When you’re recruiting members to be part of your HOA board, it’s important to know how to reach them and to be prepared for common push backs you’ll hear when you ask a homeowner to join the Board. But once you find good board members, you don’t want to let them go. So how do you keep them on the Board?
First and foremost, it’s up to current HOA board members to set a good example. If you act like you dread going to meetings, constantly complain, and bad-mouth the Board, it's not going to help your cause. Why would someone want to be a part of something that is making you miserable?
You want to reflect what a good board member looks like. This means:
- Conducting yourself respectfully both in and out of meetings.
- Being aware of how board members interact with one another in meetings – an
antagonistic, combative meeting doesn’t exactly create an environment people want to be a part of.
- Knowing when to remove yourself from the situation and let it be handled by the President or other parties involved.
Current HOA board members are the best indicators of whether or not someone would want to be a part of the board. Additionally, an HOA management company can help board members feel cared for and valued too.
Ways to make HOA board members feel valued:
- Create a social event – Once or twice a year, put on a dinner for board members. Provide a nice meal and bring in experts to speak. This allows board members to get to know each other in a more casual way. It’s also a nice gesture to say thank you for volunteering their time and resources.
- Offer a training or educational day – This is a great way to bring other organizations in the community together. Practically speaking, people don’t always want to do this, but a lot can be learned by talking to people outside your Association.
- Continually educate – In board meeting packets, send a case study, tips, or relevant news, especially something that relates to issues in your Association.
- Build relationship – It would mean a lot to a member if the board president called them up to have a cup of coffee, just to ask how it’s going.
- *Schedule a working lunch – Have the Association buy lunch and bring the board members together simply to touch base. For example, companies like Hignell HOA Management often provide informal social gatherings where board members can meet each other in a casual atmosphere to help break down possible relational barriers.
*It’s important to note that anytime board members get together and have a quorum, the Davis-Stirling Act requires that it be posted and proper notice given – even if business matters aren't planned on being discussed.
- Acknowledge when a board member’s time is up – A plaque or gift certificate is always nice, but sometimes it's more meaningful to just read a simple thank you letter at a board member’s last meeting acknowledging their contribution to the Association.
In the end, if an HOA board member has an enjoyable experience, it will have a ripple effect in the Association and others will get involved. Happy board members are helpful people.