Read any of the major business publications or websites and you’re bound to find articles on the importance of delegating. It’s one of the most fundamental skills for a successful business owner to have. A simple Internet search finds scores of tips for CEOs and smaller entrepreneurs alike on how to delegate more effectively. Running an association isn’t quite like running a Fortune 500 company, but the concept of delegating tasks works just as well with a board of directors for a homeowners association as it does for a titan of industry or finance.
A Committed Effort
Boards of directors are small teams of volunteers with a lot of work to do. They often need help and that’s where delegating to a committee comes in. A committee is a group of volunteers that focus on a particular issue at hand. They are run as a mini-board, where a chair is elected, topics are discussed and minutes are reported. They take those minutes to the board. How many committees an association has and their responsibilities will vary from property to property, as will the committee size. Most commonly, the larger the association, the more the amount of committees the board will create. Ultimately, it’s the board’s responsibility to create the number and type of committees and help to define their purpose.
According to T.J. Magoulas, the chief executive officer of All Area Realty Services, Inc., a property management and brokerage firm, which serves multiple New York City boroughs, committee chairs are usually appointed by the president of the association. “The committee is usually appointed by the board. Sometimes during an election the board mentions that they want to form a committee and ask for volunteer. Usually the committee brings their findings or results of their investigation to the board and the board discusses this with the property manager and they make a decision. Sometimes they take their recommendation and sometimes they don’t.”
In many cases, committees will have a board member in tow to act as a liaison between the two entities.
Strong, well-organized committees are a boon to a busy board and manager and offer residents an opportunity to get involved in their community. Aside from the usual suspects—budget, landscape and maintenance committees—committees can also include a communications committee that shares news and events with residents, nominating committee that interviews prospective residents and a neighborhood watch committee that makes sure the property stays safe and protected. The popularity of green initiatives committees are on the rise, and work to make their buildings more environmentally friendly.