Being an HOA board member seldom has an official set of qualifications, however, there are certain characteristics that indicate whether a person is a good candidate for the job.
Board members are often elected based on familiarity and trust, but these are not the only traits that residents should consider as they elect board members.
Below are a few attributes for board members that we recommend.
Some board members might not have a business management or financial planning degree or background—two credentials that directly affect the management of the community.
When a neighborhood has a community association management company perform the tasks, their expertise and knowledge compensate for any potential lack of experience from a board member. However, if an association does not use a community management services provider, it should elect board members who have the training to handle the community’s administrative and financial needs in a professional manner.
Board members should ideally have some management experience, as it helps them create a business infrastructure for the neighborhood and perform administrative tasks such as creating covenant policies and updating articles of incorporation.
Even if these tasks are outsourced to a community management services provider, board members still need management skills that complement interpersonal communication, such as active listening skills and the ability to explain complex issues in a way residents can understand.
Ethical decision-making is the most important trait a board member can have. It affects the fairness of the relationship between residents and the community association management company.
For residents, it is important to feel they can trust the representative(s) of the board. Some easy ways for residents to feel more comfortable with their representatives include: performing a thorough background check, requesting professional references, and asking them about the candidate’s character.
Electing someone who already has a reputation for being ethical in the community is a smart idea.
Board members need enough time to address community issues. Because board positions are typically voluntary, finding candidates who could serve the community, in addition to holding down a job, could be difficult.
The amount of time board members dedicate to the community depends on the complexity of its needs and whether a community association management company assists with management.
The key is to determine how much time each member might need to dedicate weekly and then identify candidates who have enough time for the job.
Board members need to be outgoing and professional with the residents they represent. Regardless of whether a community management services provider helps oversee the neighborhood, board members still spend a fair amount of time listening to residents’ concerns and speaking to the community at neighborhood meetings.
If a candidate shows a lack of enthusiasm for discussing community issues with residents, he or she might not be the best fit for the job.
A community association board member seldom has a specific job description, however, residents should still view the election of board members as a kind of hiring process. They should evaluate candidates based on whether they have the right combination of education, experience, ethics, dedication, and personality to perform the job.
In conclusion, the qualifications for community association board members play a crucial role in ensuring the success and effectiveness of these governing bodies.