If only you were on your homeowner’s association board, everything would be perfect, right?
Find yourself saying that a lot? Maybe it’s your time. As a client relations manager at Greenscape, Inc, Brian Holden works with lots of HOA board members. Landscaping for HOAs is one of Greenscape’s specialties.
Do you have what it takes to be a good HOA board member?
“The most successful HOA board members are looking out for their community and helping to make it better,” Holden says.
How to get there? We have some tips.
First: Are You Sure You Want This?
“Don’t get pressured to run just because people say you should,” Holden says. “Do it because you really want to. You really need to be committed. There are a lot of moving parts.
“Especially in a self-managed HOA that doesn’t have a property manager, it’s a big time commitment.”
More on the qualities you’ll need later. First, here are some tips to get elected.
Do Some Serious Reading
This is no time to just skim the HOA governing documents.
You need to know the ins, outs and minute details of your HOA rules and regulations better than anybody else.
Set aside plenty of time to really read and digest this document.
If you don’t get it, how can you explain it to anybody else? Or fairly enforce the rules?
Don’t skip an HOA board meeting. It’s the best way to be really informed — and to be visible.
People need to know you really care.
Ask questions. Suggest ideas.
Meet And Greet
Don’t pass up a chance to say, “Hey, neighbor.” They won’t vote for you if they don’t know you.
Ask about their concerns and wishes, so they know you’ll represent them well.
Everybody wants a caring, reasonable, educated board member. Prove you’re that person.
Go Ahead — Ask For Votes
People need to know you want this.
Before ballots go out to HOA members, touch base to ask for their votes. Send a short note detailing why you’re perfect for the job — and why you want it.
Share The Concerns You Want To Address
Remember when kids ran for class president and vowed to improve the cafeteria food or add another dance to football season?
Point out problem areas you’d like to address as a board member. Chances are, other residents have the same beefs — and will be happy to hear somebody wants to fix them.
More Reading (Sorry)
Be sure to read your association’s contract with the property management company, the landscaping company and any other vendors.
When people ask you questions, they’ll appreciate informed answers.
Are You Really Cut Out For This?
A successful HOA board member has certain qualities, Holden says, that make them good at this role.
He shares a few. Do you see yourself here?
“You’re the eyes and ears of the community, so you have to be approachable,” Holden says. “Maybe you’re a great accountant, but you’re not a people person. If that’s true, don’t run for board president.”
Look Out For The Other Guy
“You can’t be self-serving,” Holden says. “You’re looking out for the greater benefit of the community — not just your own home and yard.”
Have Thick Skin
Not everybody will be happy with some of the decisions you have to make and the things you have to do, Holden says.
“And your neighbors know where the board members live,” he says.
Have A Clear Direction
“From a vendor’s standpoint, it really helps if board members have a clear sense of direction, a sense of what they want to accomplish,” Holden says.
And pick one person to be the designated communicator with vendors, he says.
“If I have six people telling me what to do, I usually find out at least half of them aren’t authorized to tell me,” he says.
“Be sure you understand the inner workings of the community and its challenges,” Holden says. “That helps you make reasonable decisions — and have reasonable expectations.”
“A board that can’t make a decision, so they make no decision, loses the faith of the people in the community,” Holden says.
A successful board has a clear agenda for each meeting, comes prepared, follows the agenda and keeps things moving, he says.
“Sometimes people really want to help the community, but they’re not used to running meetings, so the whole meeting turns into a social hour or a gripe session,” he says.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ruffle Some Feathers
“You can’t be afraid your decisions will upset your neighbors,” Holden says. “As long as you’re honest and reasonable, and give them good information, people may not be happy, but they’ll appreciate the fact that you took time to talk about it.”
Trust Your HOA Landscaping To Greenscape
How to get elected to an HOA board is in your hands now.
Our job is meeting the unique landscaping needs of HOAs, and it’s one of our specialties here at Greenscape, Inc.
“We dedicate a client relations manager and a project manager to each HOA client,” Holden says. “That two-manager set-up puts more eyes on the community, makes for a better client connection and gets things done.”
We’ve been meeting the full-service landscaping needs of commercial customers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary areas for more than 35 years.
We offer landscape management and lawn care, design and build services, irrigation, landscape lighting and more.
Call us at 919-552-7742 or fill out our online form to request a free consultation and learn how we can transform your landscape.
We’d love to hear from you.