Have you ever considered joining a committee in your homeowners’ or condo association? If so, you may want to delve more deeply into the possibilities – after all, committee involvement can be a valuable experience in many ways. First and foremost, joining a committee is a great way to help your association while learning more about the issues affecting your community. Serving on a committee also allows you to work collaboratively with other residents and truly get to know your neighbors.

Before we delve into what makes an effective committee member, let’s discuss what a committee is and what committee members do. Community association committees are typically formed in an effort to help the Board of Directors address specific community issues and tasks. As a general rule, committees assess problems, compile information and recommend solutions to the Board. Depending on the community, it may have committees that deal with issues like maintenance and repairs, buildings and landscaping, violations and covenant enforcement, social programming, communications, insurance, finance and more.

In addition to providing valuable assistance to the Board, committees provide residents the opportunity to become greater stakeholders in the association and to make use of their individual knowledge and experience. This results in a stronger, more involved community.  As a bonus, they provide committee members with valuable experience in association governance, making committees a hands-on training ground for new community leaders.

If you’re concerned you may not have what it takes to serve on a committee, consider this: there are no specific requirements for committee involvement. All it takes is a commitment of time and effort, as well as the ability to work with others to meet common goals.

Residents with specific skill sets and experience, such as finance or management, can be very helpful and effective members of an association committee, as can be homeowners with interest in a specific issue affecting the community. Effective committee members also seem to share a common trait – residents who participate on a committee are very often driven by community spirit. They feel a sense of ownership and take great pride in helping to make a difference in their community. That’s why you very often find that committee involvement is an excellent springboard for joining the Board.  

Another strong candidate to join a committee is a resident who recently moved into the building or community. New residents can bring an outsider’s perspective and offer fresh ideas. Plus, serving on a committee is a great way to make friends in your new neighborhood.

But along with interest, passion and experience, it’s also important to consider whether you have the time to devote to serving on a committee. Equally important is whether you have the ability to remain objective in your new role. Ask yourself this – do you have the ability to put aside your own interests and needs in order to make a decision that benefits the greater good of the community? If so, then committee involvement may be just the thing for you.

Serving on a committee can be a win-win for both you and your association. It is a great way to make a difference in your community, and can truly be a rewarding experience for you. If you’re still unsure if you’re the right fit for committee involvement, remember that some of the most productive and effective committee members once wondered the same thing. To learn more about association committees and how their members and activities can enhance the lifestyle of your building or community, visit FirstService Residential.

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Monday November 07, 2016