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Minding YOUR Business

 

Unfortunately, association boards sometimes get a bad rap.  Too often they are depicted, stereotypically, as dictatorial leaders who stomp on the innocent and powerless homeowners. Eeek… a board member is coming with a notepad and pen!  Run!  

However, we know that’s not true in the vast majority of our communities. Association directors volunteer a tremendous amount of unpaid time to protect and preserve the interests of our shared communities.

After all, your community association is a business.  And according to a study by the prestigious American Enterprise Institute, community associations increase property values by at least 5% to 6%. That sort of return on your investment makes good business sense.

 

So how can we help boards help their image?  Its actually easier than you may think.  

Create a Mission Statement.  This is the chance to explain the association’s goals, ethics, culture and norms for decision-making.   Whenever things seem to be getting off track, this is a great tool to make sure everyone is working towards a common goal.  

Have a community webpage. Create a webpage for the association.  This is a great way for the board to communicate with the residents and for residents to communicate with each other.  Offer residents an email address or phone number where they can direct their questions.  An added bonus is that your board meetings may become shorter and more effective.  Create an email blast newsletter.  Make a Facebook page.  Direct a quick YouTube video that explains the goals of the association.  Social media is an easy and often free way to keep the lines of communication flowing. 

Be proactive instead of reactive to problems.  Focus on solving the problem and taking action.  And this rule applies to residents too.  If your neighbor is playing music too loud, talk to your neighbor first before you talk to the board.  Also, if you don’t like a rule in the community, be proactive – don’t just complain.  Talk to your neighbors so you can petition the board collectively for a change.  

Get the residents involved.  Create committees.  Recognize the accomplishments of volunteers at meetings, on your webpage and newsletters.  Volunteers are crucial because they decrease feelings of powerlessness and give all residents a chance to contribute.  And if you are a homeowner living within the community – volunteer!  You provide a unique perspective that is valuable to the needs of your community.  

Know which areas need extra TLC.  A 2014 study by the Community Association Institute (CAI) found that the top disagreements between owners and boards were 1) landscaping, 2) parking, 3) finances and 4) architectural issues – in that order.  Make sure you have clear procedures about how things are handled and follow those procedures.  Residents always want to feel like there is a process and it’s being followed. Always share information about how decisions are made.  This creates transparency and trust.  

These simple approaches help address hard feelings and can create smoother running boards and community business.  Sometimes it’s the little things that matter.  

 
Wishing you and your loved ones peace and tranquility.
 
Yours in Community,
 
 
Alan Garfinkel, Esq.
Katzman Garfinkel, Founding Partner
Community Advocacy Network (CAN), Chairman

The post Minding YOUR Business appeared first on CANFL.

Source: Can FL Alerts

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