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HOA Tips – Board of Director Volunteers

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Getting volunteers in an HOA can be difficult. Even more so when seeking members for the Board of Directors. One of the most highly asked questions regarding Board elections is procedure on finding and electing new Board members. Below are some tips that will help ease the process and ensure that your community members will be well informed when making a decision on the candidates.

 

How far in advance should an HOA send notice of upcoming open Board positions?

If a Director’s term is expiring it is a good idea to start seeking candidates at the beginning of the last quarter of their term. Three months may seem like a long time, but in many cases it will require multiple notices to the community to get volunteers for the open position.

 

What should be included in the HOA notice?

Include as much information as possible, but also be sure to follow your governing documents. It is also highly recommended that a Board Member Application form be included in the notice. This form would be completed by all interested parties and submitted to the Board, or management company, for review. Review in advance is necessary as in some cases a volunteer may not qualify to be elected (this is detailed in your HOA governing documents).

Your governing documents will specify the elections and Board of Director’s positions in a variety of ways. The most common two ways are: Specific positions and terms, positions determined by volunteering for the specific position and elected to that position by the community at the annual meeting; or members are volunteering for “Director” positions and official Board position (e.g. President, Vice President, etc) is determined by a vote of the Board after elections are completed.

In the first scenario, the notice would be more complicated and detailed. Below is an example:

Sample HOA – 6 Board of Directors Members to be elected.

Positions

President: 3 Year Term

Vice President: 2 Year Term

Secretary: 2 Year Term

Treasurer: 2 Year Term

Director: 1 Year Term

Sample HOA’s President, Treasurer, and two Directors have terms expiring at the upcoming annual meeting. The notice in this situation would follow something like this:

At the upcoming annual meeting Sample HOA will be seeking volunteers for the following Board member positions:

Board President – 3 year term. ((Details per governing documents of President’s responsibilities))

Treasurer – 2 year term. ((Details per governing documents of Treasurer’s responsibilities))

Director (two positions) – 1 year term. ((Details per governing documents of Director’s responsibilities))

In the second scenario, with Board determined positions of all members, the notice would just specify that a “Director” position is open, detail the terms of the position, and notify the community that their position on the Board will be determined internally after the elections.

 

How often should the HOA send notices out regarding the open positions?

There is no set amount. It is almost always true though that the more you send the better your chances are of finding volunteers, but keep in mind the costs that could be involved. If most of your membership has an email address on file, Great! It’s a simple matter of sending an email out. If you have a management company you can use them to send out email and/or text blasts (be sure to check your contract and/or contact your management team as costs could be involved). If most of your membership does NOT have an email address on file you’ll have to consider the costs of postage into the number of notifications.

 

How should the volunteers be presented to the HOA community prior to elections?

The best scenario is to call a community meeting at least one week before the HOA’s annual meeting so that members can come and meet the volunteers. At the meeting each volunteer should speak to the HOA community about why they want to be on the HOA board and provide information on their background, skills, etc. HOA members should then be allowed to ask the volunteers questions. We recommend putting a limit on either the time or number of questions that each HOA member has with each volunteer.

 

What if we don’t get enough volunteers?

This is probably one of the biggest, and most difficult, questions HOA’s have. There is no quick and easy way to ensure you get volunteers, but the most common reason for not getting sufficient volunteers is not being informative about what being on the Board of Directors entails. Be detailed and open about each position, what is expected of the Board, etc.

We highly recommend that current and/or prior HOA Board members be asked to speak about their experiences with potential volunteers.

 

We are self managed, do we need any extra vetting of our volunteers?

Yes! We highly recommend that self-managed communities invest in background/credit checks, as well as more in-depth interviewing of potential candidates, especially for those seeking the Treasurer position on a Board.

HOA Board Member Meeting – Tips for Taking Minutes

One of the most common mistakes a HOA Board can make occurs in their minute taking during a meeting. Trying to participate and maintain accurate notes can stretch out the meeting and be overwhelming to many!

Here are a couple tips to help improve your minute taking task:

  1. Record the meeting! There are hundreds of free apps that allow you to record right on your smart phone. Don’t have a smart phone? No problem, you can buy a voice recorder for less than $20 on Amazon.com! You can then transcribe the important information after the meeting or even opt for a transcription service to complete it for you.
  2. Remember your notes must be clear and detailed, but every word spoken does not have to be retained. A basic synopsis of the topic,voting, and Boards decisions are all that are needed. Here is an example: Homeowner Sally A. brought to Boards attention that her condo roof is leaking into her 3rd floor master bedroom. Board agreed to proceed with bids from roofing companies.
  3. Voting can be simple! When the Board calls a vote the minutes must reflect the motion and total votes for or against, but information on specific Board members and their votes are not required, nor are full details of contracts as copies should be retained with the minutes. Here’s an example: Motion to vote in favor of extending contract with Sunnytime Landscapers. Motion seconded. Vote passed: 3 in favor, 2 abstained.

HOA Board Meeting Agenda Tips

HOA Board Meeting Agenda’s

HOA Board Meeting

An HOA Board Meeting can be stressful in communities and Board members are volunteers, so many are not trained or experienced in some of the tasks that they are expected to accomplish. One of the biggest concerns for Board members is regarding Board Meetings. How to conduct it, prep for it, and more. This month we will discuss some of the common items that Board’s typically struggle with. Today our topic will be Agenda’s!

Creating an HOA Board Meeting Agenda and sticking to it can be difficult. What should be included or not included? How specific should you be? Should they be provided to the community before the meeting? The questions can seem never ending, but below are some tips that can help resolve many of the common questions AND you can find our sample Agenda HERE!

Agenda Tips

  • What should be included on our Agenda? Main categories need to be included with general information. For example, if you plan to discuss bids received for a pool pump replacement the agenda should have something similar to the following: Review Pool Pump Estimates from 4 vendors.
  • Does the Agenda need to be shared with the community prior to the meeting? YES. Depending on your specific HOA governing documents/policies, you can provide the Agenda in several ways – digitally, posted in the community, by mail, or posted online. Some of these must be done in conjunction with each other, for example if you have a policy that allows you to announce meetings electronically you can provide a copy of the agenda digitally (such as on a community discussion board or web page) but you must also provide a physical copy by posting it in an easily view-able area of the community (such as on a bulletin board at your club house, pool, etc.). If you don’t have a policy that allows this you must provide a physical copy by mail to all community members.
  • How detailed should my Agenda be? There is no required level of detail for an Agenda. You can be as detailed as you prefer, but to save on space we recommend keeping your Agenda simple like the sample version. ESPECIALLY if you have to provide a physical copy by mail!
  • Is there a required format my Agenda needs to follow? No, there is no required format for Agenda’s. We do recommend using a format like the one provided in the sample to keep the Agenda from being cluttered.
  • Why do we need to have an Agenda? Agenda’s are a great way to keep the meeting moving smoothly and on topic. Without an Agenda meetings can take significantly longer and, in many cases, important items can be missed!

We hope the above tips and our sample Agenda help provide you with an easier HOA Board Meeting prep! Remember to bookmark our site and check back regularly for more HOA related articles. Ashoka Lion is happy to serve our local communities!