As a Las Vegas Community Association Manager (CAM) for over a decade, I have worked with volunteer board members of all types. Many of which range from retired business men and women to young working adults, trying to make a difference in their community. Most board members are very productive and accomplish a number of things for their community, while others have a hard time managing even the smallest of tasks.
Over the years, I have learned to recognize what it takes to be a successful board and community leader. Below are the traits that I have found in some of the most successful HOA boards in the Las Vegas valley.
#1– COMMON SENSE
It is very important for board members to have a bit of common sense when making decisions that affect not only themselves, but for the rest of the owners in their community as well. Taking a moment to step back to analyze the impact of a decision for the community as a whole and using a little common sense in the decision making process makes a world of difference and helps in the day to day management and operation of any association.
Along with common sense comes balance. In my opinion, these top two traits work hand in hand and are very important for successful community leaders to have. Not only is it beneficial for an individual board member to have a well- rounded, “balanced” mind set, but the board as a whole should be as well. Varying ages, backgrounds and skill sets bring different perspectives to the table and helps to avoid a chance of total chaos, should there be extreme opinions swaying one way or the other.
#3 – SELFLESSNESS
Board members are community leaders. Community leaders must make unbiased decisions that will benefit all owners within the community that they represent, not just for themselves. In other words, an effective board will be selfless and unbiased in their decision making … homeowners with personal agendas are poor board members.
#4 – BE ACTIVE AND COMMUNICATE
A board that fails to stay active and communicate, may also fail to accomplish the goals for the community that they lead. In order for a community to thrive and the board to be successful, there must be superior communication not only amongst the board members themselves, but also with the management team. Your management team should have a number of options for not only board members, but vendors and homeowners alike to communicate with them and when a decision must be made by the board, it is crucial that you as the board are also in excellent communication with your manager in order to effectively run your association. Being an active part of the community is key to this success as well. Successful boards stay active by attending all board meetings, respond to communications promptly and effectively, follow their governing documents, vote on all HOA matters, attend community events and last but certainly not least, always maintain financial responsibility for the association.
Overall, it is imperative to keep lines of communication open, which in turn requires an active board. Without these two key traits, in addition to the basics of using common sense and being a balanced and selfless board, the idea of being an effective and successful board may be very difficult to accomplish.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Shelter Management Group (SMG) team, we would be happy to help! Contact us at 702-818-4780 or info @ smghoa.com
Article Authored By: Jamie Collins, Supervising CAM, CMCA, AMS agent at Shelter Management Group (SMG)