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Strength in your Relationships: The Board Member and the Community Manager

06/01/2023 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Jennifer Kinkead, Goodwin & Company

90% of the Community Management Business is the relationships we build with our vendors, our peers, and, most importantly, our Boards of Directors. The relationship between the Community Manager and the Board of Directors can be defined as the most important relationship to nourish. The role and responsibility of a Board member is so important when it comes to managing an HOA correctly and accurately. We can all agree that being a Board member can be a thankless job at times, as they are homeowners who are graciously volunteering their time to serve the community they love. 

The best way to understand the role of Board member is to understand their responsibilities to the Association they are serving on. The most important role of the Board of Directors is the fiduciary responsibility they have to the Association. It is crucial that all Board members commit to enforcing the Governing Documents of the Association, that is their job. This can be difficult for some Board members as some rules can be a point of contention to their fellow neighbors. Board members dedicate their time to guaranteeing the Association is being managed according to the law and Governing Documents of the Association. Current Board members play a huge role in developing current and future leaders in the Association who will represent the Community once they are gone. 

I think it’s safe to assume that serving a community cannot be done without some assistance; and this is where the management company comes in. Boards entrust the manager, the same way the homeowners entrust the Board members. Together, the Board and management company accomplish the duties of the Association. It’s important that managers nourish the relationship with the Board, as that can also be the defining factor in them continuing to work with the management company they represent. 

Board members are also trusted to represent the homeowner and speak on their behalf. It’s important to make sure there are active Board members at all times, and any vacant seats get filled according to the Governing Documents. 

How is that done? Board recruitment! 

Board recruitment is an on-going process as Board seat terms do expire and finding volunteers also cannot be easy, but it is meaningful to the Association. Below are just a few ways to recruit Board members:

  1. Homeowner Involvement-Engaging with your fellow residents and gathering their ideas is a great way to recruit Board members. This will allow current members to decide where a new member can best serve the community based on their individual skills or trades.  

  1. Community Events- Attending events being held throughout the community is another advantageous way to recruit Board members. Any successful community event allows the owner to observe all the great things that come from serving the community. Social events also allow the community to gather and enjoy their neighbors. You want Board members who are personable but also Board members who are not afraid to uphold the Governing Documents of the Association. 

  1. Clearly Define the Role and Responsibilities of the Open Position(s)-The role of each Board position is usually defined in the Governing Documents of the Association but it’s important to give them a heads up on what they are getting themselves into. New potential members should be advised of how many hours per month they will be needed, how many Board meetings they need to attend to achieve quorum, or any extra approval processes they will be needed for. 

  1. Advertise/Broadcast -If your Governing Documents are not opposed, it’s a great idea to put the word out there ahead of time. Posting notices on the open Board Positions or sending Broadcast emails allow owners the time to decide if they can join the Board.  

As any relationship requires attention to grow; the same applies with your Board relationships. Once you are assigned to a new community, or a new Board has just been elected to your current community, don’t be afraid to nourish the relationship you have with them. The goal is gaining their trust to ensure you are serving the Community as one voice.

About the Author: My name is Jennifer Kinkead, senior community/ special district manager for Goodwin & Company. I so thrilled to be a part of an industry that is so rewarding, and I’m so proud to help bring Goodwin & Company to Denver Colorado!  

(303) 585-0367

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