April 12th, 2016
Being on a homeowners association board means volunteering your time for best of your whole community. It can be an incredibly fulfilling role, but it involves dealing with differences in opinion and finding times to get everyone together.
Most board members are volunteers who care about having a well-run community. But since each person may have different ideas of how that happens, it can be difficult to maintain concise meetings and come to quick decisions. However, HOA board members have full time lives and jobs outside of the association, so it’s important to work towards efficient meetings. Here are some tips to help you do so:
Have a well-organized agenda
That includes - State of Affairs, Building Issues/Concerns, Recent Projects, Future Projects, Review YTD Financials, Review of Proposed Budget, Old Business, New Business, Board Elections.
Keep it concise
The purpose of meetings should be appointed actions, pointed discussion, and motions that move the association’s goals forward. It’s really important to get guidelines so that anything outside of these are handled at another time. And if discussion for a motion is getting nowhere, those running the meeting should know when to table it an move on.
You should also only discuss items that are high level topics or in need of a vote from the board. You don’t need committee members to be present at every meeting.
Assign times to agenda items
Always have someone monitoring discussion time on items addressed. It’s easy for something meant to take 10 minutes to turn into an hour-long discussion. If it goes 10 minutes over, wrap it up and move on.
It’s also al too easy for board meetings to turn into social hour, so make sure they start and end at specific times.
Limit homeowner speaking time
Of course it’s great to invite owners to meetings, but you don’t want comments taking over. Allot time for them a few minutes before or after meetings. Better yet, have them submit questions and comments before the meeting so the board can know what to expect and better address them in a timely manner.
Be clear when wrapping up
Lastly, before you leave each meeting, review action items and make sure each board member understands their responsibilities and role for each item.
If your HOA is struggling to maintain control or plan for meetings, you might want to consider hiring an HOA management company.