Are your Homeowners Association board meetings long and boring? Do meetings stray from the agenda, or are they simply non-effective? How many meetings have you been to as a board member with high hopes of staying on topic, accomplishing much and ending on time, only to find yourself in the midst of bantering into the night with no decisions made and deadlines looming?
How to Have Great Homeowners Association Board Meetings
As an industry leader in the homeowners association services industry, we have been asked many times, “How can we have a better homeowners association board meeting process?” Utilize Robert’s Rules of Order to help save the day! Parliamentary procedure is a set of rules for conducting business at meetings. Designed to allow everyone to be heard and to make decisions without confusion, it is helpful for even the smallest group of board members.
How to Manage a High Volume of Homeowners Association Resident Maintenance Requests and Common Area Needs
Here’s an example of an experience I had during my first homeowners association board meeting with a community. Maintenance requests are plentiful from the community’s townhome residents and common open spaces are being enhanced, so the board has to review and approve a high volume of project quotes. Everyone is eager to offer their ideas and opinions for improvements.
There was a discussion for what felt like 15 minutes regarding two options for a landscaping project with no end in sight. I recommended a board member make a motion to approve one of the options, and then for another board member to second the motion. They all voted and then moved forward with a decision. It swiftly ended the lengthy discussion to nowhere. If I could have done an impromptu interview with each board member, I think each one of them would have said, “Oh, that was easy!”
Discussion and information sharing is important, but should have an appropriate limit during a homeowners association board meeting. It is helpful to make a motion to “end debate” for a particular topic so you can move forward with a vote. Another option is to “postpone discussion for a certain time” if you feel like more information is needed before an educated decision can be made.
For the remainder of the meeting, the board utilized this process for facilitating the meeting and making the decisions that were needed. I felt they learned more about the proper process for conducting meetings and had a sense of victory because of how much they accomplished.
Tips to Help You at Your Next Homeowners Association Board Meeting
- Provide all board members with the highlights of Robert’s Rules of Order.
- This information can be provided by your management company or law office, or you can learn more about it online.
- As a board, highlight the most likely motions you would use for meetings and practice the process.
- Although community board meetings are often in a relaxed setting, it’s important to feel confident about running a productive meeting.
- Respect each other’s time and be aware of how much time has been spent on each topic.
- Sometimes you may have to postpone a discussion for later and that’s OK.
- Ask all committee chairmen to take charge of their area and gather as much knowledge as possible for the board to make informed decisions.
- We understand you are all volunteers. The more people that help, the less load for any one person.
- When possible, board members should review all quotes and any other items to be voted on at a board meeting ahead of time.
- This will save a lot of time because any questions could be researched prior to the meeting.
So what tips are you going to take to your next board room and run with? Are there tips you use that we did not cover? Let us know is the chat pane below. Also, we would love to hear about your success stories once they happen. Head over to our contact page and share how your HOA meetings have been transformed.
Now if we can just shorten meetings from 2 ½ hours to 1 ½ hours… Tips on that next time.