First off, congratulations on being elected to your HOA’s board. This is not a small feat and one that deserves to be celebrated. After the initial excitement, you are probably wondering what happens next?
This may be your first time in this kind of position, and you may have a plethora of questions surrounding it all and what your position really means. There will be challenges as you get to know everything and a bit of a learning curve. Thankfully, we have a few tips to help you navigate this new territory with confidence and lay a foundation.
Know your role.
Starting at the basics is the only way to go. The sooner you understand your role and how it works, the sooner you will be much more efficient and effective in it. It will benefit the whole HOA as well. At the most fundamental level, your job includes:
- Protecting the best interests of the homeowners in your community
- Helping preserve the value of the neighborhood and the homes
- Improving the overall quality of life for the residents.
This is the goal of every board member, regardless of their specific position.
Do some homework.
Now that you are a part of the board, you need to do the necessary work of a board member. What is that? Reviewing and becoming familiar with the governing documents of the association. These include but are not limited to:
1. the Declaration or Master Deed, which includes the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (or CC&R’s) and describes the responsibilities of your association.
2. the Articles of Incorporation, which acts as the legal document that seals the corporation as an entity. In it, you will also see information like the number of directors, the functions of the board, and more.
3. the bylaws, which are provisions that set forth rules for how your HOA can and will operate (things like meetings, election procedures, and board duties can be found here).
4. the rules and regulations, which are the set of policies adopted by the board.
Being on the board can indeed be challenging and taxing, but sticking to building a foundation on the basic principles will help you create an open perspective through it all. You will also learn a great deal and quickly if you apply yourself.
It’s important that in everything you do, you never allow your integrity to be compromised. Remember to stay calm in the face of conflict and challenge even if you don’t know everything that is transpiring at the moment, put the community’s needs first, and be thoughtful and deliberate when it comes to what you say and do. Working well with others is an essential part of the job.
These tips should get you started and lay a solid foundation as you transition to your new position. To gain even more knowledge, talk to more experienced board members and as always, feel free to reach out to us for more information.