When individuals are elected to the HOA board, they take on the responsibility of managing the community. Board members have to make important decisions for the association so they need to have a solid grasp of community management. HOA board member training is one of the best ways to prepare them for what’s ahead. Here’s why you need training for HOA board members.
What Can You Learn From HOA Board Member Training?
While board members hold considerable power over the community, it’s important to remember that they are volunteers who want to help run the HOA. Board members are not compensated for the services they provide to the community. They are also not required to have any management experience or expertise to be elected to the board. So, if you want your new members to be able to do their jobs well, it’s essential to provide them with HOA board training.
What Makes a Good HOA Board Member?
Good HOA board members will have a solid grasp of the community’s governing documents, their roles and responsibilities, and the limitations of their authority. They also have a thorough understanding of the many aspects of community management. For those who are just starting out, here’s what HOA board member training can teach them:
The financial aspect of community management can be very technical and complex. Board members need not be financial experts, but they should still have a basic understanding of accounting, bookkeeping, budgeting, and other related tasks.
HOA board member training can teach them how to read financial statements and reserve studies, how to handle operating funds and reserve funds, and how to prepare the budget, among others.
New board members should also be taught about homeowners association laws that apply to their state, best practices and legal procedures for handling community issues, and how to file tax returns, among others.
Interpersonal Communication Skills
It’s important for board members to have good interpersonal communication skills. New board members must learn how to interact with residents in a professional but compassionate way, especially when dealing with sensitive matters. HOA board member training can also teach conflict-resolution skills to prevent community issues from escalating.
The boardroom is where the members discuss important community matters and make important decisions on behalf of the community. So, new members need to know how to conduct board meetings efficiently, how to create board meeting agendas, and how to take down minutes. Since board members also have full lives outside the association, time is of the essence. Board meetings should be efficient but also productive.
Why Is HOA Board Training Essential for Newly Elected Members
Board members have a fiduciary duty to the HOA. Their actions must always be in the best financial interest of the community. This includes the proper allocation and use of HOA funds. Since most board members don’t have a financial background, HOA board member training is essential to prevent costly financial mistakes. Even seemingly small budgeting mistakes have the potential to ruin your HOA’s finances.
Training helps new board members become effective decision-makers. They will know how to manage a community and make sure that all assets are functioning properly. Board members will also know to look out for issues such as insurance lapses or liabilities. As such, they help reduce the risk for their community. Nobody association wants to be tied to legal cases. These not only cost money but can also damage the reputation of your community.
Who Can Provide HOA Board Member Training?
Now that you know the importance of training new board members, it’s time to discuss HOA board training options. Here are the most common training options.
In-House Board Member Training
HOA board member training doesn’t need to be costly. Current board members are more than capable of training new members. If there are people who have been part of the HOA board for a long time, they can impart valuable knowledge to the new board members. Veterans can act as mentors; they can answer questions that the new board members might have.
HOA Management Resources
HOA management companies can also help with board member training. Since they will already be familiar with how your community operates, the HOA manager can be the one to orient new board members.
Management will tackle board members’ roles and responsibilities, conduct full-site inspections to expose them to the operations side of community management, talk about upcoming or planned community projects., and teach them how to deal with financial statements and vendor contracts.
Board members can also pursue professional training to enhance their skills and abilities. There are many organizations, such as the Community Associations Institute, that provide HOA board member certification courses. New board members can learn more about community management by attending seminars and training, as well as online classes or webinars.
When to Conduct HOA Board Member Training?
While basic training should be conducted before new board members assume responsibilities, it’s also good to provide educational opportunities throughout board members’ tenure. This ensures that your HOA board is always up-to-date on community management trends and that the board members’ management skills are continuously being developed.
Even though training can mean added expenses for your community, this ensures that you have a qualified board. The more training they receive, the more effective they will be when it comes to managing the community. If you want a happy balance, you can always consider a professional management company that can take over daily operations and management. They will work with the board to ensure that the community is beautiful and well-maintained.
HOA Board Member Training Can Impact the Success of Your Community
Just like businesses that train new employees, associations should also train newly elected board members. Enthusiasm alone isn’t enough to run a community. Board members need actual skills and knowledge to be able to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. In order to have a successful community, it’s essential to provide HOA board member training for new members. If you want to explore your HOA board training options, don’t hesitate to give us a call.