Whether you’ve served your association for several years, or were recently elected, it doesn’t take long to realize that board members need a variety of skills. Developing these various abilities allows associations to run optimally.

Below are five skills that will help board members lead their teams effectively:

Develop a Clear Vision of Where the HOA Should Go

Goal setting is one of the most underrated aspects of association management. It often makes the difference between boards who spend the majority of their time in crisis management and boards who operate effectively and are able to improve their association’s financial situation and infrastructure.

Possess an Exceptional Understanding of HOA finances – Especially Reserves

An association’s physical growth and maintenance is not the only benchmark of an association’s successful management. An association’s ability to keep homeowners feeling satisfied is often directly correlated (in the long-term) by the layers of financial protection past and current boards set up for their HOA.

Creating a plan of action for developing a reserve study and adding to your association’s reserves is one of the best gifts you can give to current homeowners and the homeowners who will come after you.

Cultivate a Working Knowledge of HOA Financials and Budget

Association finance is a broad subject and can feel overwhelming and intimidating, especially if your board is inheriting a less than ideal financial situation. There are many moving parts to association budgets. Reaching out for help to understand how all these moving parts interact with each other can reduce board member stress and increase homeowner satisfaction.

Your community manager can answer any questions you may have about your association’s reserve, reserve study, budget, and financials, or they will direct you to a qualified professional for any questions they can’t answer.

Focus on Asking Questions and Listening to Answers

Striving to understand the feelings an individual is expressing while paying attention to their words is one of the most important skills for healthy conflict resolution. Whether dealing with an irate homeowner or a vendor presenting a complication, it is tempting to shut down a conversation when emotions run high. However, making people feel they’re being listened to goes a long way toward solving problems. Asking questions also allows people to discover multiple potential solutions.

Develop a Balance

Expecting homeowners to honor the rules and regulations they agreed to when they bought property is reasonable. However, unexpected challenges can come up in even the most organized individual’s life. Demonstrating understanding in these moments goes a long way toward developing trust and inspiring collaboration.

Boards consist of individuals of differing backgrounds and experiences. These diverse backgrounds mean that everyone will have different abilities they bring to the table. Leaning on each other’s various skills and talents will assure that you have a well-balanced board that is able to tackle problems. By developing the five skills outlined above, you can help your association run more smoothly.