Did you know 53% of homeowners living in the United States reside in a Community Association? Yet many association Boards have one or more vacant seats, leaving the remaining directors searching for homeowners to appoint to the open positions. Finding the right person to fill a board vacancy can be challenging, especially as media and advertising tend to skew people’s perceptions of association boards. Homeowners often cite the thankless hours, potential liability, and overall negative image of boards as reasons for not volunteering. And the importance of finding the right person is a challenge for any organization, let alone an unpaid volunteer position. However, discovering a great homeowner to serve on the Board in your community is possible. So, what can an association do to improve its chances of finding suitable candidates? Here are six tips to assist in the effort.
Start with an Honest Evaluation of the Board
How well does the board function? What type of director is desirable for each position? Are the meetings efficient and respectful of others’ time? Identify the type of individual that will best help the association and create a suitable environment that will be appealing. Individuals with varying backgrounds benefit the association and can apply industry experience and best practices to the board’s efforts.
Identifying the Right Type of Person for Each Position
Is the Treasurer someone who understands financial reports? Is the Secretary a person who appreciates organization? It is perfectly acceptable for an association to adopt a set of preferable characteristics for each role on the board. Not only does this establish a well-rounded board, but it allows an owner to decide if the position is right for him or her.
Associations receive feedback from homeowners on a multitude of topics throughout the year, whether in meetings or through social media. Reviewing these homeowner comments and suggestions is a perfect place to start looking when searching for a homeowner to volunteer. If a homeowner is noticed taking the time to provide feedback on HOA items, this may be a good indicator of potential passion and interest in the community. A community page provides an immense amount of transparency in seeing fellow homeowners’ communication styles, objectives, and availability.
New homeowners are always a place to spot a potential Board member. Fresh eyes in any organization are helpful and the same goes for a community association. New homeowners bring new energy, perspective, and potential experience that can be a huge asset to the community. Look for diversity in the community; individuals who have different and even unique professional backgrounds are very helpful to the association.
Board members can find their new homeowners list by viewing the Closing Report in the monthly management report. Also, a Closing Report for your community can be found within the CommunityPro Board Portal.
Committee members have a better understanding of how the association works and have already demonstrated a desire to serve the community. This is a great platform for homeowners to grow into a Board role.
Look for Ways to Improve the Board
One of the most common expressions heard among boards is, “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” As we move through advances in technology and changes in work habits, the way business is done continually evolves. Boards that readily adopt new practices and keep pace with changing homeowner expectations will attract the right people to help govern the association.
There are great board candidates out there in every community. Those association boards that can make being a part of the board convenient, exciting, and rewarding will find homeowners raising their hands when it comes time for nominating candidates.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. No recipient of this content should act or refrain from acting without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice. Statistics provided by HOA- USA.com.
Kristan Ward CMCA, AMS
Division Manager, Nashville, TN
Sentry Management , Inc.
This article comes courtesy of Kristan Ward.. Kristan is a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) and the Association Management Specialist (AMS).
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