by Richard Thompson / Published April 2015
Too often serving on a homeowner association (HOA) board feels like a ‘Igotstuckwithit’ kind of position. But a few simple changes can turn HOA drudgery into an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The book, Trade HOA Stress for Success, explores proven methods to transform your board from crisis-driven, overworked, and isolated into a focused team with clear goals and direction. Learn to communicate the board’s success to your members and create the kind of carefree living an HOA promises. Co-written by the HOA Expert Richard Thompson, Doug McLain, and Erik Wecks, Trade HOA Stress for Success provides a shortcut to years of proven HOA management experience without the usual learn-from-experience mistakes.
Homeowner association management is unique because it involves neighbors managing neighbors. This relationship creates a dynamic not found in other forms of governance. To be successful at it requires a different approach than traditional property management.
What is so special about this book? It provides proven solutions in concise, layman terms to highly complex issues. It also reveals phenomena unique to HOAs, like:
• Meeting seating. Did you know that the seating arrangement at a board meeting has a profound impact on the meeting outcome? Learn how to make your meetings smashing success stories.
• How do you find a qualified manager? Most states do not require professional licensing for HOA managers. Some HOA managers seek out professional education and credentialing while others do not. This variable makes it critical for the board to identify those managers who are qualified to do the work
(Hint: many are not). A sample Request for Proposal is available to help you with this process.
• Two reasons for hiring professional management: rules and collections. While it’s true that managers don’t work for free, no neighbor should have to enforce rules or collections on another neighbor. Managers provide the buffer between neighbors and are good at defusing neighbor-on-neighbor hostility.
• Kinder, gentler rules. While rules will be necessary as long as there are humans, there is a harmonizing rules philosophy that will promote compliance and reduce the number of rules in an HOA.
• Secret to recruiting volunteers. Since HOAs are run by volunteers, finding the brightest and best is easier than you think if you make the job attractive enough. Successful people want to be part of a successful board.
• Long-range planning. It never ceases to amaze how many HOA boards define long-range planning as tomorrow. These boards, of course, are continually putting out fires instead of harvesting the fruits of good planning. Learn how to plan, schedule, fund, and invest to maximize value for the members.
• Improve efficiency by trimming costs. Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean you can’t improve and cut costs at the same time. This is particularly true about communications.
• Proper accounting. Learn the value of accrual accounting, fraud (embezzlement) prevention, and proper tax filing.
There are many more how-to secrets revealed in Trade HOA Stress for Success. If you serve on an HOA board or manage one, this book’s for you. It’s an easy read available in both hardcopy and Kindle editions at www.Amazon.com.