We all know that one board member — the one who always has a contact for the most qualified vendors, seems to be aware of the latest local laws and exactly how the board should ensure compliance, and always introduces the board to the best new tools and practices available to make managing finances and duties more efficient.
Today, we’re telling you exactly how they do it.
Whether you’ve led your community for years or you're serving your first term as a board member, being well-versed in the many aspects of running a community is an ongoing process, and the smartest board members make continued learning and development a priority.
If you’re like most board members, serving on your community’s association board is a volunteer position, which means you’re balancing board responsibilities with home and work too. With limited resources and plenty of offerings for conferences and classes, it can be difficult to determine the best way to spend your time and money.
Here are the four fool-proof ways to make sure you choose the right board education opportunities for your development.
- Consider “free” your friend. Usually management companies and attorneys host free local classes and seminars with the sole purpose of educating the public. These can be an invaluable resource for staying on top of association issues. For instance, many Associa branches host free seminars about local legislative updates for board members every Fall, and our Northern California branch hosts a big comprehensive seminar every September. Simply putting these events on your schedule throughout the year will ensure you’re always aware of the latest issues impacting your community.
- Know the ‘Net’s Worth. When considering events, don’t just consider on-site — online events can provide just as much education and save you serious cash. Each year, in addition to Associa's hundreds of free local board education opportunities, we also provide online training, webinars, whitepapers and more to make sure any board member —whether or not they’re Associa clients — can have the information they need to improve their community. Many of these resources are accessible on our Living Better Blog.
- Look for multi-taskers. If you’re taking time out of your schedule to attend a local event, get more bang for your buck by looking for events that offer multiple benefits. Board members are busy and while we can’t add more hours to the day, we can help you make good use of the hours you have by developing events that provide more than just face-value. That’s why Associa seminars feature local attorneys and provide opportunities to meet vendors all in one event. It’s a great way to get educated on the latest information and get the scoop on the newest service providers in your area at the same time.
- Apply generously. The right board education helps develop board members into strong leaders, able to make sound decisions for the community, but smart board members use these learnings to develop in other areas like work, home and other organizations they’re a part of.
Being a great board member is about more than experience – it’s about expertise, too. The smartest community association board members understand that even with their busy schedules, taking time to attend local seminars, online courses and webinars is one of the best investments they can make to achieve the goals they have set for their community.