Being a board member can get overwhelming at times with having to maintain the community’s common areas, manage the HOA’s finances, collect assessments, and more, all while creating and upholding a sense of community. With so many tasks, and only so many people on the board, things may feel like they’re piling up. However, there are ways to minimize the stress and make your list of responsibilities more manageable. Whether you’re a newcomer or veteran board member, there are small changes you can make that will have a big impact.
1. Get Support
Sometimes having only a few board members handle everything isn’t feasible, and that’s okay! The entire weight of the association shouldn’t be on your shoulders alone. Hiring a management company and/or attorney will help ease the burden of HOA administration, operations, and legality. Delegating tasks between board members and appointing committees can help make your board membership easier as well. Sharing responsibilities will allow tasks to get done quicker and more efficiently.
2. Use Technology
Going digital, where possible, can make board life easier. Whether it be offering remote meetings, opting for electronic communication, or allowing for online payment of assessments, embracing technology can help streamline your responsibilities. Having a community website also allows board members and homeowners to access the important information at their own convenience.
3. Keep Organized
Staying organized is important when managing several tasks as a board member. You can use an online project management tool to keep everyone on the same page and update tasks as they’re completed. Create meeting agendas and establish a meeting schedule to keep meetings more efficient. Additionally, keeping association documents consistently maintained and organized, like financial records and meeting minutes, will make future tasks down the line easier and lessen liability. By keeping organized, you can spend less time worrying and more time serving your community.
4. Stay Informed
Understanding your role as a board member and the important documents and laws that surround it is fundamental to your success. Knowing the financial statements, HOA’s governing documents, and legislation that affects your HOA will help you navigate board membership and prevent legal issues.
5. Think Ahead
It’s important to be proactive in tackling your responsibilities so you can stay on top of things and avoid preventable problems. Start the budget and insurance renewal processes early, contribute to the reserve fund and update the reserve study regularly, and try to anticipate your community’s future needs. You can even look into amending the governing documents for any outdated or restrictive rules, such as quorum, voting methods, and anything else that will help the HOA in the long run.
6. Be Transparent
Effective communication with homeowners, management, vendors, and your fellow board members encourages trusting relationships that will positively affect your role. Also, being transparent with homeowners and getting their feedback on community issues will help create a sense of community. Using various communication methods, such as newsletters, eblasts, or social media, and communicating consistently will benefit the entire association.
7. Find Balance
One of the most important hacks for board membership is to practice good time management. Prioritize the pressing board tasks first and work on those during a designated time each week. Also, having a healthy board-life balance is crucial to your success so that you don’t burn out or unintentionally breach your fiduciary duties. After all, you’re a volunteer and you have your own personal and professional responsibilities, so making sure you’re taking care of you is a life hack you don’t want to skip.