HOA meetings are held for everyone’s benefit. They keep members up-to-date on what is happening within the community, give them an opportunity to weigh in on decision-making, and provide transparency. However, when board meetings get out of control, their purpose may be lost and productivity wanes. It is essential to have order and structure when holding meetings to ensure work is being done in the best interest of the association and its members.
Here are a few tips for keeping order and being more productive:
- Set clear expectations. When each meeting is run in the same manner following the same procedures, members become accustomed to what to expect. Have a designated time when homeowners are invited to speak and enforce established time limits so no one dominates the conversation.
- Stick to the agenda. This is your roadmap for the meeting. It determines what is discussed and when. Veering off track opens doors for irrelevant conversations and topics that are not eligible to be voted on because they’re not on the agenda. Distribute agendas ahead of time so board members and homeowners know what topics will be covered.
- Provide additional information. If a homeowner brings up a concern that is not on the agenda, let them know the best way to have this issue heard. Usually that means submitting a request in writing for the next meeting. Or, direct them to the appropriate resources or person who can provide the information they need.
- Be prepared for difficult questions. Sometimes the board knows in advance that a topic will be controversial or incite pushback. Prepare responses ahead of time for anticipated questions or concerns. Create handouts with additional details or PowerPoint presentations to convey information more effectively.
- Stay calm. When a discussion becomes heated, members may feed off of this energy. The best thing for board members to do is remain calm and in control. It may be necessary to call for a short break to let everyone refocus. If things get too chaotic and cannot be reined in, the president may decide to adjourn the meeting and reconvene at another time.
Well planned and structured meetings can help the HOA to advance projects, resolve problems, and put new practices or procedures in place that benefit the community as a whole. It is important to remember that these are business meetings and proper conduct is expected. If the HOA is struggling to maintain order, generate interest from homeowners, or create an effective agenda, partnering with a property management team like Kuester can help. Property managers can support administrative tasks, communication, and much more for the HOA. Contact Kuester today to find out how we can help.