It takes a lot to build a great community. You need committed residents, a dedicated board of directors, and a clear understanding of everybody’s roles and responsibilities.
At its best, your community association board will offer a complete vision for proper stewardship of the community. But its responsibilities go beyond that. In a practical, hands-on sense, the board is tasked with protecting the interests of the association, maintaining the common areas of the community, and enhancing the living experience for all residents.
To make this happen, goals must be set, governing documents must be followed, and meetings must be conducted. Financial stability is key, as well as a sense of collegiality and cooperation.
Yet the underpinnings of your board will be the people who are part of it. Understanding their roles and responsibilities will help make your board more effective – and your community a more enjoyable place to live. A knowledgeable property management company can help you define these roles and cultivate the qualities of great board members. But to cover the basics, let’s start with the five essential people on your HOA board:
President – The President’s responsibilities include important procedural roles as well as essential leadership functions. For instance, the President may appoint committees if dictated by the bylaws and operates as an authority on the rules and documents governing the association. During meetings, the President maintains order, proposes questions, calls votes, announces outcomes and recognizes those who are about to speak on the floor. The President also calls the meeting to order, announces the agenda and ensures that everyone adheres to it. As you can see, this takes a unique personality: someone who is conversant in the dynamics of effective meetings as well as knowledgeable about many of the specifics of your community.
Vice President – The Vice President shares many of the responsibilities as the President and serves in the leadership capacity when the President is absent. This individual is tasked with helping to maintain order during parliamentary procedures, keeping the flow of business moving efficiently, and acting as a knowledgeable source when it comes to the rules of the association.
Secretary – You can think of this person as the association historian. The Secretary’s role is to record all of the actions of the board so they can be referenced later. This ensures clarity – imagine how often you’ve had a conversation with another party, only to find there were two different interpretations of the outcome after the fact. Now multiply that by every member of your association, and you understand how important good records are. The Secretary’s functions eliminate those “Oh, I thought you meant...” scenarios by keeping accurate minutes during meetings and acting as the custodian of all records. The Secretary will also sign the minutes of all meetings and other important community documents.
Treasurer – The effectiveness of your board is dictated largely by your budget. This makes the Treasurer’s role essential. He or she will be the keeper of financial records, ensuring they are both accurate and thorough. The Treasurer will apprise the board of the association’s financial health through regular reports of income and expenses and will also produce an annual financial report to all members. Look to the Treasurer to submit financial records in the case of an audit, and to authorize any disbursement of funds. The Treasurer is also the primary check signer for community payables.
Manager – As an outside party bound to your association by contract, it’s important that your Manager comes from a reputable property management company. This means that your Manager has the additional resources necessary including the knowledge and expertise to deliver the best service to your community and board. Though the specifics of his or her duties vary by contract, all Managers typically execute the policies dictated by the board and administer all of the services, operations and programs of the association. Your Manager should also be an important source of information and insight. In fact, many boards become more effective through training provided by an experienced Manager.
As with many boards, the individuals elected to their roles will bring strengths and talents all their own. It’s important to allow those strengths to come to the forefront – your Board will benefit from it. Yet understanding the basics of each role will help make sure the essential functions are covered as well.
Still have questions? That’s understandable – no two boards are alike. For more information on how the right property management company can bring the best out of your board, contact FirstService Residential
, North America’s leading property management company.
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