Tips to Focus HOA Board Meetings
Running an HOA Board meeting is more than just moving the group through an agenda. It requires practice and good agendas to accomplish your objectives during a meeting without wasting time. But, effective agendas aren’t thrown together in a few minutes. It takes preparation and planning to design an agenda that can keep your meeting on track and accomplish everything you need to do in the meeting. Here are some tips on developing effective agendas to keep your meetings focused so you can accomplish more in less time.
Before the Meeting
- Determine the amount of attention that is appropriate for each agenda item. Discussion, announcement, voting, etc. can change time requirements.
- Consider the order of the agenda topics. Put highest priority items first.
- Request all supporting information for each topic and send to all Board members prior to the meeting.
During the Meeting
- Call the meeting to order on time.
- Approval of minutes should take no more than 1 minute. Allow 3 minutes if there are corrections, but it shouldn’t require a discussion since everyone received the minutes in their meeting packet.
- The treasurer’s report should take approximately 5 minutes if there are no unusual expenditures. Current and/or expected variances should be included in the pre-meeting material.
- Your president’s report (or property manager) should require not more than 20 minutes. Lengthy discussions are usually not needed due to the background information in the distributed meeting packet.
- Committee reports typically require about 5 minutes each. Proposals may require an additional 5 minutes, but they can move quickly because of the pre-meeting information.
- Old and new business almost becomes unnecessary agenda topics when you insist upon advance information. However, this topic should stay on your agenda.
Three Mandatory Strategies
- Advance information is mandatory before adding an item to the agenda for discussion.
- Establish the expectation that every Board member review supporting material before the meeting.
- Meeting discussions follow the timeframe allocated on the agenda.
Are your HOA Board meetings running long with few accomplishments? See what a difference it can make to implement one or two of these tactics. Just remember that it takes time. Running a meeting isn’t something you innately know when you’re born. You get better with practice, and your Board will get better too!