Effective HOA Governance for Board Members

Fri, 19 Feb 2016

Many newly elected volunteer Board of Directors know the challenging responsibilities of managing a condominium/homeowner association. Staying on top of board duties and balancing work and family life can become difficult for some members. This is akin to running a small business enterprise. Below are some useful tips for effective HOA Governance.

Review Governing Documents
Knowing and reviewing HOA’s documents such as declarations and by-laws is important to ensure all board members are on the same page. Items such as holding elections, running board meetings and overseeing any changes made in the community and what documents need updating.

Increasing Board Education and awareness in the personal community
Giving homeowners association members a chance to get to know one another on a deeper level is a perfect way to make a positive impact on Board governance and satisfaction from residents. Scheduling social events regularly is an efficient way to bring community residents together and promoting personal camaraderie. Using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook is another exciting way to spread the word.

Proactive Management of Annual Budgets
It is important for Board members to get a head start in planning annual budgets. Some key planning tips include-Planning for a sufficient reserve fund, insurance deductibles, focusing on much needed capital improvement projects and analyzing vendor and utility rates.  It is always good practice to consider the following year’s budget once summer end to ensure they are fully prepared for developing a budget at that time.

Evaluate and Develop a Risk Management Plan
The Board Members must have a plan for obvious and expected risks such as fraud and crime within the association, natural disasters and conflicts within the community. If the association already has a plan, each Board Member must make a consistent effort to understand how it works. This process must be evaluated and amended every year if needed. Risk management is extremely important in running a homeowner/condominium association to prevent  legal issues and strengthen board confidence among community members.

Where to start
Webster’s Specialty Lending division has an experienced team of bankers dedicated exclusively to associations. We understand the unique financial challenges that community associations and property management firms are facing today. And can offer of targeted financing solutions for capital improvements with limited collateral.

For unit owners, Webster’s Homeowner Association Plus Program offers discounts on personal mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit if their association chooses to bank with Webster.

Learn more about Webster’s association lending services.

Dev Singh based in Providence, RI is Vice President of the Specialty Banking Group at Webster Bank, N.A. The Specialty banking group uses their industry expertise to provide targeted solutions to Healthcare, Not-for-Profits, Associations and Real Estate Management Companies located in CT, MA, RI and NY. He is also an active member of Community Association of New England. Reach him for additional information at asingh@websterbank.com or connect with him on Linkedin.

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