Whether you play a small but essential role or run for a position on the board, serving in your HOA comes with plenty of rewards. It may not involve financial gain, but there are some intangible benefits of giving back to your community. Here’s why and how you can serve in HOA communities.
Why Serve in HOA Boards?
There’s no denying that volunteering for your condo or homeowners association can take up a big chunk of your time. It also demands a great deal of work. The role of the HOA board member is usually a thankless one, but that doesn’t mean it comes with no rewards. Plus, board members are critical to an association. Without volunteers to lead and manage the association, things would start to fall apart.
Here are seven reasons why you should volunteer in an HOA community:
- Protect your investment. By volunteering in your community association, you can maintain property values and the quality of living firsthand.
- Continue your education. Learning will always be part of the human experience. When you get involved in your HOA, you can take a sneak peek behind the scenes to see how everything is done.
- Enhance your resume. Volunteering for your community sharpens your current skills and develops new ones. It also builds character. All of these are vital to progressing your career, no matter what field you’re in.
- Express your creativity. Whether it’s designing newsletters or coming up with creative solutions, there’s always a way you can flex your creativity when you volunteer for your HOA.
- Socialize. Serving gets you out of your house and gives you an opportunity to talk to your neighbors. You can even meet new people!
- Fix problems. If you have a knack for problem-solving, then you should definitely serve in your community. Instead of being the complainer, wouldn’t it be nicer to be part of the solution?
- Gain recognition. Perhaps you won’t admit it, but earning praise and appreciation from fellow community members is the cherry on top of a fulfilling sundae.
Ways to Volunteer for HOAs
Volunteering takes a lot of time and effort. But, people who have the heart for it welcome the work with open arms. If you’ve never been a part of an HOA neighborhood, then it’s likely you don’t even know where to begin in terms of volunteering. There are several ways you can serve in HOA communities, such as:
1. Serve in the HOA Board
Those who wish to serve their community usually volunteer as HOA board members through an election. But, it’s not just something you can just decide on a whim. Board members have a bevy of duties and responsibilities to fulfill.
They basically manage the entire community, so there’s naturally a lot of work involved. So, before submitting your name on the ballot, make sure you’re prepared for what lies ahead.
This is the most obvious method to serve in HOA communities. In fact, today, it is estimated that over 60 million people are living in one of the 300,000 community associations in America. Of those residents, nearly 2 million serve in HOA boards to manage their association, according to the Community Associations Institute (CAI). If you’ve got your eyes set on your board, you’re not alone.
2. Join a Committee
If you don’t have the luxury of time to become a board member but still want to serve in a heavy capacity, then consider joining an HOA committee. These groups of volunteers make the lives of the board members easier by sharing some of the work. There are different types of committees in an HOA — from safety and communications to financial and architectural control.
Not all community associations have committees in place, though. So, if you’re interested, make sure to approach a board member about starting one.
3. Participate in a Neighborhood Watch
Safety is a top priority among all community associations across the United States. With crime rates climbing, more and more homeowners worry about protection and welfare.
A neighborhood watch program involves a group of community members working together with local law enforcement to keep the area safe. If you’ve got the time and courage for it, consider joining your neighborhood watch program. If your neighborhood doesn’t have such a program yet, see if you can start one.
4. Help Keep the Community Clean
Cleanliness is a cornerstone of high property values. After all, nobody wants to live in a poorly maintained community. If you want to serve in an HOA through any means, form a community cleanup crew.
Make rounds on the regular and pick up any trash you come across. This might not seem like a significant way to volunteer for the community, but a little definitely goes a long way. Just make sure you’re not violating any rules and regulations in the process.
5. Volunteer for Big Projects
If you want to play a more active role in your HOA, try volunteering for upcoming projects. More often than not, projects are planned well in advance, which means they already have teams and committees attached.
But, for bigger projects, the board may require an extra pair of hands to work with. Talk to your HOA board about any new projects underway and see if they need help.
6. Plan Events
A lot of community associations hold events throughout the year. It could be a July barbecue, a summer pool party, or a festive holiday function. Whatever it is, you can volunteer to plan the entire event or join the event planning team.
Test your creativity with decorations and designing e-invitations or flyers. Events give homeowners a chance to get to know one another. So, it’s a great way to contribute to the HOA and bring people together at the same time.
7. Help the Board
Lastly, you can volunteer to help the board with whatever they need. It can be anything! For example, if your association is switching to digital management software, you can offer to enter necessary data to lessen the board’s workload.
You can also help design and format the community newsletter and even go door-to-door to deliver them yourself. Anything you can do to help, no matter how small, can make a significant difference.
Make a Lasting Impact in Your Community
Volunteering doesn’t only make you a better person, but it’s also an overall rewarding experience. At the very least, if you have a vested interest in your investment, then you should consider doing anything you can to serve in HOA.
As you can see, there are many ways to do so. You can play an integral role as a board member or a more minor but still vital capacity as a general volunteer. A community relies on its members to function efficiently and effectively, so it’s important to do your part well.
Cedar Management Group offers community association management services to HOAs in the Carolinas. With years of experience in the industry and a team of highly skilled professionals, Cedar can take your association to the next level. Contact us today to request a free proposal.
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