Yearly homeowners association elections aren’t the “end-all and be-all” of HOA management. By giving people in the community opportunities to use their skills and contribute, everyone has the chance to feel connected to your HOA and its mission.
People join an HOA board because they want to serve the community and make it better. Though board members willingly take on the responsibility of leadership, the workload can get overwhelming at times.
During parts of the year when multiple deadlines coincide, it can be difficult for board members to handle everything at once. In addition, many have job and family duties that demand attention.
A little help can go a long way to the operations of the HOA. That’s where committees come into play.
Committees allow HOA members to focus on studying and fixing problems. But they’re not just about dealing with negatives. Committees also plan neighborhood celebrations and opportunities for fun and fellowship.
HOAs can use three types of committees:
- Executive committees are composed of board members
- Standing committees deal with ongoing issues
- Ad hoc committees are formed to accomplish specific goals
Board members appoint people to committees and provide a charter for each committee. A charter is a framework that identifies a committee’s area of focus and sets boundaries for what it can consider. All final decisions are made by board members unless the charter specifically delegates that authority to a specific officer, such as the Board President.
Providing a charter with a clear set of guidelines helps to avoid confusion, which could lead to conflicts if different committees start looking into the same issue.
It’s a good idea for board members to review charters each year to ensure the committee is still necessary. If a problem is solved or the event has passed, a committee can be dissolved, and new ones can be formed to deal with other issues important to the community.
Robust homeowners association software can alert committee members to meeting dates and times as well as share agendas and minutes. In addition, the software can provide board members with ready access to committee minutes.
Committees aren’t about lessening the power of the elected members of an HAO board. Rather, they’re about leveraging the energy and talents of friends and neighbors to increase the number of positive things that can be accomplished for everyone’s benefit.
The general rule for any HOA board is to be as transparent as possible. Homeowners association software helps by getting information from the board to residents promptly and efficiently.
But all organizations need privacy from time to time. That’s where executive committee meetings are invaluable.
If the board needs to discuss confidential, private, or privileged information, then it will go into executive session. Topics could include:
- ongoing litigation
- personnel issues
- delinquent assessments
Votes conducted during executive meetings are binding. While detailed notes of the discussions remain private, there should be an acknowledgment that the meeting took place.
Some neighborhood issues are as perennial as the flowers in a yard. They crop up on a regular and predictable basis.
Standing committees deal with ongoing issues that can be handled but never solved. For instance, every HOA needs a budget committee that oversees the monthly and annual budgets.
This committee also keeps tabs on investments and reserves, and it can use homeowners association software to keep members up-to-date about their HOA’s financial footing.
In a perfect world, there would be no need for a violations committee because everyone would naturally follow the rules. But people are people, and sometimes parents go out of town and leave the kids in charge of the stereo speakers.
The architectural committee is tasked with ensuring that property values are maintained. Its job is to enforce regulations that homeowners have already agreed to follow.
The landscape committee is tasked with overseeing the community’s landscaping and maintenance. When people buy a home in a park-like neighborhood, they expect a certain level of care to be taken.
Violations, architectural, and landscape committees can serve as buffers between the residents and the HOA board. That way, the board isn’t necessarily seen as the “enemy,” which can ease potential conflicts.
The safety committee plays a vital role in the community and should have no problem gaining buy-in from residents. Its members:
- Develop a smooth relationship with the local police department.
- Organize the neighborhood watch program.
A common calendar connected to homeowners association software can alert people when it’s their appointed time to patrol with the neighborhood watch.
The same calendar can help members of events and social committees get the word out about upcoming celebrations.
Social committees focus on preparing for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and other holidays. They plan parades and community yard sales. Their members also welcome new residents to the neighborhood.
Ad hoc committees
If standing committees deal with regular and expected issues, then ad hoc committees handle one-of-a-kind situations. By definition, ad hoc committees are created for a specific purpose.
Ad hoc committees can be executive committees with real power to make decisions, but most of them are advisory. They collect and synthesize information and report their findings and recommendations to the board.
Ad hoc committees can take on a variety of topics, including redesigning the clubhouse and raising funds for projects. A political liaison committee might be formed so the neighborhood’s position is expressed during meetings about development plans with city or state officials.
Party planning can be handled by an ad hoc committee, but it should not be an event that’s already covered by an existing social events standing committee.
When an ad hoc committee is created, the board should know exactly what it’s intended to accomplish and communicate that information clearly to the members with a well-written charter.
With help from homeowners association software, the charter can be distributed throughout the community or posted on a virtual wall, so interested parties can be informed.
Committees and homeowners association software
An HOA isn’t a monolithic thing. While it’s formed under U.S. rules and regulations, it’s simply a group of people getting together and working toward a common cause.
The common goal is to create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable neighborhood. Considering how crazy life can get, maintaining a pleasant living environment is an important quality-of-life issue for everyone.
Achieving that goal requires effort from a team of people. Committees can leverage the interests and talents of residents to benefit the entire community.
PayHOA provides easy-to-use homeowners association software to help HOAs and their committees be more effective and transparent.
The success of any organization relies heavily on its members’ ability to communicate with each other. PayHOA allows you to:
- Send on-demand broadcast text messages to all or a selection of homeowners
- Send mass emails and easily include attachments
- Broadcast custom phone calls for specific days and times
PayHOA software also allows documents to be shared throughout the community or among a select group of committee members, depending on the sensitivity of the information.
Executive, standing, and ad hoc committees allow homeowners associations to tackle important problems and schedule fun events. PayHOA helps by effortlessly linking the neighborhood together, so residents can more easily achieve their common goals.
PayHOA offers an HOA management software solution for HOAs of any size or managerial priorities. To find out if PayHOA fits all your HOA management needs, try our software free for 30 days.