Association Board Members

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Being willing to delve into the details of CC&R’s, maintenance contracts and insurance policies – someone needs to understand these.
  3. Know that many complaints are emotionally based, there are actually few emergencies.
  4. Try to avoid quick, emotional decisions. Association members are counting on a business-like approach to problem solving.
  5. Check your ego at the door. Work for the good of your association, not your personal agenda or that of a small faction.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Don’t try to please everyone, you can’t.
  10. 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.

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