How to Plan Your Next HOA Board Meeting
The goal of your HOA should be to protect your community members’ investments and properly maintain your neighborhood or subdivision. HOA’s are vital organizations, but oftentimes, they do not run as well as they could or implement rules that are confusing or ineffective. It is easy for an HOA to waste time or precious resources, but there is a simple way of ensuring greater efficiency and success in your association—annual board meetings.
Annual HOA board meetings ensure that everyone on the board has a voice and is on the same page regarding the association’s direction, budget, rules, goals, etc. in this post, we will discuss tips that can help your association plan effective homeowner’s association meetings.
Prepare an Agenda and Stick to It
When you plan for your next HOA meeting, you can avoid unnecessarily hectic and long discussions. At the end of the day, these are simply major headaches for everyone involved and don’t work to anybody’s advantage. An effective HOA meeting agenda provides a great guideline that everyone can follow to ensure that goals and objectives are met. When you plan your next HOA meeting agenda, the following are some of the things you should include:
The executive session portion of the meeting is only for leaders and can be after or before the open board meeting. The executive session remains confidential, so you can feel free to discuss sensitive topics, if necessary. But, the Davis-Stirling act limits what you kind of information that you can discuss confidentiality in executive sessions, so make sure that you know the rules so that you are not in violation of any laws or regulations. Confidential information that you shouldn’t discuss includes contracts, disciplinary hearings, issues with personnel, legal issues, foreclosures, and payments.
Call to order
This motion initiates the beginning of the board meeting. Someone can say, “I call this meeting to order” so everyone will now that the meeting is starting.
Ratifying the last meeting’s agenda
This part of the board meeting is meant for discussing what happened at the last meeting so that all attendees can refresh their memory.
Old and new business
You should put time aside to talk about unresolved issues from the last meeting or items that were not taken care of due to a lack of available time. Additionally, you should discuss new items that your association is starting, so that all members are made aware of this important information. Plus, this section can cover routine items that are always covered at each meeting, such as the association’s budget.
Allow for an open forum, so that members have an opportunity to voice their concerns or ideas. For this section, your association can set a time limit so that meetings don’t go too long.
At this time, the HOA board meeting is over, and members are free to leave.
Consider a Community Suggestion Box
Community input is very important, but the major problem is that everybody has time limitations. Work, family, vacation—life gets busy, so nobody has time to sit through a meeting that drags on for hours and hours. One great way to avoid a meeting that drags on is to ask members to turn in items for discussion in writing in advance of the meeting. These submissions should include enough information to help you predict how much time could be spent on the question and discussion portion of the meeting. This allows you to budget your time and keep your meetings from dragging on for hours but also gives the community a chance to voice their concerns. This is a win-win situation for everybody involved.
Implement Parliamentary Procedures
Parliamentary procedures are rules that govern meetings and can be very helpful for your HOA. Your association should consider implementing guidelines such as “Robert’s Rules of Order”, which can help you make your meetings more effective. The following is an example of a procedure for bringing a motion during the meeting:
- ✓ One member makes a motion.
- ✓ Another member seconds the motion.
- ✓ The chair asks the following question: “It is moved and seconded that…,” followed by the necessary and relevant information. This will usually make the motion official.
- ✓ If necessary, members can debate the motion.
- ✓ The meeting chair puts the question up for a vote.
- ✓ The meeting chair announces whether the motion was adopted or rejected, based on how the association voted.
Make Your HOA Work on Behalf of the Community
HOA board meetings, when planned and organized correctly, should have a positive impact on your entire community. To make the HOA work on behalf of the community, consider the following suggestions:
- ✓ Get every resident involved in the process, if you can. Make everyone feel like they have a voice, and ensure that everybody has a say in important community decisions. To ensure that you get the highest possible turnout at your meeting, let everybody know the date and time of the event far in advance. You can also poll the homeowners in your community to find out the best date and time to hold the meeting, to accommodate the busy schedules of as many people as humanly possible.
- ✓ Stick to your schedule and agenda. You want to make sure that all of your time is used effectively.
- ✓ Take a break halfway through the meeting. This will break up long meetings and gives neighbors an opportunity to get to know each other. Plus, it makes the meetings more enjoyable for everybody involved.
Get the Help of a Professional HOA Management Company
If you need help planning your next board meeting or need general management assistance for your HOA, the team at Condo Manager has you covered. We have years of experience in accounting and association management for HOAs and Condo associations. Through our work, we allow management companies and communities to provide superior service to their community members and clients. If you want to learn more about our services, give us a call at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online.