Ah, the HOA board meeting is coming up, and if you’re like some people, you’d rather get a root canal. HOA board meetings can be painful for a lot of reasons. In some instances, they run too long. Other times it’s a rogue member who hijacks the conversation, and who without intention, wastes over an hour talking about unrelated topics.
The truth is HOA board meetings don’t have to be headache-inducing. And there are ways to take the sting out of these essential discussions. Today, we’ll share a few of those tips so you can keep your HOA board meetings focused and maybe even pleasant and fun.
1. It Starts with Attendance
Before you can make improvements to your HOA board meetings, you need to make sure your participation and attendance rates are healthy. Make sure you’re picking convenient times and places for these meetings, allowing the most people to join. And consider using digital tools for virtual connection with those members who aren’t available to attend in person. The more people you have, the better input and feedback you can expect. With a healthy attendance roster, you can then explore other ways to make the HOA board meetings less painful.
2. Follow Your HOA Meeting Protocol and Agendas
HOA board meetings can derail quickly if members engage in topics that aren’t on the agenda or they speak out of turn. It’s important to take and keep control of the flow by relying on your already established HOA protocols and meeting-specific agenda. Share the topic agenda with everyone in attendance to set proper expectations. Remind members before you begin of the rules surrounding how comments and questions are raised with each item on the agenda. You can then use those same governing guidelines to steer the car back on the road if, at some point, someone starts to veer it off into the ditch.
3. Dealing with Heated Situations and Difficult Members
Despite your best efforts to follow the agenda and set a great HOA board meeting example, there’s sometimes that one person who makes things difficult. Whether it’s a controversial subject or an unruly member, you need to be prepared to calm the conversation and keep the meeting in order. It’s usually best to allow the person in question to make their point, acknowledging the complaint or concern. You can then offer to investigate further and reconvene later for the next steps. Take the “decision” off the table in the heat of the moment to avoid unnecessary escalation. You can always revisit the conversation later, when tempers are calmed, and everyone can civilly discuss privately.
4. Keep HOA Board Meetings Short and Sweet
One of the most painful and unpleasant aspects of the HOA board meeting is its duration. As much as you all enjoy each other’s company, the purpose and business of the meeting should be focused and to the point. Keep the agendas short and move the conversation along as decisions are made. Watch out for repetitive discussions and avoid them whenever possible. And talking about details is one thing. However, getting too far in the weeds and off-topic will only add time to your meeting.
5. Property Management Partners Are Great Peacekeepers
If you’re struggling to engage and control your HOA board meetings for any of these or other reasons, you might be ready to partner with a property management professional like PMI Louisville. We know all the HOA tips and tricks to make board meetings seamless, effective, and in most cases, even pleasant. From communication and agendas to conversation peacekeeping and more, having a third-party professional guiding your HOA board meeting efforts can make a world of difference.
When you’re ready to explore better ways to make those HOA board meetings less painful or any other HOA management-related issues, let us help!