Prepare for Your Meetings
Just hearing the word “meeting” can give you nightmares of being trapped in a room for endless discussions. However, with some strategic planning, your HOA board meetings can run smoothly, and efficiently. Meetings are inescapable if you are on the board because HOAs are similar to corporations; they must hold regular meetings of their “officers and shareholders.” For HOAs, this is their board members and homeowners. We’ll go over tips for a successful meeting and how to prepare.
Review Previous Meetings
Before starting your next meeting, it is always a great idea to review the last meetings minutes.
For instance, was everyone present?
Was the agenda followed?
Did items frequently get moved to the next meeting?
Was time wasted?
Writing down the issues, you notice can help you analyze the situation better and learn new ways to improve it. Talk with other attendees and learn more about what they notice from the meetings. Ask them how it went. Ask them how it can improve and go from there.
Plan Your Meetings
Check out the last meeting’s items and use them as a launching point for the current meeting. The previous meeting’s agenda can be used as a template as you plan out the items to cover. Give your members a chance to prepare by sending them a monthly task list to research and follow up. It could be helpful to create an online forum for the board members to talk freely, as long as the bylaws permit. One of the most important things you can do as a board member is preparing for the meeting. Board members set the tone for the meeting, and if you are late or unprepared, your homeowners may have a hard time trusting the board’s decision and actions. An excellent start to prepare is reviewing the board meeting packet and understanding all key issues.
Stick To The Schedule
Start by creating a template that has a strict format, such as an opening, roll call, reading committee reports, and treasurer’s reports, take votes and discussion questions, and allowing time for a homeowner’s forum. An unfocused agenda invites chaos, so having an outline is a great way to keep order and keep the topics on point.
Get People To Participate
Send out notices early so board members can plan to be at all meetings. Usually, if a quorum of the board is not present, the meeting is canceled, which can be frustrating and puts off decisions the decision process.
During the Meeting
Allow homeowners to ask questions either at the beginning or end of the meeting, giving them a limited amount of time to speak. In general, homeowners may attend and speak at open meetings, but you should make sure your governing documents stipulate guidelines for homeowner participation. All situations involving either homeowners, shareholders, or potential buyers can be outlined through the bylaws and governing documents.
Watch The Clock
It’s essential to use a timer to keep track of time and take detailed notes of the meeting itself. Those meeting minutes provide an official record and allow homeowners to see what happened if they could not attend. Having detailed meeting minutes also allows board members to review what was covered at earlier meetings so they can pick up right where they left off.
Snacks Make Everything Better
If you’re intending on making the meetings more enjoyable, provide reasonable snacks that they can have before and after the meeting. While it depends on the meeting, paying attention to the time it takes place can help you determine what food and drinks you can bring for people. Giving them drinks like coffee and small snacks such as fruit can help your members focus better.
Giving Everyone a Turn
All members of the board need to share their insights, as well as homeowners. Different people bring unique perspectives and knowledge and may notice details others have missed.
Follow Parliamentary Procedure
One of the most critical aspects of these meetings is that the procedure is followed, and rules are established. If your members are having a hard time with the process, give your members resources on conducting business in elected organizations such as the HOA. If there are new policies in place, allow time outside of the meetings for your board members to learn about these policies.
At the end of the meeting, topics should be reviewed, and board members are given responsibilities to take care of for next time. Send emails to the board members can be a good reminder of meeting topics. As for new topics that have been brought up, plan those out for future meetings, and remind board members of them so they can prepare.
Any board meetings, including HOA board meetings, can be hard to deal with if done incorrectly. A strategy is an essential aspect of meetings; they bring structure, order, and enlightens people of what is needed from their community. Homeowners know that these meetings are vital and expect their board members to care for the needs of their communities. So, when it comes to meetings, don’t doubt their importance. Whether you are helping lead the meetings or are just assisting the people in charge, these tips help make the meetings more productive and efficient.