Posted by IKO Community Management on August 9, 2018 at 9:00 AM
When it comes to recruiting future leaders of your homeowners association, it’s best to look at the opportunity like a business. How do businesses find new employees? Who qualifies as the right employee?
Here’s how to recruit board members and volunteers for your homeowners association, according to IKO Community Management in Olney, Maryland:
Start the conversation early. “The best way to get people involved is to do it right when they move in," Debra Warren of Cinnabar Consulting in San Rafael, California, said. Cinnabar “provides training and employee development services to community association management firms and training and strategic planning sessions for association board members,” according to HOA Leader.
Warren suggests implementing a welcome committee or newcomer program "in which a board member is assigned to go meet new residents and bring basic information about the association.”
"The intention should be to get them to come to board meetings and meet the rest of the board members to have a conversation about their interests."
This allows the existing HOA board to judge where the new resident might fit in, if they voice an interest.
Understand the personal/professional balance. A resident who has professional experience in finances or event planning is a great addition to the HOA board. While this is great for the board, a full-time commitment to a board position might be too much for the resident.
Instead, find a compromise. Ask the resident if they’d like to be on a subcommittee. Consult the resident for advice on financial or social matters when necessary. Striking a balance between what the board needs and what the resident wants is key.
Ease volunteers in. Residents often say that they want to be more involved in the community. They want to make a difference and live better. This doesn’t mean that every resident is ready to be HOA president -- or any board position.
It’s best to start residents off with something their passionate about. If a resident loves gardening, suggest they join the landscaping subcommittee. If they love people, suggest they join the social committee.
Once they get familiar with the homeowners association and volunteer positions, they can graduate to board positions. It all depends on when they’re ready. Easing these volunteers in creates a lower turnover rate on your HOA board.
Empower your residents. Think about your homeowners association like a business. Employees want to stay when their work is recognized and when they feel appreciated. It’s the same concept for HOA board members and volunteers.
When a volunteer resident or board member does something well, it’s best to compliment or reward them. This appreciation empowers them. It makes them want to do more for the community, because the community makes them feel good.
"Give recognition at the annual meeting, even if it's simple," James McCormick, Jr. of Peters & Freedman LLP in Encinitas, California, said to HOA Leader. "How much does it cost to create a certificate that you print out?"
Aside from appreciation, your homeowners association can do more to empower its residents. Invite them to industry events, give them the floor during HOA meetings, and so on.
Implement a referral program. Because your HOA is like a business, referral programs are a great way to find new talent from reputable sources.
According to Forbes, “Referrals often come from existing connections and acquaintances, which means that your own employees have already started the vetting process for you. When an employee puts forth a referral, they’re indicating that they believe this person has the talent and personality to fit in with the company culture.”
The same concept goes for HOAs. Referrals eliminate guesswork, which means you can focus on aligning your goals.
To see if you’d be right in an HOA board position, download our Effective HOA Leadership Qualities White Paper. Discover the right personality traits and duties of each board member. Click on the button below to get your copy:
Topics: HOA Board