Are you considering serving as the President of the HOA Board for your homeowner or community association? Well, before you picture yourself at the head of the table, transforming your community into the vision of perfection you have in your head, it might be good to take stock of the many jobs you’ll be doing to help you get there.
Make no mistake, serving as Board President is an honor, a privilege, and something that you can take great satisfaction in. So to help you make the most of this unique opportunity, let’s look at the essential responsibilities you’ll need to perform to be at your best.
- Governing documents expert. As President, you’ll be called upon to lead discussions based on a variety of issues facing your community. Since your association is governed by specific documents, you’ll be perceived as an expert on them so you need to know the parameters within which your association can work and be effective. Of course, becoming an expert doesn’t happen overnight, but if you have the time for some diligent study and access to someone who knows your documents well (like a former President or your community association management company), then you’ll be well versed in no time.
- Meeting facilitator. If you’ve ever been in a bad meeting, you know how dull, inefficient and uninspiring it can be. As President, you’ll be tasked with making sure your meetings are productive and efficient – all while giving everyone the opportunity to speak their minds, too. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s an art you can master.
- Volunteer booster. As President, you’re a big part of making people want to volunteer on the Board and its committees. Your energy, leadership and vision can be instrumental in galvanizing support for the objectives that your community needs to achieve.
- Liaison. When you work with a property management company, you’ll be the essential link between that firm and your association. This means you’ll need an in-depth understanding of what your property manager is focused on, especially when it comes to the full scope of his or her responsibilities.
- Leader (above friend). You will, no doubt, find yourself in a position where you need to set aside your role as friend or neighbor and be asked to do what is right for the community and what is required of you as outlined by your association’s governing documents. This can feel unpleasant at times, but, if you explain your position to your friends and neighbors, they’ll most likely understand it is done for the good of the community.
- Collaborator. Remember, this isn’t a dictatorship. And even though it seems like well-intentioned, unilateral action might be the most efficient way to achieve a goal, it usually never works out well. Remember to seek Board input and the proper approvals every step of the way.
- Listener. As a great President, you’ll probably do more listening than speaking. Learning what’s important to your residents and board members will help you give thoughtful, judicious insight into final decisions when it comes to the issues you’re all facing together.
- Student. This is a role where you’ll learn something different every day. You’ll learn about your community, your fellow residents and (a whole lot) about yourself. You’ll even have homework (document reviews, preparation of reports, study of your governing documents).
Great leadership has a huge impact on how a community thrives. Remember that, as President, you’ll actually fulfill many roles to help you and your neighbors achieve your shared vision of a great community.