The monthly community meeting poses an incredible opportunity for your HOA board. It’s an excellent time to communicate to your residents. It’s an ideal time to address pressing issues, and to take action to improve your community.
With that said, it’s also an opportunity that many boards ultimately squander! That’s because making the most of an HOA meeting means implementing a few key strategies. Without thinking through all the details of the meeting, you may end up accomplishing much less than you’d like to! However, following these tips is a great way to optimize your community meeting potential.
1. The bottom line is that you should ensure every community meeting is necessary, and that the topics you address are truly important. This may seem like a no-brainer. However, many community associations end up spending meeting time to discuss matters that you could probably address in a different context—an online community forum, maybe. The rule of thumb is to seek to cover all major, pressing issues—and to do it in two hours tops.
2. Keep it organized, and keep everyone prepared! Come up with an agenda in advance, and distribute it to everyone—along with pertinent backup materials.
3. Make sure that only the right members are in attendance—which basically means leaving kids and pets and non-community members out of it!
4. Location is vital. For some communities, there may not be a lot of options for where to hold the meeting. However, if at all possible, you should find a place that’s devoid of noises and distractions.
5. Stick to the schedule. The best way to respect the time of all attendees is to stay on task, and ultimately to end on time.
6. Keep a record of what goes on at the meeting. This will prove helpful in future meetings!
7. Make sure you use a process to designate who can talk when, and ultimately to avoid conflicts.
8. Finally, this point is crucial: End on a proactive note. Make sure the conclusion of the meeting involves a clear explanation of what steps will be taken next—and who is to take them!