As a homeowner, you have a big investment in your neighborhood. In addition to your own dwelling unit, your Association may have common amenities, such as a clubhouse, pool, sidewalks, roads, and more. How do you make sure that your Association is properly maintained and cared for? One way is to volunteer with your homeowner’s Association as a committee or board member.
Protecting your own investment is just one reason to serve as a volunteer for your Association, though. Below is a list of 10 important reasons to serve on an Association board.
1. Protect Your Property – One of the top priorities of all board members should be to protect the value of all homes in the community. This is not a self-serving act; it is an obligation to all members of the Association. Being involved on the board puts you in a better position to make and implement rules that directly affect property value, especially if they require decisions about the Association’s budget or routine maintenance.
2. Correct Problems – If you notice problems in your community, such as parking violations, maintenance issues, or situations with unruly neighbors, you can help to correct them by serving on the board.
3. Meet Expectations – Everyone has certain expectations when they move into an Association. Are those expectations being met? It is unlikely that an Association will meet everyone’s expectations, but by serving on the board, you can help balance competing expectations to create a better community.
4. Gain Better Understanding of Applicable Laws – Volunteering as a board member forces you to become better-versed in laws and regulations related to community Associations.
5. Learn New Skills – Most members who volunteer to serve on the board don’t possess all the skills necessary for this management / leadership position. Most will learn on the job. This is an opportunity to learn about maintenance issues, finances, and budgeting.
6. Learn Life Lessons – As an Association board member, you must learn to work as a team. A one-man-show is effectively a dictatorship. While this type of leadership can be very efficient, the Association is usually better off if board members share their interests and responsibilities with others, as the job is too big for one person. At the same time, you will appreciate the importance of valuing others’ opinions before making decisions.
7. Have Fun – Serving on the board doesn’t have to be boring. The interaction with your fellow board members and active members who get involved is also a socialization process. You get to meet and know your neighbors and develop friendships. The collaboration that occurs during the decision-making process of the board often brings out the creative side of people as they strive to create outcomes that work for all members. In the process, you cause your community to run better.
8. Develop Leadership Skills – Serving on the Association board gives you a chance to hone your leadership skills. Organizational skills are generally improved as you deal with coordination of board activities and membership social functions.
9. Give Back to the Association – By volunteering on your Association’s board, you are also giving back to your neighbors and community. Many people derive a great sense of satisfaction in volunteering.
10. Meet Neighbors – An Association board meeting can be one of the best places to meet your neighbors and to learn more about them. It gives you a chance to socialize and make friends with others living in your neighborhood. Many friendships start right here.
Polls of community Association lifestyles consistently remind us that the vast majority of homeowners in Associations have a positive view of their Association – but that doesn’t make the news. If you rely solely on the large media outlets for information about Associations, you could easily develop the opposite viewpoint, since what makes the news are the very small number of incidents where things go wrong.
Too many people describe what’s wrong with Associations rather than talk about what’s right with Associations. This article attempts to present some of the benefits that you can derive from volunteering to serve your Association. Serving on your Association board puts you in a better position to have a positive influence in your community