The Honest Broker: Owner involvement is an HOA’s lifeblood
By: Diane Lott, Broker
Paradise Found Realty
Does it seem that the Association Board in your community never seems to change year after year and the community seems to be “limping along”? Perhaps it’s because there needs to be an awakening of the members within the community. It is quite important for all owners to take a turn on their respective boards. It gives the property owners a new perspective or point of view on how the community is run and can be quite enlightening. Sometimes, a new person can think “out of the box” to solve old problems or situations. At times, if the same people serve together year after year, they seem to fall in line with each other’s thought process.
In no way am I disparaging those that step up and serve their communities. The election of officers every year is a dreaded time and a lack of willingness to become a board member compels the old members to stay. A community would fall into “receivership” if no one is willing to serve on the Board or they lack the key participants (President, Treasurer, Secretary, etc) on the Board as per the HOA documents. What is receivership? Receivership is when the State of Florida steps in to run the community for a very high fee and dues would increase to cover the cost. No community desires that to happen!
In general, the excuses for not wanting to be on a community’s Board of Directors are: “I’m too old”, “I’m too busy”, “I can’t attend meetings”, “I have nothing to offer”, “I don’t have the patience”, just to name a few. Those excuses are real, but participating in the community’s Board of Directors is crucial to obtain a fresh outlook and decide on its’ future direction.
When new participants interact with the community, they breathe life back into it. They bring a new energy, a new outlook, new excitement. Therefore, this renewed energy that is created by the Board may get projects that have been postponed or delayed, possibly done.
Meeting participation may be as little as 4-5 times per year up to monthly, depending on your HOA. Members of the Board come together to make decisions that the property management company carries out. In this technologically advanced time, members can teleconference or “zoom” into these 1–2-hour meetings.
In summary, owner participation on the Board of Directors is imperative to a healthy community and will be welcomed with open arms if there is a desire to serve.
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