Understanding the Five Types of HOA Meetings

An integral part of the smooth operation of any Tacoma, WA HOA is meetings. Although not as action-packed and exuberant as the town hall meetings depicted in movies, they’re certainly not as bad as your Friday afternoon work meeting either. HOA meetings foster a strong sense of community and help residents become more engaged in their community association. They’re also a functional necessity, as this is when all of the decisions that most significantly impact your HOA are made. If you live in an HOA, and especially if you are an HOA board member, these are the five types of community association meetings that you should be familiar with.

1. Board Meetings

Board meetings are often held either quarterly or monthly and are used to discuss a range of issues on the pre-decided agenda. Agendas are planned out to the minute, and copies are given to community members for review since the topics on the agenda are the only ones allowed to be discussed during these meetings. Although all board members must be present for board meetings, the meetings are open to all members of the HOA if they wish to attend.

2. Committee Meetings

Larger community associations may have committees that handle specific aspects of your HOA’s operation. Examples include landscaping committees, safety committees, newsletter committees, welcome committees, and many more. Meetings can be held weekly, monthly or annually, depending on the committee. At these meetings, committee members discuss prominent topics relevant to their duty, such as the next HOA social event or any crime trends in the area. While these meetings aren’t always open to every member of the HOA, minutes are almost always available upon request.

3. Annual Meetings

The annual HOA meeting is one of the most important in any community association. Usually held at the start of the new fiscal year, annual meetings are led by the board president and announce new developments such as the budget, board members and major projects for the upcoming year. The largest and most important topics affecting the community will be discussed here, and the meeting is open to all members of the community.

4. Executive Sessions

Executive sessions are meetings in which confidential decisions are discussed and made. These meetings are not open to the public and are attended only by board members. These meetings may cover legal issues, delinquent payments, internal committee problems and other serious and private matters. Due to the sensitive nature of the topics, minutes are generally not made available.

5. Special Meetings

Special meetings happen in a rare emergency event that requires immediate action with short notice. These causes can include natural disasters, property damage, or special assessments. Board members, community members, and anyone else specified in the community’s bylaws can call a special meeting if they feel it’s warranted — although typically, more than five percent of residents will need to sign off before a special meeting can be called.

HOA board meetings can sometimes be a full-time job in and of themselves; handling the many other aspects of successful community management can be overwhelming and even impossible if your board is small, inexperienced, or otherwise just busy. Professional HOA community management is beloved by community association board members across the country because it lightens the load on Tacoma, WA board members and allows you to focus more of your time and energy on your community’s overall well-being — including the obligatory meetings. If your community association could benefit from a professional HOA management company, call The Management Trust at (253) 472-0825 or fill out our online contact form today. We’ve been one of the nation’s leading HOA management firms for 30 years, and we’d love to help your Tacoma, WA community thrive as well.

3 Key HOA Financial Management Tips to Save Money

Proper HOA financial management is essential for Aurora, CO communities because it keeps your community running smoothly and improves resident satisfaction. Not only does it enable you to run your community association more successfully, but it also helps you avoid raising annual dues — a move that all of your neighbors will appreciate. If you’re looking for ways to reduce costs and keep your expenses under budget, here are a few easy yet crucial financial management tips that can save your HOA money.

1. Adjust Energy & Water Usage

Review your community’s electricity and water bills, and see if there are any ways for you to save. Depending on where your community association is located, you may be able to shop around for providers and negotiate discounts this way. If you’re happy with your provider or only have one option, reducing your energy and water usage can help you save hundreds each month. Switch to drought-tolerant landscaping or water your landscaping at night to conserve water and reduce costs. Turn on indoor common area lights only when necessary, or utilize motion sensors, so lights are only turned on when someone is actively using a specific amenity. Adjust outdoor lighting according to daily sunset times to reduce unnecessary electricity usage, or consider switching to solar power. Implementing some of these simple steps will save your HOA considerable money each month by lowering utility bills.

