When unexpected moments arise during board meetings or interactions with homeowners, do you sometimes wonder what the best solution would be for your association? To help with these types of situations, we want to offer you some solutions to the top problems HOA board members face:
Issues Discussed during Meetings but Left Undecided
Sometimes, a topic will come up in your board meeting that several board members feel strongly about. It can be easy to fall into the trap of discussing something ad nauseam, especially when the discussion is robust.
However, since most boards don’t meet frequently, this can really hurt your board’s effectiveness. If your board occasionally falls into this trap, try encouraging all board members to read the agenda thoroughly before the meeting—this will help everyone stay on task.
During the meeting, designate one member of the board (this will usually be the president’s job) to signal the end of a debate by asking everyone to go around one last time and give their final comments. Verbally summarize the various viewpoints, and then call for a vote.
Encountering Social Media Woes through Apps like Nextdoor, Facebook, Etc.
Not setting clear social media expectations with homeowners can lead to a lot of headaches. Make it clear that when it comes to association communication, social media will be used only to communicate association-wide events and to send meeting reminders. Official correspondence should be kept to official channels in order to minimize any potential confusion.
To keep homeowners from veering off and using social media for other purposes, assign a designated committee member to be in charge of redirecting all homeowner concerns to either the board or your management company.
While it may be tempting for board members to engage on social media, we encourage you to take the high road and engage via official channels. Having a trusted, non-board member in charge of posting events or updates to social media without engaging in the potentially unhealthy dialog will help send a strong message to homeowners that social media is not the outlet for official communication.
Ultimately, we encourage all board members to be careful with their social media usage.
The tension between Board Members
It can be difficult to deal with personalities that clash with yours. To reduce the chance of conflict, focus on the positive contributions you can make in your relationships with your fellow board members: make sure the work is being split fairly, regularly communicate appreciation for your fellow board members’ efforts, and when tense moments arise, stay calm.
Tension with Homeowners, Especially Regarding Changes
Remember that when it comes to communication, the best defense is a good offense! Most problems with homeowners can be avoided or mitigated by tackling all potential issues head-on. Try implementing an open-door policy and be as transparent as possible about any challenges your association is facing.
You can also increase communication and reduce tension with homeowners by making an effort to include them in your open board meetings. Try sending out special communication to encourage homeowner attendance whenever you schedule a regular board meeting.
If you’re inheriting a tense relationship with homeowners from a previous board—or if relations between you and some homeowners soured before you could implement a solid prevention strategy—try these tips to help out unhappy homeowners in your HOA.
We want to serve on a board to be as easy as possible for you. To that end, we sincerely hope you’re not facing any unusual problems in your journey as a board member. If you are facing certain challenges, we hope the above tips and resources will help you generate solutions and reduce stress by creating a solid foundation of tools and resources you can draw upon.