First of all, congratulations! Being a newly elected board member is an exciting and important position. It is also a big commitment to your community, so it’s important to make sure you are well informed!
Settle in and Do Some Reading
Hopefully the first thing you got from your board is an orientation packet. This should include all the governing documents. These include HOA rules and regulations, CC&Rs, articles of incorporation, and bylaws. Take the time to read over these and familiarize yourself with them as much as possible. Yes, it’s dense reading. No one will expect you to memorize any of it! It’s just good to have read it all. You’ll be surprised to find how much you will recall when relevant subjects arise.
As you’re reading, take some notes on any questions or concerns you have. If you’re a first-time board member you might come across some things that are new to you. Asking questions is a great way for boards to address things that might not have come up before. Chances are you won’t be the only one to want some clarification, and these can be very productive discussions.
Mentors and Seminars
Some boards will have a mentoring program in place already. If that’s not the case for you, reach out to a long-standing board member and ask to buy them a cup of coffee! It doesn’t necessarily need to be a formal thing. It’s just good to have the benefit of their experience. Having a board member mentor to go to can help you feel less overwhelmed or underprepared.
You can also look for educational seminars. I do presentations for board member certification and continuing education fairly regularly. I would love to have you in one of my classes! If you can’t make it to one of mine, don’t worry, there are others available. If you want to become certified, look for that type of class first. Otherwise, seek out seminars on topics you have the least experience with. This gives you the best knowledge base when paired with your existing experience.
Reach out to me if you would like to see my schedule of presentations.