2. Perform Routine Maintenance Checks

Another way you may be spending unnecessarily is through inefficient, outdated, or just plain broken fixtures. Have your preferred vendor routinely check pipes, plumbing fixtures, windows, and HVAC units to identify any issues causing higher-than-normal utility bills. Fixing any small leaks can add up to substantial water savings, and upgrading to energy-efficient double-pane windows can conserve heat and reduce electricity and gas bills. You should also double-check your meters and ensure that there are no discrepancies between the amount of energy you’re using and the amount you’re being charged each month. 

3. Hire an HOA Management Company

If you feel that your community association’s financial dealings are more complex than your board members can handle, consider hiring an HOA community management company. Most HOA management firms also offer HOA financial management services, so you can focus on the bigger picture and leave the finer details to trained professionals. At The Management Trust, we offer independent financial management services and full-service HOA management. Whether you need annual budget preparation, vendor billings management, fund management, collection services, or all of the above, you can rest assured that your HOA is in good hands with The Management Trust’s expert team.

If your Aurora, CO community association could benefit from professional financial management for 2022, consider the industry-leading experts at The Management Trust. Our community association financial management services are not only included as part of our full-service HOA management program, but they’re also offered independently to community associations requiring only financial management. All of our financial operations are SSAE 116 compliant and are highlighted by our TrustLink proprietary software. To learn more about how The Management Trust can help your HOA thrive, give us a call at (303) 750-0994 or fill out our online contact form today.

4 Key Financial Tips HOA Managers Need to Know

In many ways, Tacoma, Washington, HOA board members must be jacks of all trades. From implementing policy changes to navigating homeowner disputes and managing finances, there are many tasks that an HOA board must undertake as part of their obligatory duties. Understandably, your board members may not have the professional expertise in HOA financial management that an accountant or other expert might; with so many other responsibilities to manage, it can be hard to know where to start. If you need HOA financial management guidance, try these four simple yet critical financial tips that all HOA boards should know.

1. Evaluate Insurance Policies

During your annual budget review, take time to review your existing insurance policies and refine them to cut costs, if possible. While you should always make sure that you have ample insurance coverage, you may eliminate specific policies that are unnecessary. For example, your HOA may not need coverage for damages resulting from natural disasters such as earthquakes or snowfall, depending on your region. You should also compare your insurance statements to previous years to see if rates have increased. Shopping around to different insurance companies may help you find a comparable policy at a lower rate. Just make sure that you have enough coverage for all of your community association’s needs!

2. Double-Check Financial Reports

Mistakes happen, but financial mistakes can be highly inconvenient and even costly. Make sure that your financial reports are precise and detailed. Don’t make categories that are too vague or commingle funds. Have several people check the reports to ensure no mistakes and compare reports from the year before to avoid apparent discrepancies. Make sure that you are creating clear and separate funds for operations, deferred maintenance, and reserves. Detail and accuracy will make life much easier for your HOA in the long run.

3. Create an Investment Plan

If you want to mitigate any potential future financial problems, consider creating an investment plan for a portion of your reserve fund. Allowing your funds to earn returns is an excellent way to protect your community in the future and make each dollar go the extra mile. However, make sure that you follow any investing guidelines set out in your community’s bylaws. There may be restrictions on how much you invest and in what you can invest. Regardless of bylaws, make sure that your investments are low-risk and can be converted into cash quickly if needed.

4. Leave it to a Professional HOA Management Company

If you want to ensure that your community’s finances are in the best hands possible, invest in professional HOA financial management. Many community association management companies such as The Management Trust offer community management services, including HOA financial management. Our financial services include record keeping, fund management, collection services, monthly statement prep, budget preparation, audit coordination, escrow services, and more. When you leave your HOA financial management to trained experts, you can rest assured that your community’s budget is in good hands while your board has more time to focus on the bigger picture.

Especially in the wake of the pandemic, many community associations are taking a closer look at their financial records and planning for the worst-case scenario. However, it can be difficult for everyday board members to tackle these nuanced financial matters. If you want only the best HOA financial management for your Tacoma, Washington, community association, trust the experts at The Management Trust. To find out more information about our full range of community management services, including HOA financial management, call The Management Trust at (253) 472-0825 or fill out our online contact form today.

