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Training New Board Members

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A condo or homeowner’s association is the cornerstone of a building community. The condo or HOA maintains order and continuity by preserving architectural integrity, maintaining the common elements, protecting property values, and often providing for recreation and community engagement. Operating a condo or HOA involves many of the same responsibilities as any other business, although board members are volunteers and generally serve without compensation.

While some board members may have pertinent experiences from their personal lives – accountants, attorneys, brokers, and managers – most are only armed with a desire to serve their building communities. A newly elected board member will need solid instruction and training to fully understand their role and fiduciary duties. Serving as a board member can be a valuable service and a rewarding experience, but like any other position, proper training is very important.

Utilizing Outside Tools

Industry veterans also strongly advice utilizing the professional expertise of community association managers, the board’s attorney and accountant, among others to keep both new and veteran board members in the loop and abreast of important information on legal and financial issues.

Private real estate educators, management companies, professional organizations like CAI, and most law firms, regularly offer board certification classes giving newbies an overview on federal, state, and local laws, emergency planning, financial management, and just about every other aspect of association administration.

For more information, go to:

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/ddbpr/lsc/condominiums/BoardMemberEducation.html.

New board members are likely to benefit from the use of various organizational websites for information on classes, trade shows and events. “The South Florida Cooperator’s annual Expos offer many educational seminars, as well as opportunities to meet with vendors and industry professionals.” Carlson also recommends monthly trade publications like The South Florida Cooperator for regular reading by all board members.

Whether you are newly-elected or vastly experienced, the bottom line when it comes to condo and HOA board members is that they must act in the best interest of their building or community, putting personal interest aside via a succinct message. The pros believe that an understanding of each board member’s individual role helps the board to understand how to work better together and the importance of working as a unit; When walking into the boardroom, the ‘I’ cap must be taken off and the ‘We’ cap put on.

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