When you purchase a home or unit within a deed-restricted community or building, your new residence comes complete with an added bonus – membership in your association.  Whether your association is an HOA, community association or condo association, it’s comprised of fellow homeowners and stakeholders who, like you, want to protect the community’s property values, enhance its quality of life and make it a desirable place to live, both now and in the future.

But an association can’t achieve these goals without homeowner involvement – after all, how can you have a say in what happens in your community if you don’t participate? 

“Every homeowner has the opportunity to have their voice heard in their community, and when you volunteer your time to serve on a committee or as a board member, your voice can lead to action – and that can turn your community into the place you and your neighbors want to continue to invest in,” says Elyssa Rammos, a community manager at FirstService Residential in Nevada.

Many homeowners agree, and in fact, communities with active and involved homeowners typically have robust associations and better living experiences for residents. But other communities have little or no homeowner participation, which is sometimes caused by apathy or lack of interest, but not always. In some cases, homeowners would like to be involved, but simply don’t know how.  We can help.

Below are three effective ways to become more active in your association, each requiring a varying level of time and commitment.  Any of these choices would be a great way to make an impact, so read on to find the right option for you.

1. Attend the Annual Meeting.

The easiest way to participate in your association is to attend the annual meeting. You’ll learn about association business and activities from Board members and association officers, and if your property is professionally managed, you’ll hear from the property management or community association management team as well.  In addition, the annual meeting usually coincides with Board elections and voting – an important way to make your voice heard and help make decisions that shape your community’s future.  And as an added bonus, by attending the annual meeting, you’ll also have a chance to meet your neighbors and become more connected.  If you’re not sure when your annual meeting is scheduled to take place, check your association documents – the time and location will be stated in the by-laws, and you’ll also receive several advance notifications according to schedule.  To learn more about annual meetings, click here.

2. Join a committee.

Want to become even more involved in your association?  Join a committee. Committee members are usually appointed by the Board and play a key role in advising Board members and providing recommendations on important issues concerning their building or community.  There are usually several types of committees to choose from, including social, landscaping, maintenance and repairs, communication and more – a great way to not only help your association, but also to work closely with other homeowners or stakeholders who share the same skills, background and/or interest.  In addition, serving on a committee can be an excellent springboard for becoming a future Board member (more on that in a moment).  Click here to learn more about becoming an effective committee member. 

3. Become a Board member.

Want to make the biggest impact on your association?  Become part of its leadership team. When you volunteer to serve as a Board member, you are tasked with making decisions and taking actions for the greater good of the community, such as ensuring proper maintenance of its common areas and enhancing its quality of life.  But choosing to stand for election to the Board is not a decision to be made lightly – it requires a serious commitment of time, responsibility and dedication.  In addition, as a Board member, you will have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the association and its members. For an overview of the five key Board officer roles, click here

Becoming involved in your association is the best way for you and your fellow members to understand, participate and shape the future of your building and community – and that benefits everyone. For more information about association management and enhancing residents’ quality of life, contact FirstService Residential.
Tuesday March 29, 2016