4 Tips for Establishing a Well-Functioning HOA Board

Many Aurora, Colorado, homeowners find it incredibly rewarding to serve as a member of their community association management board because it fosters just that: community. With so many unique perspectives and voices in the mix, your Aurora homeowners association board can come to a collaborative compromise that best serves your residents’ interests. However, sometimes having multiple personalities in a position with such responsibility can result in differences of opinion. When that happens, consider these tips to encourage harmony and smooth collaboration in your HOA board meetings.

1. Follow Your Governing Documents

Whenever any decision is made, it’s essential to consult your HOA’s governing documents to ensure that members follow the proper protocols and guidelines. This is often the case when new and enthusiastic board members who want to immediately make changes to the community join the HOA board. While new ideas and enthusiasm for the job are fantastic, all suggestions must fall within the pre-established rules and guidelines outlined in your community’s documents. The governing documents are also a good resource for impartial, factual information that can help make more objective decisions when emotions are charged. If there’s a disagreement between members, consult the bylaws for clarity on the best course of action. If you’re still stuck, ask your HOA management firm for guidance.

2. Make Sure Everyone is Heard

In an environment with multiple viewpoints and spirited debate, it is crucial to practice patience, careful listening, and understanding. No one likes to be talked over, passed over, or blown off, so treat your HOA board members with the same consideration that you’d like them to show you. Remember that each board member wants what’s best for the community; although everyone may have different communication styles, the end goal is the same. Take time to listen to everyone and make sure that every member feels heard. If there is a conflict or misunderstanding, take time to ask more questions to better understand another member’s viewpoint. Going the extra mile to listen to everyone will encourage better collaboration and foster better relationships between board members.

3. Always Be Transparent and Professional

Although your board members are your neighbors and maybe even your personal friends, remember that this is a professional environment that requires transparency and respect. Avoid conservations about board meeting matters outside of the meetings, and keep all discussions on-topic and professional. Voice your opinions in a respectful manner, and never let your personal feelings about a board member sway your decision-making regarding community matters.

4. Turn to Your HOA Management Company for Advice

If conflicts can’t be quickly resolved within your HOA board, ask your community association management company for assistance. As professional people managers, they can offer advice about handling community decisions with conflicting personalities present and even mediate specific issues. Your HOA management firm can ensure that any ongoing communication between members is clear and respectful to help mitigate current problems and prevent future ones from occurring. 

Serving on your community’s HOA board can be incredibly rewarding, but it also has its unique challenges. Just as in any other aspect of life, you must put aside personal feelings and conflicts for the betterment of your Aurora, CO, community as a whole. If your board is having communication issues and could benefit from the assistance of a professional community association management firm, reach out to The Management Trust today. We’re available at (303) 750-0994, or you can fill out our online contact form, and one of our employee-owners will get back to you shortly.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your HOA’s Budget

Budgeting is an integral part of every Tacoma, Washington, community association’s operation. Planning the annual budget by calculating expenses is how every HOA decides upon homeowner dues. Inaccurate budgeting at the start of the year could lead to financial struggles for the HOA by the end of the year or in the following years, and further result in the dissatisfaction of residents. To avoid financial disaster, make sure to avoid these five key mistakes when planning your HOA’s budget for the upcoming year.

1. Not Reviewing Past Years’ Budgets

The best way to get an accurate estimate of the upcoming year’s expenses is by viewing the expenses of previous years. Reviewing past years’ financial reports will help you identify trends and anticipate costs for the new year. It will also help you identify mistakes and correct them for the future. Just don’t forget to account for inflation and any changes in vendors that may increase costs.

2. Creating Vague Categories

The more comprehensive and detailed your expense report is, the more accurate it will be in predicting future costs. Avoid lumping categories like landscaping, plumbing, and electrical services together into “maintenance”. Create specific categories for each product and service paid for so you can better track your expenses year-over-year and create more accurate budgets in the years to come. If creating such a detailed report feels too intimidating or time-consuming, reach out to an HOA management firm like The Management Trust about their HOA financial management services.

