The Eight Key Roles of an HOA Board President
Being an HOA board president is something to take great satisfaction and pride in, but it can also be a lot of work. In other articles, we have outlined some of the essential roles and responsibilities of an HOA president and its fellow board members.
The board's success directly impacts the community's success, and the success of the board is mainly dependent on the strength of the HOA board president. To be a strong leader that the board respects, you need to understand your key functions as a president. Although every association is different, the information below is more of a general outline to make your tenure as an HOA board president successful.
1. Robust and confident leader
Sometimes, the HOA board president must set aside personal relationships with neighbors and friends to do their job correctly for the good of the association. Although this can place them in an awkward position when decisions are made by the board that not all residents agree with, this is all part of being a good leader. When choices are made, you need to be confident and ready to explain your position to get everyone to understand you are being entrusted to make decisions for the greater good.
2. Liaison between the HOA and board
The president is the liaison between the HOA and the board, which means they need to understand the entirety of the property manager's duties. Frequent communication is necessary to ensure contractual obligations are completed. As board president, it's also essential you confirm your fellow board members and your residents understand the role of the property management company. While the property management company will attend your board meetings and provide guidance, the board makes all of the key decisions for the community and the residents need to be aware of that.
Get more tips on connecting with your community in our article Communication Best Practices.
3. Thorough understanding of Governing Documents
HOA presidents must be familiar with the Governing Documents and promote compliance in all regards. They are called upon to lead discussions based on several topics and must understand the parameters within which the association can be most effective. The president is perceived as the community expert, so they spend a lot of time (especially upfront) studying the Governing Documents to best address each issue. Becoming an expert doesn't happen overnight, so if you have access to someone who knows your documents well (like a former president or your association management company), you'll be well versed in no time.
To ensure compliance within your community, as the president, it is in your best interest to ensure residents have a general understanding of the Governing Documents. Regularly communicate where the Governing Documents are found with the community. Make sure changes to those documents are quickly shared with residents using various communication tools.
4. Collaborator and team player
Although being a president means being the head of the board, this should not mean that decisions are made unilaterally. Everyone on the board has the same goal, to ensure their community is a great place to live and is well maintained. Everyone brings good ideas to the table, so it's important to collaborate as a team.
Democratic principles should always be in effect to obtain board input and approvals, eliminating any sense of resident questioning regarding true intentions or personal agendas. When the board agrees, all members can explain to fellow residents why certain decisions are made and show board unity.
You will learn new things every day when you are elected to an HOA board, which is no different for a board president. Discoveries of how to successfully run a community will be made, and you will also get to know your fellow residents in greater detail. Take the time to learn what's most important to the residents regarding all aspects of the community. Further, the role will occasionally give you homework, such as reviewing documents and preparing reports.
6. Meeting facilitator
An HOA board president is often tasked with facilitating meetings. At times, discussions may turn into a heated debate. It is up to the president to take control and mediate the situation so that everyone on the board has an opportunity to express their opinion. As a president, your board is made up of a variety of personality types and varying opinions; you need to be fair and respect everyone's views. Each meeting should be productive and efficient under the president.
Read more in our article: How to Run an Effective Board Meeting
7. Advocate for volunteers
HOA board presidents should be encouraging, engaging, and energetic. They should inspire others to support the objectives your community wants to achieve. Volunteers who join various community committees want to feel welcome and that their participation is valued. Thus, it is in the president's best interest to develop their volunteers' skills as team members so they will continue to be part of the committee.
8. Good listener
A good HOA board president will listen to the opinions and inputs of others. While the president may have differing opinions or questions, they will not interject and let the board member or resident finish their thought ahead of chiming in. Learning which issues are most important to residents and board members will help make final decisions and be imperative in improving how the community functions.
Being a Successful HOA Board President
Overall, the HOA board president assumes the day-to-day responsibilities of managing the association and serves as the spokesperson for the board. While it can be a lot of work, at the end of the day, it's a gratifying experience being in a position that can bring positive change to your community.
To excel in this position, you need to be a great leader, which requires certain skills. It would be best if you were a good communicator, listener, organized, and most importantly, keep the interests of the community top of mind. If you can do that, you will have a significant impact on the success of the association and community. For more information on effective board leadership, contact FirstService Residential Minnesota today.