"I never have anything to do," is a refrain you will never hear uttered by any adult in America. Individuals lead busy lives, much more so when families and overtime hours lead to fleeting grasps at leisure time.
Anxiety over obligations is a near constant presence in the day-to-day, and the thought of adding even more responsibility onto a seemingly full plate can be quite daunting. So, it's understandable if condominium residents are hesitant to volunteer their precious time toward serving on the board of their associations.
But herein lies the rub: the experience can be quite rewarding, granted both board and owner come together to make it as painless an endeavor as possible. That means collaborating internally and with management to serve the greater good and improve their communities. It can be a headache at times, but there are pitfalls to avoid, as well as tactics to embrace when looking to assemble a capable, communicative and results-oriented board.
Rick Wood, a regional manager with Campbell Property Management—headquartered in Deerfield Beach with offices throughout the area—encourages boards to be vigilant in looking for people among the community with the skill sets, experience, and ability to one day be of service. But how can one spot these talented individuals? And what's the best way to sell them on the virtues of board membership?
For starters, a board should conduct its meetings in an atmosphere that promotes inclusion. As John Strohm, chief operating officer of Alliant Association Management in Ft. Myers says, "I have seen many instances where the boards have allowed their meetings to turn into free-for-alls. New owners or past owners who'd not attended in some time leave shaking their heads, thinking to themselves 'that is not for me.'" The alternative to casting once-interested residents away could be as simple as board members treating each other with civility, holding meetings at times convenient to the majority of both board members and owners, and giving adequate advance notice. Refreshments never hurt anyone either.