3. Not Negotiating with Vendors

When it comes time to plan your HOA’s new annual budget, take the time to re-evaluate your vendor contracts as well. Track vendor costs year-over-year, and ask your current vendors if there are any changes to their rates in the year to come. Inquire about any discounts, especially if you have an established reputation and loyalty to the company. If you’re unsatisfied with your vendors or their new rates, look around for new vendors who may offer the same quality for better prices.

4. Failing to Add a Buffer

If there’s one thing that’s inevitable, it’s unexpected expenses. Surprise costs can — and will — pop up at any time, so your budget needs to have some breathing room to cover these costs. Although it can be tempting to try and keep your budget as tight as possible so homeowner dues will be lower — making your residents happy — it’s better to set higher, consistent dues than to land in hot water financially or have to unexpectedly raise dues later in the year. It’s better to end up with a surplus of money at the end of the year than a deficit. Any excess funds can be placed in the HOA reserve fund for emergency costs in future years.

5. Settling for Cheap Insurance Policies

Cutting corners to save money is never a good idea, and in no area is this more true than HOA insurance. If you face costly expenses due to legal ramifications, natural disasters, or any other range of issues, insurance can help soften the blow and significantly reduce the amount of financial stress placed on your community association. Choosing the cheapest insurance policies that don’t offer adequate coverage may save you money in the short term, but that savings will likely be blown out of the water by the first issue you encounter that you must pay out of pocket for. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and invest in a good insurance policy that offers adequate coverage for your Tacoma, WA, HOA.

Financial planning and budgeting are some of the most important aspects of an HOA’s successful operation. It’s the number one area where you need to dedicate diligence and ensure accuracy, or you risk placing unnecessary financial stress on your community association and its residents. Luckily, most community association management firms such as The Management Trust offer comprehensive HOA financial management services including record keeping services and budget preparation. If you’d like more information about The Management Trust’s full range of community management services, including HOA financial management, give us a call at (253) 472-0825 or fill out our online contact form today. 

Establishing Dog Rules in Your HOA

Pets are as much a part of the family as their humans. Pet-friendly HOAs in Aurora, Colorado, can come up against unique challenges caused by dogs, such as off-leash trouble, pet waste, and excessive noise. However, establishing clear regulations for pets within your homeowner’s association will help conquer your pet challenges. Teaming up with an effective HOA community management firm like The Management Trust to establish clear rules will help you enforce all of your neighborhood regulations.

Have Homeowners Register All Pets

To fairly and effectively enforce the rules against all pet owners, you’ll first need to know about all pets in the community. Rule number one should require all homeowners to register their pets with the association so they can be kept track of and homeowners can be held accountable. Create a pet registration form that must be filled out by all new and current homeowners. This will not only allow the HOA to monitor all pets in the community but also keep track of overdue vaccinations. 

Establish Barking Rules

One of the biggest issues that dogs can cause within an HOA is noise complaints. It’s normal for dogs to bark and make noise, but this shouldn’t occur excessively — especially during late or early hours when residents are sleeping. Encourage homeowners to report any persistent barking problems to the board. Simply having a conversation with the pet owner and encouraging them to bring dogs in at night could be the solution; if not, stricter consequences could be enforced after multiple instances if they’re clearly outlined within the rules of your HOA.

Establish Leash Rules

It’s recommended that all pet-friendly HOAs establish clear leash laws within their community. Unleashed dogs could bother other residents or instigate conflicts with other dogs or cats in the neighborhood. It can also be dangerous for the pet itself if they run out into the street. Require that all dogs be kept on a leash when walking around the neighborhood. If you want to go the extra mile to accommodate pet owners, create a dog park or designated, enclosed off-leash area for pets to run freely. This amenity will help attract new homeowners and keep current homeowners satisfied without creating undue risk.

