New Year’s Resolutions of HOA Managers

community managers greatest hits h o a homefront Jan 11, 2020

[After two previous columns proposing resolutions for directors and HOA members, here are ideas for managers. Next week – service providers]

As an association professional manager, I resolve to:

1. Follow the Golden Rule.

2. Remember I am a professional, and will give the board the best advice I can. I am not employed to be silent.
3. Strive to give the board the answers it needs to hear, regardless if it is the answer the board hopes for.
4. Avoid reacting defensively to upset homeowners, and will make sure they are informed as to the “whys,” and not only the “whats.”
5. Confirm in writing my advice to the board if it disregards my advice.
6. Not attempt to give specialized advice, but will refer the board to the appropriate specialized professional service provider.
7. Try my best to please all, while knowing that I can’t.

8. Pursue professional designations and attend seminars to keep me up to date.
9. Be prepared at any board meeting to explain significant deviations from budget or unbudgeted expenses.
10. Understand the Business Judgment Rule, and ensure the board has sufficient information to make each decision.
11. Encourage the board members to join the Community Associations Institute, knowing educated boards are better boards.

12. Protect the board from overly long or disorganized meetings.
13. Create agendas with consent calendars to quickly handle non-controversial items.
14. Alert the board when an agenda is too ambitious.
15. Become comfortable with the fundamentals of parliamentary procedure.
16. Help the board stay on topic and on agenda.
17. Alert the board if it is handling matters in closed session which should be in open session.
18. Bring the HOA governing documents, including all rules, to every meeting.
19. Be prepared to provide a recommended action or recommend hiring the appropriate specialized expertise on each agenda item.
20. Listen maturely and respectfully when homeowners in open forum criticize my work.

21. Work to increase meaningful and frequent communication with the members.
22. Focus on the association’s community needs as well as its financial, maintenance, and legal concerns while I advise the board and execute its instructions and policies.

23. Treat all members the same, regardless of how they treat me.
24. Communicate to the entire board when answering a director’s question or giving a report.
25. Remember my client is the HOA, not its board or president.
26. Not take sides in board elections or recalls, and not assist or advocate for or against any candidate. My opinions on those matters will remain secret.
27. Reject vendors offering kickbacks, gratuities or commissions and promptly disclose such offers to the board.
28. Not give my employer or a company related to my employer any advantage in bidding on HOA contracts.

29. Advise the board when specialized expertise is needed on a specific issue or project.
30. Provide the board with two or three candidate service providers to consider, not only one favorite vendor.
31. Suggest the appropriate consultant before the board evaluates major or complicated bids to help them select the best and most complete proposal.
32. Recommend the best bid, not simply the cheapest.

33. Follow the Golden Rule.

Written by Kelly G. Richardson

Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to [email protected]. Past columns at All rights reserved®.