4 Traits of an Effective HOA Board Member

Ben Collinsworth

Any volunteer is a good one, right? That might not hold true when you’re talking about your HOA board members.

You don’t just want a warm body filling the position: You need someone who has the right tools and characteristics to succeed in the role.

Here are four traits of an effective HOA board member.

Ability to Adapt and Change

If you have someone who says, “Well, that’s not the way we’ve always done it,” you have a problem. Your HOA board members should be willing and able to adjust the way they do things.

New Technology

Maybe that means changing the way they contact homeowners, like using texts instead of calls or emails. People who aren’t willing to adapt are going to hold your board and HOA back in the long run.

Download our HOA Cheat Sheet and learn everything you need to know about being on an HOA Board of Directors.

Can Keep Their Cool

No matter how great your HOA board is doing, someone is going to find a reason to be upset. No board is immune to that, unfortunately.

So to be effective, you need board members who are level headed and can keep their cool during stressful situations — whether a homeowner is upset because a streetlight is out or they’re having a problem with a neighbor.

They need to be able to take the homeowner’s criticism or anger and calmly find a solution. Having thick skin is really helpful in this position.



Passionate About the Community

People working togetherServing on an HOA board is a volunteer position, so members really need to be passionate about serving to fill that role. Without this trait, the board member is going to have a difficult time in the position.

Being an HOA board member comes with little gratitude for a job well done. If a board member is only looking for appreciation and recognition, it’s not going to work.

They need to care about the community’s well being and want to help improve it. That needs to be their driving force.


Knows When to Bring in the Pros

It may be tempting to have someone in the HOA prune the trees or try to mow all of the common areas to save a few dollars. But, if you value quality, safety and sustainability, you may need to turn that work over to a professional.

An effective board member will understand they can’t do everything and that it’s better to find someone with the right experience to tackle the task. So many people try to take on too much — which is even worse if they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s just setting them up for failure.

A key trait that we admire in a board member is the ability to review bid options thoroughly and without bias. Most people know the cheapest bid or the flashiest presentation doesn’t always equate to the best vendor selection.




There can be hidden additional costs, inability to provide the work requested or a lack of experience that lead to ultimate failure in the relationship. It's important that board members are able to dig deep into the offerings of the service provider and look at all the different aspects of a company and contract before making a decision.

When looking for a commercial landscaping company to maintain your HOA’s outdoor spaces, look for a quality vendor. A good board member will know how to differentiate bids, instead of just going with the cheapest one or flashiest presentation. Ask for references, view other HOAs they maintain and make sure they have the proper insurance before going with a maintenance company.

Native is a full-service commercial landscaping company, and we provide services in Austin, Houston and McAllen, Texas. Our certified teams can maintain, design and construct landscape features for your HOA.

We work with property types like HOAs, apartment homes, retail properties, professional offices, industrial properties, medical facilities and municipal works.


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Ben Collinsworth


Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

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Native Land Design has reliably been servicing The Domain (Austin, TX) for four years and continue to be attentive and thorough in their care. We are extremely appreciative of their efforts and hope to have a long lasting relationship. We would recommend them to anyone looking for a solid commercial landscaping contractor.

Melissa Kreutner, Property Manager, Endeavor Real Estate Group