Require Waste Cleanup

Animal waste is one of the most common problems in pet-friendly community associations. Although picking up your pet’s waste is typically common courtesy, many people still refuse to do so. Create a rule requiring all pet owners to pick up any waste deposits by their pets in the neighborhood’s common areas. Provide bags and trash cans throughout the neighborhood to encourage responsible pet ownership and waste management, and consider levying fines on homeowners who refuse to comply with the cleanup rules.

Create a Liability Policy

Despite your best efforts and clearly outlined rules, there can still be unfortunate events resulting from pet ownership within the HOA. To avoid liability, create a waiver to be signed by homeowners, which releases the HOA from legal liability in the case of injury, damage, or disturbance caused by pets. Transferring full liability onto the homeowner will protect your HOA and make the pet owners act more responsibly in their self-interest.

Being a pet-friendly HOA has its challenges, but it’s well worth it to make your residents’ lives happier and more fulfilled. By implementing clear pet rules and enforcing them fairly, you can have a happy and successful Aurora, Colorado, homeowner’s association. For assistance enforcing rules and collecting fines, consider a community management company like The Management Trust. We can help you navigate your legal options when creating new rules and enforce them fairly and promptly, saving your HOA board more time to focus on the bigger picture. If you’d like to find out more about The Management Trust’s full range of community association management services, give us a call at (303) 750-0994 or fill out our online contact form today.

4 Reasons Why Training Your HOA Board is So Important

HOA board members in Tacoma, Washington, and beyond have a very difficult job. They have to run every aspect of their community’s day-to-day operations, finances, rule enforcement, and more, all as a volunteer donating their time to the community. Board members aren’t employed — they’re simply residents of the HOA that have volunteered and been elected as board members who run the very communities they live in. As such, not all board members know how to handle the many complex aspects of community association management. That’s why it’s so crucial to properly train your board members in all things HOA management.

1. Proper handling of funds

Board members are responsible for the association’s finances, which can be a massive responsibility. From planning the annual budget to recording transactions and preparing reports, the financial aspect of community management is a full-time job in and of itself. It requires accuracy, timeliness, and precise organization. If your board fails to adequately handle the community’s finances, it could have devastating consequences such as shortage or bankruptcy. Inexperienced or untrained board members put your community association at risk for large financial penalties and upset homeowners, so it’s always best to make sure that your board members have thorough training in the financial aspects of community association management.

2. Improved communication

Good communication is imperative for every community association. Without it, the community cannot function effectively. In order to ensure that communication flows well amongst your board members and between the board and residents, set out clear methods of communication and plans for notice dissemination, and make sure your board is familiar with these protocols. A breakdown in communication could result in fighting between board members, upset homeowners, unknowingly broken rules, and general frustration all around. 

3. Effective conflict resolution

It’s inevitable that conflicts will arise within a community association. Each neighborhood is made up of diverse residents with differing viewpoints and opinions on a range of topics, and conflicts between homeowners or between a homeowner and the HOA will need to be resolved at one point or another. If conflicts are left unresolved and escalate, they can lead to personal attacks, physical violence, or lawsuits. In order to peacefully resolve disputes, board members should receive adequate training in best practices for conflict resolution.

4. Liability avoidance

By definition, community associations deal with a polarizing mix of local laws and resident livelihoods. This combination can, unfortunately, open associations up to legal liability somewhat frequently if the HOA isn’t careful. Board members need to be extremely familiar with federal, state, and local laws, so they can write and implement their own rules and guidelines in accordance with those regulations. They also need to unfailingly act in the best interest of the community, or the HOA becomes vulnerable to a lawsuit claiming breach of fiduciary duty. In order to avoid any legal ramifications, board members should be thoroughly trained in all legal matters surrounding community associations and their daily operations. Your community association management firm can also provide legal guidance to board members and notify the HOA as local laws evolve.

It’s understandable why board training falls to the wayside and isn’t a priority for many communities; as volunteers, your residents have a lot going on in their day-to-day lives and may not have enough time for the many responsibilities of a board member, including attending training sessions. Luckily, community association management firms such as The Management Trust can offer board education courses while simultaneously taking on many of the responsibilities normally left to your board members so that they have more time to focus on training and look at the community’s big picture. Whether you need assistance with daily operations, financial planning, legal guidance, or board training, The Management Trust is here for you and whatever your community association needs to thrive. For more information about our full range of HOA management services, call The Management Trust at (253) 472-0825 or fill out our online contact form today.

