Board meetings are a necessary evil in home owners associations. That doesn’t mean they have to be dreadful. In fact, with the right approach, you can make your meetings prompt, productive and even somewhat enjoyable (or at least tolerable). Let’s take a look at a few tips from our HOA experts below.
Create an agenda.
Knowing exactly what needs to be covered can make your HOA board meetings run more smoothly and prevent delays, distractions and derailments. Create an agenda that lists out exactly what you’ll be discussing and in what order.
All agenda items in your HOA board meeting should conform to one of three specific categories: directed discussion, appointed action and meaningful motions. As you’re building your agenda, if there are any items that don’t seem to fit into any of these three categories, chances are they can be handled elsewhere and/or by other means.
Distribute the agenda in advance.
Rather than wasting the first several minutes of your HOA meeting handing out copies of the agenda, distribute them to attendees in advance via email. Just be sure to have each board member commit to reviewing it and confirming that they’ve done so. Otherwise, not everyone will bother reading it and you’ll be starting from scratch once the meeting begins.
Set and stick to a time limit.
Set a specific time limit for each topic on your agenda and do your best to adhere to that limit. For instance, you might attribute 5 minutes to reviewing old business, 15 minutes to discussing new business and the remaining time allotted to decision-making, action item assignments and final Q&A for homeowners.
Determine and delegate actions.
As you finish up each discussion item on your agenda, briefly review any actions that may be required and assign them to specific board members. That way, everyone will leave the meeting with clear expectations on next steps, who will be responsible for what tasks and what a successful outcome of those tasks will look like.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that HOA board members volunteer their time to make sure their community is a great place to live. Respect that time by making meetings as painless as possible. The five tips above should keep your meetings are short and sweet while also ensuring that everything on your to-do list still gets adequately addressed.