Managing an association’s affairs and taking responsibility for running a community are no small tasks. Homeowners trust their board of directors to make sure everything operates smoothly, services are maintained, and issues are resolved promptly. The board of directors can make the difference between the community’s success or failure, so it’s vital that each person fulfills their fiduciary duty and strives to be a good board member. The following are four traits of a good community association board of directors:
- They welcome spirited discussions.
HOA boards should welcome and appreciate spirited discussions, and even try to incorporate a little humor. Each member should feel comfortable and encouraged to voice their own opinions without interruption or fear that anyone will be rude or disrespectful. Neither yelling nor self-serving interests concerning any topic should be tolerated.
- They understand votes don’t have to be unanimous.
Contrary to popular belief, when a vote is needed, it doesn’t have to be unanimous. The president should allow just enough time for discussion and then call for a vote. It’s essential that each board member support the decision of the entire board, even if they are in the minority vote. Additionally, good board members don’t leave the meeting and then bad mouth other board members about a decision they don’t like.
- They have efficient meetings.
Association board members are volunteers, so it’s important to be respectful of their time. Boards should make it a priority to have efficient meetings that are two hours or less and start and end on time. Good boards set and follow timed agendas to avoid digressions and ensure that everyone knows the approximate length of a discussion before a vote is taken.
- They respect the advice of professionals.
While board members may be successful in their own businesses, they aren’t “professionals” in the community association world. Good board members heed the advice of professionals, listen to recommendations from their community manager, and respect the advice and opinions of their attorneys, financial advisors, accountants and auditors.