Running a Smooth HOA Meeting
HOA meetings can be effective in resolving community issues, but they can also be a forum for divisive debate. Meetings don’t have to wind up in a quagmire, though, if you follow a logical process. Here are five tips for conducting association meetings that yield positive results.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
A meeting needs strategic planning, so select the date and time that brings the maximum number of appropriate attendees together. Once you’ve picked a date, assign a point person to run the meeting, which is typically the HOA president or your community manager.
Tip #2: Invite a Guest Speaker to Attract Attendees
In order to get community members interested in the meeting, you need to make it worthwhile. HOA members aren’t always motivated to go to meetings that fall into a predictably time-consuming pattern that may not accomplish much.
One way to attract more homeowners is to invite a relevant guest to speak on issues relating to the HOA or community. Email, website posts, USPS, and strategically placed signage are all great ways to ensure that all possible participants have been notified. Be sure to check with your community manager that state law involving notice requirements are being met.
Tip #3: Start on Time, Stay on Schedule
Create a well-envisioned schedule and stick with it. If you don’t waste time, the meeting will move along at a steady pace, and once it’s over, attendees will have gained important knowledge. Segmenting the meeting into time frames with an outline so that you devote time to each issue also helps the meeting stay on task.
Tip #4: Use an Agenda to Cover Everything Relevant
Prior to the meeting, post/email the meeting agenda and hand out copies to owners attending. Along with the agenda, include all the essential pieces of information that you want them to absorb from the meeting. Allow for a degree of flexibility with content, but keep it moving and follow the agenda to ensure all the top priorities are discussed. Setting a goal for attendees to arrive at a clear understanding by the end of the meeting can also help.
Tip #5: Respond to Questions and Concerns
Since feedback completes the communication process, save it for last. Simply invite attendees to raise questions or contribute their thoughts in a segmented time frame at the end of the meeting to reduce distraction. Once you have collected enough feedback, announce the next meeting date and time. Ensure the attendees that you will address the concerns you collected at the next meeting, and indeed do so.
At Brown Community Management, we aim to make HOA management as easy as possible. Our community managers have all the knowledge and experience needed to help your board run more effective meetings, reduce frustration, and accomplish your community’s goals. For more information, contact us.