For those who become a homeowner association Board member, many may think the best quality is to have passion for their neighborhood.  However, by just having passion and drive are not the only qualities needed to build a better community.  To be truly successful, one must clearly understand their role as a representative of their community, not as an independent voice, and speak on behalf of all homeowners.  Sometimes personal passion can get intertwined with the voice of reason and actually do more harm to the association’s culture.

Given that successful HOAs are defined as having a higher level of engaged homeowners, the association is financially solvent, and their membership has a greater perceived sense of community.  So, what are the character traits associated with a successful Board member?  

Board members need to possess qualities of a leader

Successful HOAs are correlated with Board members who are good leaders.  Good leaders tend to be organized, possess interpersonal skills, respect everyone, thinks strategically and acts proactively, and can grasp a workable knowledge of financial management.

They should be able to take on unexpected or unique challenges with a degree of ownership.  Many describe this quality as “their ability to find their way in the dark,” which separates a good Board member from a great one.  A great Board member is an individual who had a forensic sense of curiosity and never stops digging into and peeling back the layers of an issue.  Over time, Board members find that their role gets easier and takes less time to uncover the underlying cause of an issue.

Putting the good of their association ahead of their own interests

Each Board member brings a unique skill-set and their own personal style, but the successful ones put responsibility and life-balance before everything else.  Because of the increased liability, today’s HOA need leaders are willing to ask the right questions, keep an open mind and work tirelessly for the good of their community. 

Clearly know your responsibilities

A successful Board member understands their role and responsibilities, and tempers their judgment while considering the interests of all residences.  They facilitate the voice of a greater good and are good listeners.  Great Board members read and understand relevant state or municipal legislation, as well as their covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs) for their homeowner’s association, even despite having a personal agenda.

They aren’t afraid to make tough decisions

Successful Board members know that they are not trying to win a popularity contest, nor are they afraid to confront a homeowner to collect dues or to introduce a special assessment when necessary.   Homeowners count on their ability to lead and to direct the association.

Because they are able to effectively balance their lives, successful Board members feel they respond with a higher sense of fairness and honesty while at the same time enforcing covenants, handling complaints and sharing a vision for their community.

In short, regardless of one’s leadership style, an association will take on the personality traits of their leaders in the form of their community’s culture.  How they lead, how they respond to issues, and their willingness to engage in the greater good for their association’s future will be represented in how many follow their rules or even if they contribute to being good neighbors.   

For more information about running a successful HOA, contact MGM Management, a professional association manager since 1999.  Headquartered in Meridian, Idaho, reach them at (208) 846-9189 or find them online at www.gomgm.com.