Property Management

Condo Association Meeting Best Practices: How to Prepare for Your Annual Meeting

As the year is soon coming to a close, your condo association needs to start preparing for your annual HOA meeting. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind to ensure a successful community meeting.

Start Planning Early

The best way to ensure a smooth meeting is to plan it well in advance. Begin preparations early. Start planning your meeting 60-90 days in advance so you don’t have to scramble right before it happens.

Set the Date

As attendance is important, have a date set in stone to make sure all condo owners who would like to come can make it to the meeting. It’s a good idea to hold the annual meeting near the end of the fiscal year, so that the next year’s budget can be settled at the same time.

Give Notice Well Ahead of Time

You will want to give everyone more than enough time to schedule the annual meeting. If you only give people notice a week ahead, a lot of people won’t show up. The more notice you can give, the better. You can check the bylaws of your association to find out when you should hold your meeting and go from there.

Don’t Do it Alone

While planning the meeting is the responsibility of the members of the board, that doesn’t mean one or two people have to do everything themselves. Make sure you involve other people as well. You might find some volunteers, especially if some of them are looking to hold a board position in the near future.

Organize the Agenda

The agenda is the official plan for the meeting, which should be focused and accurate. It’s your association’s to-do list. Each association has state laws and governing documents that dictate the basic requirements for board meetings. Use these to structure the meeting and keep members engaged and focused by including only necessary agenda items. An effective board meeting agenda centers around the most urgent or essential topics and does not cover every single issue.

Share The Meeting Agenda In Advance

Provide the meeting agenda to all board members, giving them adequate time to create reports, study issues, and prepare for discussion. Your governing documents may also require you to share the agenda with your condo owners prior to the meeting and specify how far in advance the agenda must be made available. Don’t forget to check this!

Mark Start Times for Each Agenda Item

One way to control the length of a meeting is to use a timed agenda. To do this, note the actual start time next to each agenda item and then provide an estimate of how much time the discussion should take. A timed agenda will also help you transition from one issue to the next and keep your meeting in check.

Set Limits for Homeowner Speaking Time

Homeowners need to have their voice heard at the meetings. Their input is invaluable in the planning process for future community projects and improvements. However, it’s important not to let this derail the whole agenda. Include a time slot for homeowners at the beginning or end of the meeting and consider soliciting questions and comments before the meeting. This will help board members to better prepare, and saves everyone some time.

Wrap-Up Meetings Effectively

One sign of a successful meeting is when everyone leaves with the same clear understanding of what discussions and decisions took place, what action items need to be done, and by whom. At the end of every meeting, spend a few minutes reviewing the session’s action items and each board member’s role and responsibility. Send everyone meeting minutes.

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