HOA boards are filled by volunteers who have generously donated their time and energy to trying to make their community a wonderful place to live. It is important, therefore, to be considerate of board members by trying to keep meetings as short as possible. In so doing you will be ensuring high attendance as well as overall goodwill and peace between residents. Here are a few tips on how to keep your HOA board meeting under one hour.
Have a Realistic Agenda
One of the biggest mistakes that HOA boards often make is trying to cram too much into one meeting. Instead of trying to put every single issue onto the agenda, limit the items. Try to identify beforehand which items will take a long time to decide, and put only one of these high priority items on the agenda at a time. If necessary, schedule additional meetings to cover all of the issues.
Stick to the Agenda
It should be the general expectation that the agenda will be strictly followed. When the time allotted for a particular item has come to an end, move quickly on to the next thing on the agenda.
Establish a Set Apart Time for an Open Forum
A time can be set apart for an open forum and for the discussion of things that are important to the community. During this time, anyone can speak. However, strict boundaries should be placed on the rest of the meeting, and interruption should not be allowed at any other. Keep the open forum short, and end it precisely when the agenda specifies.
Send Out Board Meeting Packets Early
One of the best ways to keep meetings short it to put together board meeting packets far in advance, and get them to the board members and other homeowners so that they can be thoroughly prepared for the meeting and know what to expect.
Consider the Location of the Meetings
In is important to choose a meeting location that is quiet and in every way promotes the expediency of the meeting. Instead of choosing a busy location such as a restaurant in which interruptions will be inevitable and frequent, choose a professional location such as a conference room that limits distractions.
Follow a Code of Conduct
A code of conduct for board meetings should be established and agreed to by every board member. This should include procedures for how to make a motion, when members can speak, and what behaviors are inappropriate during meetings.
Remember the Purpose of Board Meetings
Finally, it is important to remember that the members of the board are there to make decisions about things that will affect the community, not to have in depth conversations or arguments about topics. This can be done by making sure everyone is informed ahead of time and is ready to cast a vote.
Keeping board meetings short is of utmost importance. Respect the time of the board members by putting into practice these tips, and you will be able to keep your HOA board meetings under one hour.