Being an HOA board member can come with a lot of stress. In addition to managing personal obligations, HOA Board members volunteer their time to preserve and maintain the aesthetics of their neighborhood, often with little to no thanks.
Stress can build when balancing family and friend obligations, work commitments, and free time. Not to mention, association related tasks such as dues collections, routine inspections, maintenance and repair requests, vendor issues, and so much more.
Talk about a lot of things to handle at once!
If you are an HOA board member, and feel you may be falling victim to the stress that comes with being on a board, keep reading to find out how to recognize and handle this issue.
Not only will these tips help you succeed in assisting your Association, they will help you manage your work in a way that allows you to maintain a balanced and healthy life.
How to Handle the Stress of Being a Board Member
There are many ways you can handle the stress of being a HOA board member. And truthfully, what works for you may not work for another, and vice versa.
That said, here are some of the top ways to relieve the stress of being an effective board member.
1. Make a To-do List…and Stick to it
There are a lot of things you need to do when it comes to managing your Association. Collecting dues, scheduling annual meetings, enforcing Covenants and Restrictions, lining up vendors, getting bids for improvement projects, processing architectural requests just to name a few.
Even if you have an incredible memory, you are bound to forget something at one point or another. In fact, trying to remember everything you need to handle can become a stressor in itself.
One of the best solutions for this type of stress is to keep a to-do list.
With a to-do list, you can easily write down the things you need to take care of, prioritize them accordingly, and mark them off as you complete them, so you know that everything has been taken care of. Creating a quick reference guide to your Associations governing documents is a great way to ensure the rules are enforced uniformly.
2. Handle Repairs Immediately
Board members are responsible for the overall aesthetics of the subdivision. This responsibility comes with an obligation to address maintenance issues quickly.
Ignoring a maintenance issues will anger homeowners and make them question the efficacy of the board. After all, homeowners pay dues to support the Association and expect all maintenance and repairs to be handled promptly by board members, or your property management company.
In addition, failing to address maintenance issues promptly can end up costing the Association more money in the long run. That alone can become the source of a great amount of stress especially when questioned by other neighbors.
Luckily, preventing this is easy, as long as you handle issues in a timely manner.
3. Have an Emergency Fund
In line with efficiently handling all maintenance and repair requests is the idea that the Association should have a sizeable emergency fund on hand for emergencies. In SELA downed trees are a given in any calendar year. Hurricanes and other naturally occurring weather patterns can also reap havoc on an association’s budget if they are not prepared. Check out our article on how to prepare for a hurricane here.
Money can be the source of stress in all areas of life. It is no different in the management of Homeowners Associations.
If you have ever encountered a major repair in your home, one that you did not have the money to repair right away, think about how that made you feel.
Avoid the stress of having to explain to neighbors why trees cannot be cleared or the front entrance sign can’t be painted by building up and maintaining an emergency fund to be used specifically for emergencies. After all, as a Board member you are responsible for effectively managing the Association’s funds which includes having enough reserves in the bank to cover an emergency.
4. Become Educated About the Board Membership
Often times people shy away from board membership because they do not know what it entails or they fear personal liability if something goes wrong. Volunteers can become very stressed when a situation with your Association arises that you do not know how to handle.
To avoid problems down the road educate yourself on your roles and responsibilities as a board member.
Most property management companies host training seminar for new and seasoned board members who want to constantly improve their associations. Check out our free training seminar here.
Educating yourself on how to save time and money for your association can make you feel more confident as a board member, and less stressed when a problem pops up.
5. Employ a Property Management Company
One of the best things anyone with stress can do is to ask for help.
It is okay to admit that you are a stressed out board member.
In addition, it is okay to ask for help from a professional that is experienced in managing homeowners associations.
By hiring Gulf South Property Management, you will save your Association a lot of time and money.
Best of all, you will lessen the stress that is placed on your shoulders when trying to self-manage an association, and will be able to focus on the fun side of board membership.
A quality property management company can do the following for you:
- Collect annual dues, set budgets and assist in reserve setting for the association
- Process architectural requests
- Offer online payment and maintenance request options to homeowners
- Organize and host annual membership meetings
- Consistently enforce Covenant and Restrictions to ensure property values are maintained
- Routinely inspect your association to ensure optimal vendor performance
- Handle all maintenance requests
- Field homeowner calls and concerns in a fast and friendly manner
- Provide affordable management services so your association can afford help
If you are in the market for an exceptional property management company to help you manage your homeowner association, contact Gulf South Property Management today. Not only can we handle everything listed above, we can take away many of the stresses association with board membership. Our services can be fully customized to ensure that your association only pays of the services you need.
In the end, we believe that board membership should be a fun and enjoyable way to give back to your community. Leave the technical stuff to us so you can focus on improving your association while preserving everyone’s property value.