Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Association Oversight

New residents often ask about the oversight structure for their new Association.  It can be a little overwhelming to determine who does what.

At the top of the organization, commonly known as the Board of Directors, is the group of homeowners who have volunteered and been elected to handle the “big-vision” of the community.  Directors usually serve staggered two or three year terms, with a couple of positions vacated and filled each year.  This also ensures the continuity of institutional knowledge (so that future Boards learn from the experience of previous members).

The Board is tasked with maintaining a long-term outlook for the community – focusing on the forest rather than individual trees.  On behalf of the Association, they contract out with various specialists to implement this vision.

The primary agent utilized to coordinate day-to-day operations is the Association’s property manager, whose position is analogous to a city manager. This individual is answerable to the corporate entity (the Association) through the representatives serving on the Board.

Typical manager functions & duties:
  • Facilitating communications between homeowners and the Board / Vendors and the Board
  • Composing scope-of-work for projects and soliciting quotes
  • Identifying potential issues for Board consideration
  • Assisting with budgeting and financial monitoring and operations
  • Coordinating collections and making court appearances
  • Overseeing services provided by vendors
  •  Organizing community meetings
  • Educating real estate brokers along with potential and existing homeowners about items impacting value and viability of the community
Another way the Board stays focused on big picture items is through the creation of committees to focus on specific areas - such as pet issues, social events, architectural controls, etc. The Board and its committees are also tasked with distributing all this information (typically done via a newsletter). These committees periodically report to the Board with actions taken and recommendations on handling certain issues. Committees provide great strength to community - more involvement provides better and more flexible solutions by tapping into the interests and talents of our neighbors.

At the bottom of the structure is the Association itself, which is only as good as the combined efforts all the parties listed above. Contact your property manager today to make your community a better home for all!

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