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Effective HOA Board Member Engagement Tips

Tips to Boost HOA Board Engagement
Cynthia Cline
Cynthia Cline
December 1, 2023

HOA board members are the stewards of their community, and their level of engagement can make a significant difference in how the community operates and serves its residents. If engagement lapses among board members, the resulting domino effect of challenges can lead to delayed decisions, legal impacts, and other problems.

In many ways, the community's well-being hinges on its HOA's effectiveness. The following tips describe some common issues and essential tips that provide solutions and ways to increase HOA board member engagement and the commitment to building a stronger, better-connected neighborhood.

1) Enhance Decision-Making

HOA Voting

Lack of engagement among HOA board members can lead to delays and other issues when making decisions. Prolonging the decision-making process can hinder any prompt resolution regarding community issues.

To resolve this dilemma, consider streamlining the processes for decision-making so it becomes less burdensome for the board. Use technology such as a centralized online site to make communication more efficient and set and communicate deadlines for decision-making.

2) Improve Board Governance

HOA boards can suffer from ineffective governance, especially when board members aren’t actively involved in decisions and other board-related activities. This issue creates the risk of mismanagement and lack of oversight.

To improve the board’s governance, clarify each member’s roles and responsibilities. Provide training in any areas that benefit board members and create and maintain a culture of active participation and accountability for actions or inactions.

3) Shore Up Communication

Man talking in a meeting

Residents can feel disconnected at times from their HOA board members. They are typically busy with daily life and may feel their board does not adequately communicate about community events, updates, and critical decisions.

To improve HOA board member engagement with the community, keep regular communication channels flowing in ways that work for residents. Consider a monthly newsletter, an online portal, and other methods to keep residents informed. The board can discuss board activities and their decisions on various relevant topics.

4) Address Resident Concerns

It’s common for HOA community residents to have concerns and questions. However, if the board is not well-engaged, communication and responsiveness may fall. Neglecting or completely overlooking resident concerns can create dissatisfaction among the homeowners.

To improve HOA board member engagement in this area, HOAs can use software or another system for residents to submit and track their concerns. Automating parts of the process can reduce the administrative workload so members focus their energy on resolutions. Additionally, the board can schedule regular Town Hall meetings to address common concerns, have question-and-answer sessions, and address any other community issues.

5) Avoid Stagnating Development

Nothing in life stands still, and communities need ongoing development to stay in good repair and combat the effects of time, weather, and other changes. Problems like flooding during rain storms caused by a poorly maintained stormwater management system can frustrate residents. A lack of action by the board can cause residents to lose faith in their HOA, while neglected maintenance can lead to property damage, pollution, and other problems.

The HOA responsibility for water drainage and other maintenance tasks is ever-present. The best way for the board to engage and move forward is to create a master strategic plan for community development. This plan should lead to goal-setting with follow-through on clearly defined projects. Activities can involve HOA board members and residents, although the HOA may need to hire outside service providers for tasks that require particular expertise.

6) Avoid Compliance and Legal Risks


As part of their responsibilities, HOAs must deal with various legal and compliance matters on behalf of the community. Board members who are not fully engaged may not adequately follow through on these matters, which can lead to potential fines and legal action.

To engage the board more thoroughly, consider conducting regular compliance audits. Additionally, consider hiring outside experts to update members on existing regulations and upcoming changes. For example, the HOA's responsibility for water drainage means they must stay informed regarding applicable water quality and stormwater management regulations to ensure the community’s compliance. Additionally, board members should seek legal counsel promptly if potential risks arise in any area of the community.

7) Prevent Financial Mismanagement

Keeping HOA members involved in the community’s financial management makes sense because it reduces the risk of mismanagement, fraud, and impacts that could increase residents' fees. The board should create a budget, ensure prompt collection of monthly fees, and work to keep costs down while still providing the best outcomes for the residents’ properties.

Improve HOA board member engagement in the community’s financial matters by involving them more in budget planning and financial oversight. Conduct regular audits to keep everything on track and develop more transparent, informative financial reporting.

8) Attract New Board Members

If the HOA board has a reputation for being disengaged from the community, it might struggle to attract new board members. If the board does not bring in any new people, it can suffer from limited perspectives and perpetuate the cycle of inefficiency.

To attract new candidates, showcase the positive attributes and impact that residents can have on their neighborhood by becoming involved. Actively recruit when in need of new members, and consider providing mentorship to residents who are interested in joining the board.

Engaged Board Members are an Investment in the Community

Fostering engagement among HOA board members is a strategic investment in the community's vitality. When the board implements changes thoughtfully, the outcome delivers more than simple improvements in the HOA's procedures. The community benefits from a renewed and more proactive commitment from the HOA board.

Whether the initiatives include maintenance such as catch basin cleaning, planning community activities, and upholding essential by-laws, the HOA board serves a critical function for residents. If your community needs proactive stormwater system management or regulatory compliance, the professionals at CatchAll Environmental are ready to lend a hand. Contact us for your needs today.