The most important thing to remember in any relationship is that it takes time and effort from both parties. The relationship between an HOA board and the manager of a homeowners association is no different.
What the HOA manager should be doing
Whether you have a new HOA manager or have had one for years, they should be actively involved in your community. There are many ways they can do this:
- Attending committee meetings
- Casually talking to people living in the Association to get a sense of how things are going
- Chatting with board members over a cup of coffee
- Going to board meetings
- Attending social gatherings in the Association
- Being easily available and accessible
- Responding to questions or concerns in a timely manner
- Having honest conversations when needed
- Being proactive notifying the Board of changing laws, upcoming deadlines, member complaints, etc.
- Leading by example
The HOA manager is the touchpoint in the Association. Getting to know people in the community better by simply asking, How are you? How long have you lived in the Association? will help build trust and show that the manager cares.
What HOA board members should be doing
The Board has the responsibility and the authority in the Association, but the manager is there to help and assist. The board and manager are a team to manage the community while each have their own responsibilities.
Communication is key – if you hear of a problem or issue, call the manager. Also, keep short accounts and don’t gossip with friends, family, or neighbors.
Read any and all correspondence from the manager – if you read the board meeting packet ahead of time, you can make sure you understand what’s going to be talked about, or ask the manager ahead of time to clarify any questions you have.
Attend HOA board meetings – being present and honoring the commitment you made to the homeowners association is a sign of respect to the residents and the manager. Also, let the manager know when you’re going to be out of town or unable to make a meeting.
Treat with kindness – HOA managers are people too! They are endeavoring to do a job and working hard to do it. Offering grace and truth in a loving, respectful way will foster any relationship – personal or professional.
Send them to Hawaii on their birthday – kidding of course, a birthday card will work just fine!
Relationships take time, but it’s time well-spent. When the HOA board and the manager work together amicably, things get done and the Association thrives.