- Joe Wise
Keeping HOA Committees Focused
Committees are the lifeblood of every community. There’s a lot to do in condo or homeowner associations, and volunteers are the people who can make things happen. People usually volunteer because they have a personal interest in a project, have a special skill to share and/or want to help create a thriving community. Still, it isn’t always easy to keep committees focused and on task. Here are some tips to boost the success rate of your neighborhood committees.
Leadership and skills – Successful committees need the right people to move forward. Make sure your committees have a leader to keep them on task. Identify special skills required, and solicit help from homeowners who possess the experience you need.
Purpose – Lay a solid foundation for every committee to help them focus on the need. What is the structure of the committee, the overall purpose and expectations? Communicate limitations, resources, authority and other directions that may be needed to achieve the goal(s).
Action Plan – It’s a good idea to draft an action plan with as much detail as possible about the tasks expected of committee members and time requirements prior to forming the committee. This conveys expectations to volunteers and helps them decide if they have the time/skills needed for the project. An action plan also provides an excellent starting place for the committee to create subtasks, assignments, and timelines. Having a plan with timelines adds focus to committee meetings and the tasks.
Budget – If committee members are expected to purchase items, they need an approved budget as well as guidelines for when Board approval is needed. An itemized list of expenditures and receipts should be submitted to the Board as part of their reporting process.
Reporting – Establish a reporting schedule and request that any materials be delivered to the Board in time to be included in the pre-meeting materials. For most HOA Boards, that’s usually a week before the meeting. Typically, the committee leader updates the Board during regular meeting. Scheduled reports and feedback keeps the committee focused.
Inspiration – Find ways to motivate and express appreciation to committee members. People appreciate it when you ask for input and ideas instead of “telling” them how to do a task. Communicating progress or success stories in your newsletter, website or even the local paper can be motivating. Volunteer efforts may also be recognized via a thank you letter, a certificate of achievement or a “call out” in a Board meeting.
Wise Property Solutions is a property management company serving East Tennessee with offices in Knoxville, TN and the Tri-Cities, TN-VA. Specializing in Condominium Association Management, Home Owners Association Management, HOA Management and Gated Community Association Management.