Good HOA boards are all alike. Here are 6 qualities they have in common:

1. Strong Volunteerism

Being a board member is unpaid volunteer work. It can feel unglamorous, exhausting, and thankless at times but you run for election and join the board if you win because you are willing to undertake a service.

Maybe you believe that you can bring value to the association with your skills and experience. Maybe you want to help solve common issues in your HOA or uplift the quality of life for all residents.

When the board has a strong spirit of volunteerism, they can accomplish many great things together for all residents.

2. Consensus-driven

One of the biggest challenges of board members is to switch from a for-profit mindset, which they have been used to in the workplace, to a non-profit mindset.

As such, no single member or minority should “call the shots” or make decisions without the approval of the board. In non-profit HOA, the board is a collective body that makes decisions. Everything goes through a democratic process and nothing should be decided on without a consensus.

You may be an elected officer—president, vice president—but all board members have equal power and voice on HOA matters.

3. Detail-oriented

Every HOA has governing documents, by-laws, or covenants.

Reviewing and understanding governing documents requires hard work and commitment, but is a necessary task for board members in order to enforce rules and manage their HOA properly.

You can’t fully enforce a policy that you don’t know or don’t fully understand. That’s why digging in  every component of the documents and following them to the letter is very important.

4. Strong Leadership

As a community leader, you put the association’s interest first.

This includes keeping your community’s property value at ideal levels, maintaining the peace and order in the condo or neighborhood, and resolving complaints and conflicts.

You guide the association in the right direction. You look at the big picture, set goals accordingly, and follow through. Think of yourselves as a sports team coach rather than a workplace manager that barks orders.

5. Fair and Consistent

As a person in power, you’re expected to be impartial in treating all members of the association. That means you shouldn’t pick on or hold grudges with any resident and then let your friends off the hook when they break the rules. You can’t come down hard on others and then get a pass when you make violations. 

Remember that by being fair, you build your integrity as a leader. Residents will more likely respect and follow the rules that you enforce.

6. Communicative and Transparent

One of the important tasks of the HOA board is to send the resident consistent and timely news, updates, and reports on matters that concern the association like financial, maintenance, new rules, and HOA meetings.

Especially on financial matters, residents have the right to know how their HOA dues are being utilized. The board should be diligent in publishing annual financial reports and keeping their financial documentation and audits up-to-date.

The board should also have a clear and streamlined communication process for filing complaints, entertaining inquiries, and requesting association documents.