Five Essential People on Your Association Board
Roles on an HOA Board
To be successful, a homeowners association (HOA) needs a committed board of directors acting in the best interest of their residents. For example, having an HOA board of directors understands their roles and responsibilities and fiduciary duty to their community.
The volunteer HOA board must approach the operation of their condominium, townhome or community association as a business. It is their responsibility to protect the investment and interests of all the owners.
The primary role of an HOA board is maintaining the common property, managing the finances and creating policies that promote harmony between people living in a multi-family environment – perhaps for the first time.
The board must meet regularly to set goals, interpret and administer the bylaws and make decisions for their community. Effective condo and HOA boards are those whose members respect each other and work together with a spirit of cooperation.
It is essential for board members to understand their roles. While there can be several areas of responsibility, such as parking control, architectural considerations, and common area maintenance, every community needs to fill five essential roles on an association board.
In addition to attending meetings and voting on community decisions, board members may need to monitor parking or pets policies, prepare newsletters or supervise maintenance or landscaping contractors. A clear understanding of the roles will contribute to well-functioning leadership for the association.
Think you might be interested in running for your community board? Check out the five key roles to find out which is the best fit for you.
Role of the Board President:
The HOA board president leads the board and is responsible for overseeing many of the procedural duties for their community. They set the agenda for the Annual General Meeting and board meetings, maintaining order and keeping discussions on track. The president is responsible for the daily execution of the association's business and is the primary board contact for the community association manager.
Some essential qualities to look for in a board president are fairness, openness, leadership skills and knowing when to delegate. While the board president has much responsibility, they must act as part of a team and collaborate with their peers. Mediation is another excellent skill if things get heated or can't reach an agreement.
They keep communication open with their property manager and help see their community's vision come to life.
Role of the Vice President:
As expected, the vice president takes over the president's duties in their absence and helps with projects where needed.
If the board president has a lot on the go, the vice president will often take on additional responsibilities. While the president will serve as the primary liaison with the property manager, the vice president must fill in and keep the communication going.
Does your HOA have committees? The vice president is often the one that oversees these committees. Getting residents involved in volunteering is a great way to foster a sense of community - and get things done! Read more about building your community's volunteer pool.
Role of the Board Secretary:
Meeting minutes for a condo, townhome or homeowners association are public documents. One of the secretary's main jobs is to accurately record the proceedings of board meetings in minutes and distribute them to the board for approval. Once approved, the management company makes them available to those who need them for real estate transactions, mortgages, insurance and legal purposes.
With busy schedules and competing priorities, somebody needs to send meeting notices and draft meeting agendas. While a property manager helps with this task, a board secretary is involved, too.
If you're responsible, organized, and a great listener - the board secretary might be the right fit for you.
Role of the Board Treasurer:
The financial health of a condominium association is vital to all owners. No one wants to see the monthly contributions increase due to mismanagement of the funds. The treasurer is the board member most involved with preparing the budget draft. The budget is then reviewed, adjusted and approved by the board.
The treasurer also closely monitors the monthly financial reports provided by the management company and ensures the expenditures align with the budgeted amounts. Realistic budgets and fiscal management are imperative. A professional property management company will have experts available to answer financial questions and help manage the day-to-day functions of the association.
Do you have excellent attention to detail and an interest in all things financial? The treasurer role might be the right fit.
Role of the Property/Association Manager:
Contracting a reputable, experienced property management company lightens the board's workload immensely. The property manager is the board's link to the management company.
The property manager attends board meetings and is a resource to the board as they set policies, determine maintenance requirements and manage the common property in compliance with the bylaws. The manager implements the board's decisions, supported by an administrative team that includes an administrator, accountant and full-service office.
Elected board members will have a variety of skill sets and experience. A partnership with a strong management company will provide the guidance and knowledge to support the board as they fulfill their duties.
Volunteering to serve on an HOA board of directors can be an enriching experience. Guided by their desire to do what's best for their community, board members can make a lasting impact and build a legacy for themselves.
For more information on how the right property management company can bring out the best of your board, contact FirstService Residential North America's leading property management company.