Homeowners associations originally emerged in the United States in the mid-19th century, but have become increasingly popular since 1964. As of 2012, as many as 63.4 million individuals were members of the 325, 203 homeowners associations located in the U.s. These organizations offer residents a number of benefits, such as shared neighborhood values and opportunities for decreased ownership responsibility. However, they have also introduced many homeowners to a new concern: the nightmare neighborhood HOA board.
While some neighborhoods hire homeowners association property management services to ensure their area remains up to standards, most HOAs are managed by a board of local homeowners. This can often work well if the board members have experience in property management or a related field and are committed to working with their fellow board members towards a common goal. However, in other cases, the community board can quickly devolve into a bad dream. It is therefore becoming increasingly common to hire a property manager from HOA development services to help provide HOA management solutions. Whether you want to hire a professional or recruit a neighbor, however, there are qualities that make some people better board members than others. Read on for some qualities of good HOA board members.
- Hard Work– Not every homeowner in the neighborhood is going to want to comply with the standards the board has set. For this reason, an HOA board member or professional property manager needs to be willing to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to researching various requirements, discussing problems, negotiating with residents, and other tasks. This is often easier for managers from property management services, as they typically don’t have a separate career to fit into their schedule. That isn’t to say that a homeowner won’t be able to meet this requirement, but they will need to be sure that they can make the commitment before joining the board.
- Consistency–HOA board members must be impartial and constant: exceptions can’t be made for friends or adversaries, and regulations and laws always have to be followed. Remember, a consistent and fair application of HOA power actually increases the likelihood that people in the neighborhood will work to ensure their properties are in compliance.
- Teamwork–An HOA is a group organization, not a one man show. Board members need to feel comfortable asking for help with issues, delegating tasks when necessary, sharing information and negotiating with their fellow members, or the board and the neighborhood and it manages will be affected.
- Adaptability– Can this board member adjust to new technology, such as creating an HOA website or using software to better record and analyze data? How do they react to new laws about HOA management? While property managers are more likely to be trained in the use of HOA technology and knowledgeable about new regulations, many homeowners are also able to put in the necessary effort to work with these changes. One thing is certain, however: adversity to change harms, rather than helps, the neighborhood you are trying to manage.
Running an HOA isn’t an easy task. There are a variety of factors to control, from landscaping and fee rates to new construction. Fortunately, working with the best board members for the job can make these processes much easier. The next time you consider adding a member to your HOA board, whether they work for property management services or live down the street, consider the qualities listed above. Can this person help your HOA?