Do You Know Who's Who in Your Community Association?
You may be a member of a community association but not be familiar with all of the positions and responsibilities of each board member. Maybe you haven't ever thought about who does what and who is responsible for different things within your community association board, but each member has a distinct role. If you want to compete for a position on your HOA or condo board, you need to know about the responsibilities of HOA board members. Here are four of the most common board positions, along with their responsibilities and the qualities needed to do their jobs.
As the leader of the HOA, the president has the responsibility of presiding over meetings and keeping order. The president also appoints staff members and makes sure regulations are fair. That's why they need to have good communication skills and should feel at ease in front of people. What's more, a good president should be able to enforce rules and not show partiality. HOA presidents should have thick skin, meaning they're able to take criticism. Other qualities include exceptional organizational skills since they're responsible for handling documents and managing meetings.
The main role of the vice president of a board is filling in for the president when he or she is away. Basically, the vice president shares the same duties of the president. When covering for the president, they're responsible for ensuring meetings are conducted in an orderly fashion. Therefore, a vice president should possess the same qualities as those needed from a board president. Additionally, a vice president serves as a valuable information source, regarding association regulations, bylaws and documents.
Just as any secretary, an HOA secretary records minutes at meetings and makes them accessible to members. They review and update documents, besides keeps them safely stored. A board secretary sends out notices to members on meetings, distributes documents and keeps all official records. Another responsibility is making sure the association meets filing deadlines and complies with other document requirements.
Anyone who wants to serve as a secretary should have exceptional organizational skills. Consider that the secretary needs to keep track of both paper and electronic documents. Another quality is being able to meet deadlines. It also helps to be creative, such as in finding ways to get more people to attend meetings. For example, one way to increase attendance is by creating an interesting newsletter.
The treasurer of the board is charge of the board's finances. Besides managing the funds of the association, they're responsible for all its securities and financial records. They take care of billing, collections and fund disbursements. Treasurers also monitor the budget, give reports on the financial status of the association and are in charge of any audits that are required.
Probably the most important trait a treasure must posses is being detail oriented as they're responsible for keeping financial records. Furthermore, a good treasurer should be able to "see the big picture." In other words, they shouldn't be someone who doesn't "see the forest for the trees." This entails being able to recognize long-term goals, along with knowing how to go about accomplishing them.
Although a community manager is not a board position, he or she is responsible for the management and support of community association (primarily HOAs and Condo Associations), including, but not limited to: daily operations, regular interactions with and support of Board of Directors, members/homeowners/vendors, neighborhood meeting attendance, budget preparation and overall community business management.
A community manager should be assisting your board of directors and association in virtually every aspect of its operation, whether you have an on-site manager, a portfolio manager or a part-time manager. The degree to which an effective manager can lead and assist you in the nine major areas of association operations are influenced by their experience, workload management contract and professional drive.
Considerations and Warnings
- The vice president of an association needs to be just as well-informed as to the president when it comes to the different codes governing their HOA.
- For a thriving community association it's important that its board is active and engaged, so it is essential that elections are held and members are able to elect those within their community whom they feel best represent their interests.
- Board elections differ by state laws as well as by an association's by-laws. They're typically held during the association's annual meeting.
- Usually, there are three ways homeowners can vote for board members. These include: voting at meetings, mailing in votes prior to an election or letting another member vote on their behalf, which is known as voting by proxy.
Along with knowing the responsibilities of the different offices, it's also important to know if you have what it takes to fill a particular position. To find out more about how we can help you with your association, contact us.
Disclaimer: Please note that while these are the most common positions for a Community Association Board, your community is unique and you may have other positions as well as differences in responsibilities. Master Associations, Develop-Controlled Communities and in communities in Receivership can all experience variations, so it's important to discuss with your community manager which positions are responsible for what in your neighborhood.