5 Reasons Board Members Go Back to School
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You’ve just been elected to your HOA or condo association board. Congratulations! Now you can celebrate...with some time back in the classroom.
Continuing board member education is vital to becoming an effective board member. Having a thorough understanding of your roles and responsibilities makes your job easier helps maintain harmony among your board members and in your community. In some states, including Florida, the state requires board members to take an education program within a certain amount of time of being elected.
Ready to go back to class? Check out the top 5 reasons you need to.
1. You’ve got a big responsibility.
Board membership is bigger than your position. You have a fiduciary obligation to what could be a multi-million dollar organization. You need to make decisions based on a solid foundation of knowledge about your community and the industry. Yes, your character will serve you well, but you’ll need to complement that with a complete understanding of the inner workings of what makes any association thrive.
2. You’ve never done a job like this before.You’ve probably got a wealth of professional and personal experience that qualifies you for your role as a board member. (That’s probably what got you elected in the first place.) But any experienced board member will tell you that this is a job like no other and has challenges that just don't exist anywhere else. You need to be familiar with the ever-evolving, extensive list of regulations, rules and laws that govern associations in your state or province (which means even experienced board members should hit the books every once in awhile to stay current). You also need to thoroughly understand your community's own bylaws and policies so you can enforce them for the good of everyone in the community.
3. It’s right for your community.This is the whole reason you became a board member, right? Doing good for your community is something you care about. And learning more about your role as a board member will give you the tools to do just that. So, in a way, participating in educational opportunities isn’t just good for you, it’s good for your entire community.
4. You’ll meet the right people.A good property management company will offer board member classes that do more than educate. They’ll also serve as opportunities to meet important professionals you’ll need to interact with on a regular basis. Many of these individuals – attorneys, insurance professionals, contractors, accountants, landscapers – will come from professions and services that you’ll be interacting with on a regular basis. Talking to these individuals can give you the chance to learn more about their professions and how they affect your community.
5. It’s usually free.With the support of an experienced property manager, you should be able to find free classes and seminars. Many of these are offered in the evenings, so they’re easier to fit into your schedule. For the most part, they’re held at locations that are pretty convenient, too. When you think about it, it makes sense – the best property management companies want to partner with you for your success, so they’ll dedicate themselves to helping you find the right kind of educational opportunities.
Of course, you want to do your best serving your community. Like most jobs, the right education is key to being a successful board member and helping your community thrive.
Effective communication is a big part of creating a sense of community in your association. To learn more about how to achieve it, download Recipe for Success, our guide to improving communication in your association, today!