What Makes a Community Association Board Effective?

Many of us are living in a community governed by some type of community association. You might live in a townhome or single-family home that is part of a homeowner’s association (HOA), or in a condominium that is managed by a condominium association (CA). These numbers are anticipated to increase as more than 75% of new housing developments will be governed by a community association (2019-2020 U.S. National and State Statistical Review for Community Association Data, Community Association Institute).

The success of a community association depends on the effectiveness of its governing board. According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Foundation for Community Association Research, 89% of homeowners and condominium residents believe that their community association board either “absolutely” or “for the most part” serves the best interests of the community.

But what makes a community association board effective? In general, the best community associations are those consisting of members who are educated, knowledgeable, and who put the interests of the entire community ahead of any personal agenda.

Just like any business, an effective HOA or condo association is guided by a mission and a set of core values. Examples of community missions are “to protect property values,” or “to preserve and protect a quality living experience.” Once the mission is established, an effective board will also agree on a plan to achieve it. For example, a board may agree to perform a capital improvement reserve study every 5-7 years to identify the community’s needs and develop a plan to meet them.

If you are considering serving on your community association board, the qualities you should possess in order to be effective include:

  • Familiarity with the association’s governing documents;
  • Having respect for the needs of the residents and being open to new ideas and suggestions;
  • Ability to be consistent and dependable when making decisions for the community;
  • Ability to communicate regularly with transparency to resident regarding the board’s agendas and actions;
  • Willingness to seek the advice of an experienced property management company or community management professionals;
  • Ability to abstain from decisions that are real or perceived conflicts of interest;
  • Willingness to prepare for board meetings and complete any assigned projects;
  • A commitment to putting the needs of the community ahead of all else.

For more helpful tips, the Community Association Institute is a great resource for homeowners, offering access to education and a wealth of resources to help board members provide effective governance.

While online resources are a great place to start, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of information and suggestions – and not all recommendations may be the right choice for your community. A professional property management company can also provide a community association board with guidance on how to be effective, how to run productive board meetings, and how to maintain the quality of the community. Professional HOA & Condo management companies are also able to provide customized solutions that can help your community run more cost-effectively and efficiently.

The Rachuba team of HOA management & condo association management professionals is available to provide consulting and management services to community associations. If you’re interested in discussing how we can help your community board, please contact us.

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