With so many people leading busy, sometimes hectic, lives that revolve around work, kids, social functions, and other obligations, it’s often very difficult for co-op/condo/HOA administrators to find residents willing and able to serve their community as a board members (or ‘directors’ or ‘trustees,’ depending on what part of the country you’re in). Board members are unpaid volunteers, and the job can sometimes seem like a thankless hassle – but having a complete, competent and committed board is crucial to running a solvent, functional building or association.
“It’s hard to get those people to serve but I’ve found that as new people move in, they have a fresh interest in the building,” says Pamela DeLorme, managing partner at Delkap Management, Inc., in Howard Beach, New York. “They may be willing to donate their time if it’s explained to them what their responsibilities are.”
What Do You Do?
“The only drawback [of serving on your board] is that you give up some of your personal time that could be spent on other endeavors,” says Asa Sherwood, president of property management firm FirstService Residential Illinois in Chicago, and who was a condo board member for seven years. “The benefits are having a voice in the direction that your community’s going, and a say in how money is being spent in what is typically your largest investment: your home.”
While searching for potential board members, Nancy S. Hastings, regional vice-president for community management company Associa, which has an office in Mount Laurel, recommends mining any existing committees.
“Committees are generally a really good source for potential board member volunteers, but if you’re in a smaller community without as many resources from which you can pull, it can be helpful to host a new homeowner event,” she says. “You can welcome newcomers who have moved into the community, and bring along volunteer forms or something of that ilk, or just ask them whether they would ever be interested in serving.