HOA Initiatives to Build an Eco-Friendly Community Association

Environmental consciousness is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and homeowners are even beginning to make purchasing decisions based on how green a property or community association is. To retain more residents and help reduce long-term costs, many Aurora, Colorado, HOAs are introducing initiatives that will help them be more eco-friendly. If you want to make your community association better for the environment without sacrificing homeowners’ quality of life, here are a few easy changes to make that still create a sizable impact.

Provide a recycling program

Almost every city and community association provides its residents with a recycling bin and weekly recycling pickup. If you don’t yet have a comprehensive recycling program in your HOA, it’s a great idea to implement one. Recycling is one of the easiest ways for an HOA and its residents to go green, and many new homeowners will expect this service just as they would with trash pickup. If you already have a recycling program in place, you can go a step further by setting up an e-recycling drop-off point in a communal area where residents can properly recycle old electronic devices such as computers, phones, televisions, and more. 

Encourage composting

According to the EPA, up to 30% of all waste is food waste that could be composted. Eliminating this unnecessary landfill waste and turning it into food for your garden is a great way to benefit the environment as well as to reduce some pressure on your local waste resources. You can encourage residents to compost by hosting a composting class for all homeowners. Many HOAs also require permission from the board for residents to begin composting, so if your bylaws require this, you can be sure to provide quick and hassle-free approval to make the process easier and more accessible for all of your residents. 

Construct a community garden

Creating a community garden is a great way to connect with nature and connect with your fellow residents. Set aside a communal plot of land for this project and encourage all residents to plant fruits, vegetables, and flowers together to build bonds and encourage environmental mindfulness.

Limit paper usage

One of the easiest ways to make your community association greener is by reducing your HOA’s paper usage. The easiest way to do this is by switching to paperless newsletters and notices, opting instead to email residents. You can also share news via your community website, email list, or social media platforms. Important documents such as board meeting minutes and homeowner paperwork should be made available electronically via a cloud-based system rather than printed out, although paper versions should still be made available for the less tech-savvy members of your community.

With so much to manage on a daily basis, it’s understandable that non-urgent projects like these get put on the backburner or implemented at a slow pace. With the assistance of a community association management firm such as The Management Trust, however, you can become more eco-friendly in the most efficient and effective ways possible. From planning actionable tasks to executing them on time, our HOA management services will take things off your plate so your HOA board can focus on the bigger picture. To find out more about The Management Trust’s full range of community association management services, give us a call at (303) 750-0994 or fill out our online contact form today.

What Is an HOA Board and Why Are They Important?

Most of us have a preliminary understanding of how an HOA board works. We know that there is the board itself, someone in charge, and the rules they’re expected to enforce for the community association. For most members of HOAs in Aurora, CO, this basic knowledge may suffice and they may not require further information about their HOA boards. However, when a dispute arises with members of your HOA, it is important to clearly and concisely know the roles of every aspect of your HOA board to best serve your community members. If you’re considering forming a board for your Aurora, Colorado, homeowners association, here is a primer on what an HOA board is and what its responsibilities should be. 

Defining an HOA Board

In most cases, HOA boards take form by the creation of governing documents, usually taking place before land development begins. Once the governing documents have been established, the board is then elected according to the agreed-upon bylines of the documents. Governing documents can also determine the roles of each board member, as well as further elaborate on the rules and regulations of their community. Knowing how HOA boards are created is important for community members, and it is equally important for homeowners to elect members of their community to represent them in the governance of their HOA. 

Rule Enforcement

The HOA board is responsible for enforcing rules that are designed to protect property values and typically require that homeowners maintain their homes to meet certain aesthetic standards. In addition, having an HOA board is important because of the need to maintain common areas including trails, pools, or playgrounds. In Aurora, CO, HOA boards may take additional action if an HOA member is delinquent in completing their membership fees. In Aurora, CO, collection action includes obtaining a lien against your home in accordance with Colorado law. HOA boards in Aurora and throughout the state of Colorado can foreclose on your home if the amount on the property lien is equal to or greater than six months of assessments and the board agrees to foreclose.

