What to Expect as a New Board Member in a Condo Association

Joining your Condo Board is the ultimate leap you can make in terms of your participation in your Condo Association.   Far beyond being an involved Owner or a committee member, joining the Board involves a new level of dedication, thick skin, and perseverance.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It does have benefits board and puts you in a position to protect your investment in your home and do what’s right for your community.  Many new or prospective Board members wonder what they will be in for if they join the Board.  Here’s a guide for what to expect as a new Board member in a Condo Association.  

Time Commitment

If you want to succeed as a new Condo Association Board Member, you need to put in the time.
If you want to succeed as a new Condo Association Board Member, you need to put in the time.

To say there is no time commitment is a lie.  There is, and anyone who wants to be a good Board member needs to be ready to put the time in.  At a minimum, you’re going to need to attend Board meetings monthly (average 2 hours a month) and stay on top of Condo goings-on (average 30 minutes a week).  The hardest part is when you’re dealing with a big project or some other drama you can’t avoid – usually from a major project or a crisis.  Inevitably it will feel like a big Association crisis will hit at the same time as a family or work crisis.  You’re going to need to step up in times where you really want to just watch TV.  Despite that, you are able to take vacations; you have other Board members and hopefully Management who can cover the load.  

Scary disclaimers aside, for most people this is a doable contribution of time.  You will give up some leisure time, but it won’t consume your life.  

Thanklessness

You won't get cash riches, but you'll get emotional riches.  Sometimes.
You won’t get cash riches, but you’ll get emotional riches. Sometimes.

One of the toughest things to tell a new Board member in a Condo Association is that this is a thankless job.  You will be occasionally thanked, but by and large this is a job where you need to do what’s right for the community, not the individuals.  That isn’t to say you won’t find ways to get to yes  – and you should do that.  But you are managing a budget that Owners pay into and you need to protect it and not succumb to shared cost delusions.  Failure may result in a Special Assessment, so this is serious business.  The hardest part of the job is that it’s a marathon – it never really ends.  It can be tough to resist burnout over time, and the loss of some enthusiasm is inevitable.  That’s why you need new blood and an engaged and involved Owner base to keep you going.

Rewarding Experience

Despite the time commitment and the thanklessness, it is an extremely rewarding experience.  The bottom line – you’ll personally protect your property value, you’ll do valuable volunteer work, and you’ll learn to be a leader. Being on a Condo Board is a demanding and rewarding job.  It will make you a better and stronger person.  It may not be the most enjoyable experience you have in your life, but it is one that you’ll feel better for having done.

Be a Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

Boards break bad when Associations are apathetic and no one cares.  The easiest way to fight this is to be a leader.  If you step up and become a new Board Member in a Condo Association, you’re walking the walk. Now that you know what to expect as a new Condo Association Board member, hopefully you’re ready to step up for your Association.  Remember, you don’t have to do the job forever.  Even serving one term is a huge contribution to your community and personal growth.  


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