Spring Training Putting Trust in Your Trustees

No more pencils, no more books…unless, perhaps, you’re elected to your condo community’s board of trustees. Then you might want to spend time getting some training specific to your new role. You have to learn the ropes somehow, right?

Although it’s not mandatory, board management training comes highly recommended—by property management companies and experienced board members alike.

Think of it as a best practice that ultimately makes life easier. Each community has its own regulations and perception of responsibilities—no two are the same, just as no two neighborhoods or organizations are the same. Knowing the ins and outs of what it means to be a board member in general and then applying that to your community in particular lays the groundwork for collaborative relationships among board members, homeowners, and property managers.

As property managers see it, education has both short- and long-term advantages. Deborah Jones, PCAM, vice president at The Dartmouth Group in Bedford, Massachusetts, explains that training facilitates a culture of professionalism, so to speak. It both raises the bar and sets a precedent because boards come to expect members to learn formally what’s required of their position. The payoff is for the greater good, allowing for better continuity among boards and providing checks and balances against potential instances of self-interest.

“The ‘job’ becomes a little less onerous when the board doesn’t have to start from scratch,” Jones says. “It also becomes easier to ‘on-board’ new trustees and makes it less likely that a rogue board member can hijack the board for their own agenda.” When a board has its own processes and its procedures are in place, she adds, there’s also less burnout. The result is less overall frustration and therefore less board turnover.

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