Being a board member of a homeowner’s association can be difficult at times. The best way to handle any potential contention is to explain that your primary role as a community leader is to enhance the planned community experience equally and fairly.
Even still, you may be asked to deal with tough issues that relate to your next-door neighbor – maybe even your friends. Along with your commitment of time and resources, it can be difficult to explain why a special assessment or a dues increase is needed. It is no wonder then why community members will oftentimes shy away from volunteering their services and committing to becoming new board members even if they are interested.
With interested homeowners being hesitant to commit to becoming a board member, how do you convince concerned people that volunteering is a worthwhile endeavor? How do you find and select qualified members from the community that are actually interested in wanting to support their communities by becoming a member of the board?
Seeking New Board Members Requires Due Diligence
Directors need to perform due diligence when seeking new candidates. But, it isn’t just the directors who can help with recruiting new Board Members. By following a few tips, the task of performing the appropriate due diligence and finding qualified new board members for your Association may be easier than you think.
8 Tips for Recruiting New HOA Board Members
- Have an existing Board Member be a designated “welcoming person”. Then, when a new homeowner moves in, the “welcoming person” can provide introductions, invite them to attend meetings, and encourage them to provide feedback and get involved with a committee. They may be willing or even eager to serve on a committee immediately as a way to meet new people and make new acquaintances.
- Add new homeowners to a well organized Association newsletter service. Keeping homeowners informed and educated properly is the beginning of a good relationship.
- Ask for opinions from professionals in the community, especially if they have advanced skills in fields like accounting and insurance. These folks are usually quite busy, but if something is a hot topic in the community they may feel compelled to help out with their expertise.
- Build a relationship with homeowners who consistently come to meetings. You can start by complimenting them on their interest in the community reflected in their regular attendance. Ask them about their interest or if they have ever considered a board position.
- Use Association committee members as a source for new recruits. Landscaping or special project committees can be especially resourceful because these committee members are exposed to many homeowners within the community. Encourage committee members to interact with, invite, and encourage the homeowners they encounter.
- Build community relationships and foster goodwill through social activities. Ensure your Association provides regularly scheduled community social events. Community block parties or book clubs are great examples of community builders. Does your community have a clubhouse? Hold regular events to celebrate holidays and sports events. Use these events to build strong relationships while canvasing prospective new board members.
- Lead by example. Show community homeowners that being a board member can be fun.
- Ask. Sometimes all that Associations need to do is ask their homeowners about their interest in considering becoming a Board Member. Some of the best potential Board Members may simply need to know they are welcome and the worst that can happen is that they say, “no, thank you.”
Board meetings can also be a great place to educate people about the role of the Board, especially their fiduciary responsibilities and how your Association as a corporate entity has a duty to each of its homeowners – the shareholders. The relationships your Board has with its homeowners should be friendly and be welcoming while illustrating the importance of trust, transparency, and commitment to the community’s best interest. Having your Association partner with a management company that has the experience can also help you conduct a well-rounded search for new board members.
After taking all of the tips into consideration, it is essential to recruit folks who seem reasonable and are not interested in promoting private agendas. A Homeowners Association functions best when it is run by people with a vested interest in their community.
Rinaldo Acri says, “Finding the right mix of Board Members is just as important as choosing the right management company to run your community.”
If you’d like help from a trustworthy HOA management company, contact Acri Community Realty for a free evaluation.