5 ingredients for a more efficient community association board meeting
Let's face it: community association board meetings can be difficult to get through. Bring a room full of volunteers together and you're likely to get as many opinions as occupants in the room. It's usually not a recipe for a quick and efficient board meeting. Organization and planning are essential in order to avoid a disaster. According to Neighbor Huddle, “When your time is spent in unorganized, lengthy, and chaotic meetings, not only is the enthusiasm for active participation of current board members diminished, but you also discourage many future volunteers from sitting on the board.”
We put together 5 ingredients to help you get the business of the association done in a timely, more efficient manner.
1. Plan the menu
Nothing can throw a meeting into chaos more than going into it without a strategy. Develop a plan that outlines exactly what you need to accomplish. Then put together a packet and send it out to each board member well in advance of the meeting.
Meeting packet checklist:
# Previous meeting minutes
# Current financial statements
# Items that require action or a decision
# Items from the administrative and maintenance calendars
# Information or research needed to make a decision
2. Write down the recipe
Every board meeting must have a written agenda prepared by the president of the association, which should be posted or sent to each board member in advance.
A proper agenda should include the following:
# Call to Order
# Approval of Previous Minutes
# Treasurer's Report with summary of cash balances & expenditures
# Property Manager's (or President's) report
# Committee Report(s)
# Old Business
# New Business
3. Bring all the ingredients to the meeting
Make sure you have done any research on important matters and include that information in the advance packet. This will ensure the board is able to make good business decisions. You don't want to waste time during the meeting, or worse, put off a decision because you haven't done efficient research.
4. Plan for open items
According to NeighborHuddle.com, “The single most effective strategy that the board can use to run an organized and effective meeting is to insist that any items open for discussion at the meeting be submitted in writing early enough to be presented in the package.”
Again, you'll need to make sure that submitted proposals have all documentation needed in order to make a decision, including information regarding expenditures, bids, contracts, or estimates.
5. Watch the timer
HOALeader.com recommends that you, “Tailor your agenda to the meeting, and assign time frames for agenda items.”
Determine how much time you will spend on each agenda item. In general, the Property Manager's/President's Report is where the bulk of the motions are made. If more than one Committee will be giving a report, factor that extra time into the agenda. During the meeting, keep track of the time and don't let the board members go down conversational rabbit holes. Also, understand that not all the items will necessarily be resolved at this meeting. Some will have to be tabled until sufficient research is completed.
Follow this recipe and you will have a much more efficient and successful board meeting.