Updated: Jan 1
10 Basic Hard and Soft Skills for an HOA BOARD MEMBER
1. COMPUTER SKILLS
In this information age, a Board without any computer might prove very difficult. Many systems are on computers and the ability to utilize computers to automate meeting notifications, updates, and even dues collection or payment is essential to day-to-day operations. If your association does the same, then a working knowledge of how computers and programs work is necessary.
2. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Board members are constantly in communication with each other, the HOA manager, vendors, and members of the community. As such, board members must have good interpersonal skills. Disseminating information through email, newsletters, phone calls, or letters are just some of the tasks involving communication that a board member can expect to participate in.
3. EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND For many associations, board members need to have at least a high school diploma to serve. In some larger associations, though, the requirement is for board members to have a bachelor’s degree.
4. ACCOUNTING/BOOKKEEPING KNOWLEDGE
Boards are responsible to be knowledgeable about planning the annual budget, helping with HOA dues calculations, and vendor payments. A lower level of knowledge is usually enough if you have the help of an accountant or HOA management company.
5. MANAGEMENT SKILLS
There are various duties the Board member will be involved in, including enacting and enforcing covenants, overseeing property assessments, for the association. There are also important documents to manage, administrative procedures to follow, and tasks to delegate. An HOA is much like running a business. Therefore, board members must possess a certain level of management skills to ensure the success of the entire operation.
6. PUTS THE HOA FIRST
“Should I join my HOA board?” When faced with this dilemma, it is imperative to first evaluate your motivations. If you genuinely want to serve and improve the community, then joining the HOA board is certainly a step in the right direction. But, if you have selfish reasons, then you do not have what it takes to become a good board member.
Board members should never be self-serving or look for opportunities for personal gain. They must always make decisions that are for the good of the community.
7. WILLINGNESS TO SERVE
These are volunteer positions, and receiving payment in any shape or form is not recommended. Good board members have a willingness to serve the community even if the position does not come with any perks.
8. HONEST AND TRANSPARENT
Honesty and transparency are essential traits of board members, especially since they handle the community’s money. Board members should provide financial updates to homeowners in the form of reports. Board members must always follow the laws and governing documents as well as stay away from any conflicts of interest or fraud. Every member of the HOA must be able to trust the Board members.
9. CONSISTENCY AND FAIR
Board members enact and enforce covenants and rules within the community, and they must do so with consistency and fairness. Selective or arbitrary enforcement not only jeopardizes the integrity of the board but is also in breach of the fiduciary responsibility of HOA board members. In all matters and decisions, board members must leave their personal feelings and biases at the door.
10. WORKS WELL WITH OTHERS
Running an association is not a dictatorship — it is a collaborative effort among all board members and, in some cases, the HOA manager. As such, board members must all be team players.
Collaboration is not limited to the board itself and the HOA management company, though. Board members must also understand that the community’s members have just as much as a right to their opinion. Therefore, board members must ask for homeowner input and conduct regular surveys to gauge their satisfaction level.
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