Disorganized and inefficient meetings represent one of the biggest challenges for HOA Boards. The monthly Board meeting should last no more than two hours, and the most productive meetings stay on a pace with an agenda. Implement the following strategies to ensure your Board meetings run smoothly and end in a timely manner:
- Prepare. Every Board member should arrive at each meeting having reviewed their Board packet and ready to conduct Association business.
- Use a timed agenda. Set limits on the time allotted to each topic to stay on task and ensure that each agenda item is discussed.
- Hold homeowner forum at the end of the meeting. When homeowners are required to sit through the business of the meeting, they are reminded of the time investment made on behalf of their community. Many times, their questions will be answered during the meeting, which keeps the forum portion to a minimum.
- Refer to the Management Agreement. If the Management Agreement allows charging for additional meeting time, and is properly disclosed, Board members can refer to it to keep homeowners (and each other) from getting off-topic. Financial consequences can be a productive tool for behavior modification and serves as a strong motivator.
- Evening meetings are not the only option. Not every Board member will have the flexibility to take time off work to attend a Board meeting, but keep in mind that HOAs are non-profit corporations and require a certain level of attention. Conducting business during business hours can help to maintain a business mindset, and keep members focused on making the best decisions. If holding a meeting during business hours isn’t plausible, try an early morning or late afternoon meeting, immediately before or after the work day. Attending a meeting in business attire promotes the right atmosphere, and encourages professional and productive engagement.