Your HOA is a legal corporation, which means the board must follow federal, Arizona and local laws that govern HOAs, as well as your own bylaws. Understanding the complexities of running your HOA requires continued education as laws change and the specific needs of your association evolve. So how can a volunteer ensure their community is a great place to live? 
The best thing you can do is to sign up for training seminars, classes, conferences and other events offered by industry experts, such as your community management company. Besides providing you with a better understanding of your role, these events allow you to exchange ideas with board members from other HOAs and to meet professionals with specialized expertise, such as attorneys, landscapers, accountants and insurance brokers.
Here we describe some of the educational opportunities a management company may be able to provide to your board. 
Training seminars focus on a specific topic that is of particular interest to board members. Generally about one to two hours long, a typical seminar might cover anything from fiduciary responsibilities, to legal issues, to legislative changes affecting HOAs.
FirstService Residential holds regular seminars in various locations throughout Arizona. Topics have included:
  • Board Member Risk and Liability
  • On-Street Parking
  • Board Training for New Members
  • How to Read Your Financial Statements
  • New Legislation
  • Budgeting and Financial Planning 101
  • Understanding Your Reserve Fund
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Community Harmony
Online classes
A good management company should not only offer in-person seminars but also the convenience of online training for board members who may be too busy to attend classes in person. FirstService Residential’s online classes are available via our e-Learning platform, BoardAdvantage. A popular feature of this platform is the “Board Member Basics” program, a custom curriculum that provides an overview of key board roles, activities and responsibilities.
Conferences and Events
The beauty of attending a conference or other large event is that you can spend one or more days doing nothing but learning about a wide range of HOA-related topics. These are great venues for taking relevant classes, learning from industry professionals, meeting with vendors and discussing issues and concerns with board members from different HOA communities across the state of Arizona.
FirstService Residential Arizona will be hosting its 2017 Conference & Exposition on Friday, November 10th at the Talking Stick Resort & Casino in Scottsdale. The fifth of its kind, this event promises to be bigger than ever, with a variety of break-out sessions, new product and technology demonstrations and of course, vendor booths. Register for the Expo now.
Whether you are a new board member or have been in your role for some time, there is always more that you can learn. Take advantage of all the educational opportunities you can. Your board—and your residents—will thank you.
To learn more about board member education, contact FirstService Residential, Arizona’s leading community management company.
Friday September 08, 2017