Balance and Boundaries as an HOA Board Member
Updated: Oct 30
Don’t Lose Your Mind: Creating Balance and Boundaries as an HOA Board Member
You’ve heard the stories—or maybe even experienced them—of homeowners treating a Board member as a scapegoat for their complaints. HOA Board members are the unfortunate target of many homeowner concerns and frustrations, but your service to the community doesn’t have to be doomed to become a hassle. With the help of boundaries and efficient systems, your Board term can be productive and gratifying as you seek to improve your community.
As a Board member, you’re a doer, helper, and problem solver. These are great qualities that are certainly needed on any homeowners association Board. Though Board members are volunteers, you may sometimes feel expected to operate as a full-time employee. How do you navigate the waters of maintaining productivity, creating balance, and ultimately not losing your mind?
The qualities that make you a great board member (willingness to offer your time, assistance, work, wisdom, etc.) may also create vulnerability. Recognizing your desire to offer assistance when needed, some people may take advantage of your natural inclination to serve by pestering you with a barrage of petty issues. Your own drive to help your community can also contribute to adding stress to your position. Set boundaries for your fellow homeowners as well as with yourself.
Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to community governance and communicate this with your fellow Board members and homeowners to manage expectations. If, for example, a neighbor knocks on your door in the middle of the night to deliver a complaint that is not an emergency, defend your boundaries by politely letting them know when it isn’t a good time to talk and offer an appropriate option for communication.
Avoid Common Grievances
During your Board service, keep an eye out for specific issues that garner more complaints from homeowners. Two common complaints from community members center on service expectation of association vendors/contractors and rules/covenant enforcement within the community. Establishing and communicating the contracted scope of service with association members will help manage homeowner expectations to better align with the services the business partner is actually being engaged to provide. The same proactive communication about the association’s adopted enforcement process and protocol can be similarly helpful. Ultimately these steps will go a long way to reduce a large percentage of potential complaints.
Outsource HOA Management Tasks
Perhaps the best way to handle many of the hassles associated with Board responsibility for an HOA is to have experts in the field manage it for you. An accredited and reputable community association management firm like Wise Property Solutions oversees everything from homeowner communications to financial and facilities management. Contact us today to learn more about alleviating your stress as a Board member.
Remember that setting appropriate boundaries and creating balance in volunteering isn’t selfish. In fact, you’ll be a more effective Board member by regulating your own routine. You chose to join the Board because of your vision for the community—balance ensures you maintain your energy and motivation to provide your best volunteer service.