there are certain Florida HOA board member requirements that you must meet to be part of your association's board. Consider taking HOA board certification classes to meet those requirements.