When your community is recruiting new HOA board members, there are certain qualities to look for in prospective members and good strategies for getting these individuals involved.
Attention to Detail and the Big Picture
Good candidates for your HOA board are people who can delve into the details while keeping an eye on the big issues. Board members must be willing to spend time reviewing and understanding the details of their governing documents. They also should be people who commit to frequently evaluating and refining their HOA's big picture plans for the community.
Commitment to Consistency
Candidates you’re considering for recruitment to your HOA board should be able to conduct themselves with consistency. Uniformity is important when it comes to enforcement of the rules and regulations within the HOA. Owners will be more likely to follow the community’s rules when they are enforced with consistency.
Sense of Fair Play
A great HOA member plays fairly, which means treating everyone equally. If an HOA member doesn’t have a sense of fair play, then playing favorites can happen, which can create an unhappy HOA community. A great HOA board member is able to put personal agendas aside when making decisions. This clears the way for decisions that are made in the best interests of the HOA and not related to personal interests.
Good Communication Skills
Fostering good communication creates a sense of openness and allows for positive communication to flow through the community. The HOA board’s credibility is enhanced when its members foster a positive attitude by giving the community information and reminders. People like being part of a successful and positive community, and good communication skills help make that happen.
Understanding Board Authority Comes First
Great HOA board members understand that their authority comes as a board, not as an individual board member. They know that their roles are a part of a unified board that makes group decisions that positively impact their communities. They are quick to support group decisions, even if they conflict with their own personal opinions.
How to Get HOA Board Candidates Involved
Once you’ve found people with the potential of becoming great HOA board members, what are the best ways to get them signed up?
Ask Prospective HOA Board Members to Do Committee Work
You can ease prospective HOA board members into the role by first having them work on a committee. Committees work with the board by advising members on special projects and issues. Getting people involved with this type of work, when it’s not time-consuming or complex, helps them become involved with HOA board work in a low pressure manner. Offer your time and guidance, which allows you to judge how they handle committee work and to start training them on HOA management issues.
Approach People Who are Involved and Give Feedback
Homeowners who are very involved in the community or who provide constructive feedback are good HOA board candidates. These people consistently stay involved and are invested in the community and its future. It may then be a natural leap for them to accept your invitation to join the board.
Be Ready to Address Pushbacks
You may get some pushback in your recruitment efforts. When you’re ready to address some of the more common objections from those you approach about serving on the HOA board, you’ll have more success recruiting great HOA board members.
Be ready to respond to objections such as:
“I don’t have time:” Be prepared to give a general idea of what the time commitment is for your HOA board. Then they may be more amenable when they know the actual time involved.
“I don’t care enough:” Some homeowners like the idea of living in a regulated community, but would rather not get involved further. Point out that being on the board can preserve the way of living they've chosen. Also, talk about how if they don't get involved, others may change the regulations they find so appealing.
“I don’t care for board politics:” It's perfectly reasonable for homeowners to avoid drama. Be prepared to respond by providing examples of how your HOA board works together through issues.
“I don’t know enough:” Make sure potential HOA board candidates know they don’t have to be experts. Reassure them that experienced board members and the HOA manager can help teach and train.
Hire a Good HOA Property Management Company
Recruiting volunteers to serve on committees or the HOA board will go more smoothly if you have a reputable and thorough HOA property management company signed up. A good property management company keeps the HOA in compliance with the law and rules from state or federal agencies, and relieves pressure for prospective board candidates.