Considering Running for the Board? Do You Have What it Takes?

What qualities should you have to be a good Homeowners Association Board Member? Ask yourself, “Do I have…

  1. The willingness to dig in. You can’t run a condo or home owners association well without digging into the details–and that takes hard work and commitment. Board members have to take the time to review and understand their governing documents.
  2. A bent toward consistency. It’s important to be consistent, especially in enforcement. Owners are much more likely to stay within the rules if they know their board will consistently enforce them.
  3. The ability to play fair. You can’t be a, “Do as I say and not as I do” kind of person on the board. The rules apply to everyone equally without prejudice or favoritism.
  4. A sense of honesty. You need to be honest and understand how to avoid the appearance of impropriety. You also need to be law-abiding. You may not agree with the law or a rule, but you have to abide by it.
  5. The good sense to ask for help. You need an understanding of when it’s effective to consult an appropriate professional. Due to the technical nature of the problems boards can face, the association would benefit from the perspective of someone trained in the discipline they’re trying to address. Attorneys, C.P.A.s, or General Contractors for example.
  6. The ability to delegate. Board members should be comfortable delegating certain tasks to an established sub-committee as opposed to having the board handle everything and manage every detail.
  7. A flair for openness and conciliation. You have to be able to seek a consensus by being open to the association’s members. Owners are less likely to say the board is dictating how things will be if instead, they have led owners to a conclusion by including them and encouraging them to be involved.
  8. The willingness to share. It’s not a competition over who can keep information. It’s about sharing information so everybody can make the right decision or understand the decisions the board is making.
  9. The ability to adapt and change. A good board isn’t afraid of updating systems and procedures to 21st Century technology. Doing things the same old way is not conducive to growth or betterment of antiquated procedures. 10. A thick skin. You have to be able to not take this stuff personally. You have to realize that your association is a few things. First and foremost, it’s a community, but it’s also a business and a government. The worst association directors are people who take it personally.