How to Run an Efficient Condo Association or HOA Board Meeting
By Arnold Barzak III; PMSD, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
1. Early Distribution of Meeting Documents
You must produce and distribute the meeting agenda and accompanying documents to the board at least one week in advance of the meeting.
This gives all Board members the opportunity to review the information and contact the association manger with questions prior to the meeting.
2. Board Members Need to Preview the Meeting Packet
Each Board member needs to review the meeting packet prior to the meeting and contact association manager with any additions or questions.
The meetings are intended to make decisions, so it is important to get all your clarifying questions answered in advance.
3. Establish a Leader
Generally, the President or Manager is the best person to lead your meeting.
The leader needs to be unbiased to allow free thought from the Board and residents, but must be disciplined to keep the meeting moving forward and on topic.
4. Focus on Making Decisions
Board meetings are intended for making decisions, not brainstorming sessions.
Brainstorming sessions should take place between meetings with appropriate committee members, focusing on their suggestions and analyses. When a plan is completed, then it can be presented at a Board meeting for approval.
5. Follow the Agenda
It is easy to veer off topic. Follow the agenda bullet by bullet and leave room at the end of the meeting to bring up new business that is not part of the agenda.
When new topics come up, you should delegate it to a committee for further review if it is not ready for a decision.
6. Clearly Define Action Steps
Be clear about action steps and which person is responsible.
This will save time during the discussion as well at subsequent meetings and will move projects along quicker.
7. Owner Comments are Welcome
It's perfectly acceptable to allow owner input at your meeting.
Prior to the start of your meeting, welcome all owners and let them know that owner comments are permitted at the end of the meeting. Each person should be give an equal opportunity to speak, but make sure there is a maximum amount of time given (generally 3 minutes).
8. Start Action Items Immediately
Starting work on all action steps the day after the meeting gives you an early start and ensures that the tasks get completed quickly.
This not only stops them from continually recurring on the meeting agenda, but also improves community and Board moral by showing accomplishments.
9. Quickly Distribute Your Minutes
Produce and distribute meeting minutes the day after the meeting.
It is not uncommon for agitated residents to attend Board meetings with complaints about the Board not being transparent. By providing the minutes, you reduce the number of unhappy residents attending and disrupting your meeting.
Well-run meetings instill confidence in the Board, help the association to make progress across all fronts, and set consistent standards and expectations for the Board and association members.
Contact Capital Property Solutions for a Free, Friendly, Property Review, or for new ideas on association management and reducing costs.
Find more tips for association Board members on our Board Member Training page.
Arnold Barzak is a principal partner at Capital Property Solutions, a condominium and homeowners association management company with 25 years of experience in Central Ohio. Arnold has earned his PCAM designation, the highest professional recognition available nationwide to managers who specialize in community association management.
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