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February 16, 2023

a co-op board

From building to building and board to board, situations will vary. There will be differences in the amount of time you devote to the position and the duties you have.

Meetings are held at least once a month, along with the associated planning and follow-up.

Contacting a current or former board member is one way to get more information. Asking about their experience is the best method to learn more about the obligations.

As trustees for shareholders, building managers, and future co-op planners, the board contains three key duties. The president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer serve as board officers.

Members join boards for a number of reasons, which affects how big they are as well. In comparison to board members, board executives often devote more time to their duties.

The levels of time and engagement vary, despite the alignment between all of these positions. Being an officer is not something you have to volunteer for as a new board member.

Questions to ask current and former board members:

You’ll need to invest some of your valuable time in membership.

How long do these meetings last?

Some important questions to ask current or past members include whether they make decisions between sessions.

This includes how well the current board members get along with one another.

Serving on a board is an unpaid, voluntary activity. Everyone has various objectives, which will influence the amount of time they are ready to devote.

Board meetings that last more than an hour may indicate that members are dealing with complex issues.

This indicates the problems need a lot of time to resolve.

Alternately, protracted meetings could indicate sloppy preparation or a lack of a defined agenda.

Effective boards should conclude meetings in less than two hours.

Another indicator is whether or not they make decisions via email or other forms of communication in between meetings. This shows the board’s capacity to deal with problems as they emerge and reach decisions fast.

It also demonstrates the board members’ responsiveness, communication skills, and commitment to the success of the co-op community.

If the co-op hires a property management company, many of the day-to-day concerns will involve a solution by them. However, numerous boards have committees that focus on specific aspects of the building operations. This could include landscaping, sales, leasing, or any other board-supporting activity. Serving on or overseeing one of these committees will increase the amount of time spent on board-related matters.

It is not uncommon for board members to come at problems from different perspectives. Volunteering on a board where members do not get along can be draining and stressful.

Volunteering with another like-minded resident is one way to avoid some of this tension.

Under 10 hours of total volunteer time per month would be a reasonable time commitment.

Think about why you decided to join the board

An activity that you are passionate about usually requires more time and effort from you.

If you live on a high floor, and your elevator routinely breaks down, you might be passionate about helping to replace it. As a board member, you can lead the initiative to create a roof garden on the vacant tar roof. As a shareholder, you have no influence in the decision.

The apartment they live in is frequently one of the biggest investments for co-op shareholders. Having more time available will benefit the neighborhood and your investment in your property.