The significant role of a board member revolves a lot around being sure that your residents are living happily, comfortably, and safely at all times. They depend on you for many things, whether that be a maintenance check, setting fair guidelines, as well as your guidance and decision-making. In this decision-making, you make them feel secure regarding financial stability,  building a community lifestyle and keeping your building's hygiene in tip-top condition.
It is indeed overwhelming at times, but to avoid obtaining this feeling, having the proper plan to accomplish your goals is what you need to ensure you are meeting resident expectations. This article provides you with top tips that both new board members and experienced ones can benefit from using.  

1. The community comes first.

Think about why you wanted to become a board member in the first place. It was more than likely because you felt you were the right person to better your community. As a board member, your decisions directly affect all residents and should always be made in good faith. This means putting aside any of your interests when making decisions. Putting your community's interests first will ensure you build good relationships and credibility among all of your residents. 

2. Your condo board is your partner.

When you have a condo board in your corner, it makes all the difference. While you create the rules in your community, they will be there to help enforce any of them as the rest of the board voted on them, especially a property manager. Making the most of this relationship will help create mutual success. This holds even if you had held a property manager position before. If you are now a board member, instead, you should let the property manager handle their duties themselves. Help them in any way you can, but focus on your responsibilities as well. 

3. Keep it neighborly.

Realistically, not all board member meetings will be smooth sailing as much as you want them to be. They may become a bit contentious depending on the topic, but understand there is nothing wrong with that. Indeed, it's essential to keep in mind that your colleagues are also your neighbors. They should be treated respectfully and with dignity, and debates should be viewed as a healthy dialogue instead. Sharing multiple viewpoints will go a long way towards building a positive environment for board activities and the community.

4. Keep learning and improving.

Never stop learning! The more knowledgeable you are about the many rules and regulations needed to help govern your community, the better. There are many outlets where you can learn new ideas. This includes seminars, books, industry articles and networking activities designed to help you become a better board member. Of course, you do not need to be involved in all of these, but pick and choose the avenues you feel you would enjoy learning the most from. You can also base your decision on how you learn best. Further, learning in-person leads to networking. Networking is especially important when you are talking with other condominium association board members and property managers. 

5. Be responsible.

Different designations and roles can be given to board members, all of which are important to a community's governing. This can include administrative work, accounting, event planning, and so on. Despite whatever role you get, you should own it and ensure that you make the most of it. This helps motivate other board members, especially if you are in a higher position of power. For example, if you are leading a discussion, be sure to present the agenda to the board a few weeks ahead of time so the other board members can be better prepared before the meeting begins. This leads to a more productive board member meeting.  

6. Do not be a procrastinator.

One of your top priorities as a board member should be to listen to all resident concerns. This is more difficult than it sounds, as there can be many to handle. However, do not let those resident complaints pile up. Once you become extremely slow to respond, this will only upset them and create less trust in your relationship. If you feel you cannot provide an adequate answer at the time, this is still not an excuse to ignore a resident's request or concern completely. Address them with respect, acknowledge what they ask or tell you, and let them know you will look into the issue. You don't need to provide an exact timeline, but be realistic and truthful.  

7. Consider a property manager. 

Whether you are new to the world of being a board member or have years of experience under your belt, being a board member will always be a challenging job. 
Quality condominium property management can make a big difference for you. It puts a seasoned professional in your corner, working shoulder to shoulder with you for the good of your community. It's wise to research the top Illinois property management companies before making your decision. And if you have already engaged with a firm, ask yourself if they are doing everything you expect of them – or if it's time to look elsewhere.

8. Transparency rules.

The board should always keep the community in the loop unless, of course, it is about a sensitive or private matter. This means keeping residents updated on board activities and inviting residents to meetings when appropriate. This transparency creates and fosters a bond between the board and the community. There should certainly be no secrets kept among board members or residents, which could cause a significant cause of concern. Further, there should be no conflicts of interest at any time. Trust is essential to a properly functioning board, and it is up to you to set a good example.  
There is no greater privilege than serving your community. By following these tips, you will do your job as a board member in exemplary fashion because your residents come first. For more advice or to inquire about our residential property management services in Illinois, contact FirstService Residential today.
Friday October 30, 2020