As a board member, it’s important to build relationships with community members based on trust and transparency. Although there are times when confidentiality is called for, the benefits of HOA transparency – increased homeowner involvement, reduced conflict, and confidence in the board’s decisions – cannot be overlooked.
Below, we discuss four very important ways to increase transparency within your HOA:
- Communication is Key
Poor communication (which includes lack of information) can create needless problems. Simple, honest, interpersonal communication goes a long way toward building and sustaining trust.
- Maintain an Open-Door Policy
Be approachable! Inaccessible boards make homeowners feel that their voices are not heard, which leads to resentment and fear. Let homeowners know that the board has an open-door policy; this eliminates suspicion and encourages honest dialogue between the board and its members while increasing participation.
- Address Issues Head-On
Conducting business in a secretive way for fear of homeowner reactions or retaliation only contributes to bigger problems in the future.As a board, it’s important that you don’t bear the entire burden of a problem on your own. While it’s understandable that fear of being blamed when sharing bad news with homeowners, waiting too long or hiding bad news can lead to dire consequences for the board and all of its members. It’s best to tackle any concerns head-on and deal with them to the best of the board’s ability. Sometimes, legal counsel may even need to get involved.
- Hold Open Meetings
Plan ahead for board meetings and be sure to provide homeowners with proper announcement. Meeting in secret not only violates the law in certain states, it creates an atmosphere of mistrust within the community. Schedule meetings well in advance so that homeowners have time to prepare to attend. Come prepared with an agenda that has scheduled time for homeowners to speak on issues they’re concerned about. A well-organized and properly announced board meeting can be a very productive event that fosters a positive environment within the HOA.
When a board is open and honest about decisions, funding, and the day-to-day operations of the HOA, communication is fostered and trust is built between members. By working toward these goals, you can effectively increase transparency within your HOA.
If you’re looking for additional help managing your HOA community, contact Spectrum Association Management today. We have office locations in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Phoenix. Contact us today and see what makes our services refreshingly different!