Here’s how to ease the burden when HOA board members are feeling drained:

Limit the number of seats to fill.  The smaller your board, the more owners you have on deck that you can ask jump in when current board members feel stretched to the limit.  “Don’t ever go with a bigger board than you absolutely need,” says Bob Carlson, principal at a law firm that advises associations.  Get by on the smallest board your state allows.”

Adopt functioning committees.  Create many committees, and ask as many owners as possible to participate in the committee system.  “A functioning committee system is probably the best way to handle the care and feeding of your members,” says Carlson.  “Have committees that entice people to be involved on the notion that people feel like they’re protecting their investment.  Through the use of committees, you take some of the burden off your most taxed members.  You also develop a farm team of members who understand how your association operates and may be willing to step up when a board member needs a break.”

Break positions into small pieces where you can.  “What scares people away from being on the board is the fact that it’s too much of a commitment,” says Carlson.  “By taking apart the pieces of what makes the association run and giving smaller pieces to different people, you’ll be a lot better off.”

Hire a manager.  “One of the primary reasons you need management is to take the workload off the board,” adds Bob.  “I use the analogy of a corporation where there’s a board that comes in once a month and meets with the management to get an update on the company’s operations.  That’s the type of relationship the board can have with a management company.  The execution of the day-to-day operations is done by a manager.  Then if there’s burnout, the manager isn’t doing its job.”

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