5 Tips to Transition the New Board Smoothly

5 Tips to Transition the New Board Smoothly

January 25, 2022

Congratulations! You’re now the proud parent of a newly elected HOA board of directors! As a community manager, you’re dedicated to helping your board make the perfect transition into their new roles. Lucky for you, you’re in the hands of some of the best leaders and minds of the community. Everyone must be prepared for what’s soon to come. Considering the vast amount of responsibilities that come with running an HOA, you may find yourself with the challenge of transitioning new members into roles with little experience but brilliant minds. Not to worry, we all have to start somewhere — creating a plan of action will be your first step to making the perfect transition for not only yourself but for your entire team.   

The HOA Board Transition Plan

When transitioning members into their new roles, you may find that some positions come with large shoes to fill. Not to mention the vast amount of experience that once came with those roles. But not to worry, you’re in good hands —the first step to a successful transition is by creating an HOA board transition plan. 

1. Meet and greet former board members

First impressions are everything! Obtaining advice and feedback from former incumbent members, especially those that were part of critical business decisions, is a great way to educate your new board about the ins and outs of the community. Keep in mind that the perks of maintaining these relationships will help increase your network of connections and future support of the community.  

Meet and greet social - Keep the hype up and create a meet-and-greet social for former and current members. Keep it casual so that everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Consider hosting a Q&A session to allow new members to receive feedback and advice from former members.

2. HOA checklist

It’s essential that your team is well equipped and educated about all the ins and outs of the community. To ensure that your team is up to par, consider creating a checklist of all the most critical responsibilities that come with being an HOA board member. 

  • Covenants and bylaws  - Considered one of the most critical responsibilities, knowing the community covenants and bylaws is essential to being an HOA board member. Ensuring that all members have a strong knowledge of your CC&R will help your team operate and manage their new role better. 
  • Reserves - Provide knowledge of your communities reserve fund. This ensures that your board is up-to-date with the community’s financial status and future security. 
  • Board minutes - Educate members on the process of how board minutes are operated. Provide examples of former minutes and meetings so that everyone has a clear vision and understanding.  
  • Vendor contacts - Provide a list of contacts for all members related to their new role. Contacts may include vendors, staff, or committee members. 
  • Budgets - The board should provide a breakdown of how your HOA budget is created and operated. This may include a brief on how HOA budgets are updated and who will be in charge of creating and maintaining specific budgets.    
  • Marketing - Who and how will your marketing be operated? Explain how marketing conducts its budget and outreach. 
  • Leadership - As a community leader, provide your board members with a list of community standards and morals. Remember, that your board exemplifies as a role model of the community. 
  • Insurance policies - As new board members, everyone should be up-to-date with your communities insurance policies and liability This may include information on how legal actions such as lawsuits are conducted.

3. Set up time with each member

As the saying goes, “there’s no I in team.” To help everyone transition smoothly into their new roles, provide a plan for all your board members to meet one-on-one — this will allow everyone to discuss their unique ideas and goals. 

  • Property Manager - The property manager is the eyes and ears of the HOA. They manage the day-to-day operations of the HOA and often communicate with the community. Because of this, the property manager should consider meeting with the president, vice president, and secretary so that all parties can set clear expectations and goals.  
  • Treasurer - The Treasurer is responsible for the entirety of association funds. They’re an essential part of the growth that resides within an HOA. A treasurer would benefit by meeting one-on-one with the president and vice president.  
  • President - The president is your decision-maker of the HOA. They delegate and act as a foreman in all meetings. They must be familiar with all the inner workings of the association. A president should take the time to meet with all board members, but it would also be beneficial to meet their smaller volunteer committees that help within the community.
  • Vice President - The vice president works alongside the president and maintains many of the same responsibilities as the president. The vice president would greatly benefit from meeting with the president and treasurer.
  • Secretary - The role of the secretary is to manage all documentation and records within the association. A secretary will often work alongside the president, vice president, and treasurer — a meeting with all three parties would be highly beneficial.

4. Create a Board Binder

Keeping a record of all essential goals, rules, and guidelines will be a necessary part of creating the building blocks of your new board. As a suggestion, create a board binder (either electronic or physical) as a way to help everyone stay on the same page. This binder will serve as your go-to guide for all board members involved. 

  • TownSq - Third-party applications such as TownSq work as an excellent way for HOA communities to keep records of their guidelines, documentation, and bylaws all in one place. This can also include documentation of your board binder. TownSq is one of the leading HOA software that specializes in helping HOAs organize and track responsibilities, communicate, manage documentation, along with operating amenities, including common areas and maintenance. 

5. Get involved

Want to have a sense of community? Get involved. As a community manager, you’ll want your board to feel supported during their role as a board member. Try to encourage board members to join HOA community groups such as the Community Association Institute. Groups such as these provide opportunities for HOAs to meet neighboring communities, network, and discuss ideas and goals. Other benefits may include: 

  • Educational Opportunities
  • Legislative Activity​
  • Information & Resources
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising