Great Directors Share Some Tips
Being an association board member is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly and is clearly not for everyone. Board members must accept that they have a fiduciary responsibility. This means that members of the community association have entrusted in you the responsibility to look out for their interests. As a board member you must recognize that a community association is a small enterprise and your oversight is the key to ensuring its successful operation. Here are some tips we’ve gleaned from experienced directors running quality community associations.
- You need to be a strong team player, you must respect that those you serve with have different backgrounds and life experiences. A board that has it together works as a team. This means that decisions are made as a board, not a couple of board members off to the side making deals with a friend who is a contractor.
- Being willing to delve into the details of CC&R’s, maintenance contracts and insurance policies – someone needs to understand these.
- Know that many complaints are emotionally based, there are actually few emergencies.
- Try to avoid quick, emotional decisions. Association members are counting on a business-like approach to problem solving.
- Check your ego at the door. Work for the good of your association, not your personal agenda or that of a small faction.
- If your association has a property manager that is where individual homeowner problems should be directed. Individual board members should not be dealing with individual homeowner problems.
- As a board member you sometimes will need a “thick skin” as there may be criticism directed your way. Know that members/neighbors who consistently display inappropriate criticism cannot and should not be board members.
- Unless you are a real estate attorney, don’t attempt to play lawyer. Seek the counsel of a knowledgeable real estate lawyer for legal matters.
- Don’t try to please everyone, you can’t.
- The master insurance policy is often one of the largest expenditures an association has. The coverage within that policy and how it complies with what’s outlined in your CC&R’s matters greatly. Just as you would prefer a real estate specific attorney to advise the homeowner association on legal matters, you should insist on an insurance professional who specializes in community association master policies to work with you.