Isn’t it odd how challenging it can be to talk about yourself? No one knows you better than you, but articulating what makes you qualified for a job, or sharing interesting facts about yourself, feels harder than it should.
Table of contents
- How does someone run for the board?
- How are candidates nominated?
- What is a candidate statement?
- What should a candidate statement include?
- Additional tips
Unfortunately, if you’re going to run for a seat on your condo or HOA board, you’re going to have to tell your fellow members some details about yourself. In order to earn their vote, they need to know why you are the best candidate for them. The good news is you can use our free board candidate statement to help you make a good impression on your fellow community members.
Download our free sample board candidate statement
How does someone run for the board?
If this is your first time running, you must check your governing documents (and specifically, your bylaws) to see what processes you are expected to follow. Every community has different requirements regarding applications, qualifications and nominations.
Generally speaking, the HOA board will start the process with a call for candidates. This is the time for owners to send in their nominations. The board will also need to send a general notice that contains the nomination procedure, as well as the deadline for nomination submissions, to all owners.
Some condos/HOAs may ask candidates for a letter of intent/interest, and in most cases, candidates will also need to submit a candidate statement. This statement will give owners information about who each candidate is, why they are qualified to serve on the board, and how they will contribute to the community.
How are candidates nominated?
There are multiple ways that members can nominate candidates, namely self-nomination, floor nomination, and write-in nominations. Note that not all corporations or associations allow owners to use all three of these methods.
Members can nominate themselves to run for a seat on the board. That being said, people can still be disqualified if there is justifiable cause. If you intend to nominate yourself, you should respond to the board’s call for candidates. Some boards will include a copy of the application form or letter with the general notice, while others make it available on a document database or website for easy access.
Floor nominations may occur after a condo/HOA meets a quorum. The board president will open the floor for candidate nominations, and members will nominate individuals who meet the candidate qualifications. Members do not need to second the nomination in this case, nor do the nominated individuals need to be present for the nomination to be valid.
Owners can nominate other members or themselves, though there is a limit on how many nominations each owner can make. Furthermore, anyone who has already submitted a ballot through the mail may not vote for floor nominees. Due to all of the variables, it is understandable why some condos/HOAs do not allow floor nominations.
Write-in nominations occur when someone writes in a candidate who is not currently recognized as a nominee on the ballot. If your corporation or association permits write-ins, then they are considered valid even if no previous nomination took place. In the rare case where a write-in candidate accumulates the votes necessary to secure a position on the board, they must be notified and decide if they want to accept the nomination.
Write-ins create more work for staff who organize the election, and not all communities allow for this type of voting.
What is a candidate statement?
Returning to the main focus of this article, a candidate statement is a short written statement that allows members to get to know you. It is a way for you to explain what you plan to do for the community if you are elected.
Candidate statements help you stand out from other candidates, but they also function as an informative tool for voters. Those that are interested in voting will take the time to read about each candidate, and if your community organizes an event for members to meet candidates, they can come prepared with questions to ask you.
What should a candidate statement include?
You may receive a statement template from your condo/HOA, but if not, you can use the one here.
In many ways, writing a candidate statement is similar to writing a cover letter. These are the main points you’ll need to cover:
- Who you are. While your bio shouldn’t go on for pages, you can talk about how long you’ve been in the community, your interests, and the qualities that would make you a good board member
- Why you are qualified to serve the community. Voters don’t want someone who won’t be able to lead and take proactive measures to improve the place they call home. To convince members that you are right for the job, make sure to outline relevant qualifications such as project management, accounting or bookkeeping, negotiations, communications, etc.
- Your goals. This is where you explain the plans or goals you have for the community. Maybe you are tackling issues that have plagued owners for a long time. Or perhaps you have the solution to help the condo/HOA manage inflation costs. Be specific, but don’t take up too much of the reader’s time.
Keep statements short and focused
The best statements will take readers about three minutes to complete. It can be a bit of a challenge to create a short statement since this document contains so much valuable information, but the key is to ensure that each sentence is meaningful. Start the statement early and give yourself time to write something that is both informative and succinct.
Communications should always remain positive and focused on how you can bring desirable changes to the association/corporation rather than how the current board may be failing.
Complete your statement early
As we just suggested, give yourself time and complete your statement sooner than later. In some communities, the board may issue a deadline so that it can distribute the statements to owners.
If that’s not the case for your community, you can also make a written request for a list of all the owners and their email addresses so that you can send the statement to them and promote yourself.
Don’t make promises you can’t deliver
Bold promises may attract more votes, but make sure you aren’t promising anything that is illegal or beyond the scope of the board. If you are unsure about what the board can and cannot do, you can always ask a member or the property manager.
Running for a seat on the board is both exciting and nerve-racking. As a first-time candidate, it can be hard to get the attention and support you need from your fellow community members. In order to stand out, you will need to learn how to effectively promote yourself and your qualifications.
Much like applying for a job, you’ll need to make a positive connection with owners in a short amount of time. A board candidate statement can help you make a solid first impression. Just ensure that people actually see your statement and know who you are. If your condo/HOA doesn’t help with candidate promotion, see what you can do to promote yourself.