Some homeowners associations (HOAs) are bustling with activity and members are very engaged and open to stepping up as part of the board. Other communities struggle to find volunteers willing to take on this commitment. It can also be more difficult if the current board has been in place for several years without much change. But when someone steps down and there is a vacancy to fill, the search is on. In a new statement to the press, Kuester Management Group shares tips for improving the recruitment process and encouraging member participation.
“A major struggle for some HOA communities is filling seats on the board,” says Bryan Kuester, President of Kuester Management Group. “Homeowners often have many excuses for why they can’t, but they fail to realize the importance of having a full board. Before decisions can be made – decisions that will affect everyone who lives there – a quorum must be reached, and if it is not, voting cannot take place. This can interfere with the operations of the community.”
An important step that the HOA can take is educating its members, says Kuester. Ensure that they understand how the HOA board works, its responsibilities, and how this affects homeowners. Appeal to issues that are of importance to members. Let them know how their involvement can affect these things and how they can be a part of making positive changes in the community. They don’t have to be well-versed in being a board member because others will be there for support and to help them learn the ropes. There are also a variety of courses and seminars they can participate in to get up to speed.
Another step is to make it personal. “Get to know people in the neighborhood and talk to them face-to-face,” recommends Kuester. “Make connections and pay attention to those who seem truly interested and engaged with what is going on in the community. When vacancies arise, this can help you to identify people to approach about filling these seats and they’ll already be familiar with who you are.” It can also be a good idea to look for people who have relevant experience such as a background in accounting or human resources. Their skill sets can make them a valuable addition to the board and allow them to put their talents to use in a different way.
Partnering with a property management group can also be beneficial. This can reassure members that they will have guidance and support. It also helps with delegating responsibilities so board members can focus on the most important issues and rest assured that other tasks are being properly handled. Having a strong relationship with a property manager can reduce stress and time commitments which can alleviate hesitancy from some residents to get more involved.
“Be supportive and encouraging,” says Kuester. “If they give it a try and find that it’s not a good fit for them, they can always step down, but they may find that they really enjoy being an active part of making decisions to improve the community.” There are a lot of moving parts in making an HOA community run smoothly and creating a strong board is an important element. Kuester Management Group can support these efforts and more.
Kuester Management Group, a division of Kuester Companies, works to protect property values and enhance the quality of life in each of its managed communities. Providing a full range of association management services, Kuester Management Group has worked to foster strong, resilient, and unified communities across North and South Carolina. The company is proud to offer on-site property managers, all zealous for building strong communities meant to stand the test of time.
More information is available at www.kuester.com or @KuesterCompany