Financial Duties

In relation to collecting fees, the HOA board is also responsible for maintaining a budget for the entire community. Board members should typically meet annually to determine their budget for the following year, and they do so by accurately collecting enough fees from their fellow community members. The annual HOA budget should also include a reserve fund to protect the community in the face of any emergencies. Once a budget has been established, each board member should be provided with a maintenance assessment. 

While this list of responsibilities is thorough, it is by no means a comprehensive list meant to establish your HOA board. If you are considering forming an HOA board in Aurora, CO, save yourself the trouble of finding out the details and reach out to the community association management experts at The Management Trust. For more than 30 years, homeowners associations throughout the U.S. have entrusted The Management Trust with all their community management services. We pride ourselves on being one of the few employee-owned HOA management companies in the country, and we continue our dedication to doing things right by providing excellent service to each HOA that we work within Aurora, Colorado, and throughout the country. If you’re ready to move forward with establishing your HOA board, contact us today and let us make a difference in your Homeowners Association.

Tips for Running a Successful HOA Board

Serving on an HOA board can be very rewarding. Being able to listen to the opinions and perspectives of your fellow board members can be a positive experience, but it is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. Achieving optimal operation of your Tacoma, WA, HOA board requires all its members to work together to create an environment that fosters growth, communication, and mutual appreciation. While it’s inevitable that there will be differences in your board, here are some tips on how to ensure the success of your HOA board.

Ensure Everyone Feels Heard

It’s no secret that most HOA boards will have a diverse array of personalities. This often results in an equally diverse amount of opinions flying around during meetings. When this occurs, it’s important to encourage healthy dialogue with the goal of looking out for the best interests of the community. Keep an open mind when hearing the opinions that differ from your own and actively listen to each board member’s concerns. Never be dismissive of someone’s ideas or opinions; instead, ask for further clarification to help you better understand the issue at hand. 

Refer to Your Governing Documents

There may be cases in which major decisions need to be made, leaving little to no room for personal opinion and speculation. In these cases, it is best to let your community association’s governing documents help make the decision for you. These documents were created to serve as an objective resource when addressing pertinent issues within your HOA. In addition, your governing documents may have important information regarding state laws and regulations that may come into play with the decisions your HOA board has to make. If your Tacoma HOA board is having trouble understanding the verbiage found in these documents, it’s recommended to reach out to an experienced community association management company such as The Management Trust to help you make sense of it all.

Always Be Respectful and Transparent

The best-run HOA boards are those that prioritize respect and transparency amongst their members. It can be very easy for small misunderstandings to turn into large arguments when personal feelings get in the way of objective decision-making. To avoid this issue, make sure to encourage open communication during your board meetings and stay away from having board-related issues outside of your meeting times to prevent gossip and further discord. Always remember that no matter what decisions need to be made, none of them are personal; so make sure you maintain impartiality and professionalism at all times.

Check-In with Your HOA Community Management Company

If all else fails and you find yourself in a difficult situation, reach out to a seasoned HOA community management company to lend a hand. Employees of an excellent community association management company are properly trained in managing people and their needs, making them experts in giving insight and support when needed. Some of the community management services you and your board can get help with include:

  • Assigning a community manager who will prioritize the needs of your community
  • Making sure board members are on the same page and encouraging open communication
  • Mediating internal conflicts if necessary
  • Creating proactive and creative ways to bring different personalities together 

Creating a harmonious and productive HOA board can prove to be exciting, yet challenging. Save yourself time and stress by contacting the experts at The Management Trust to handle all of your HOA management needs in Tacoma, Washington. Our team of employee-owners has successfully communicated important issues with homeowners associations throughout the country, and they are more than willing to do the same for you. If you are ready to take the next step in community management services, contact us today to see how we can help.