Let’s be completely honest about it; hosting a homeowner’s association (HOA) board meeting is not the most exciting thing in the world. Unfortunately, board meetings such as this are a necessity.
HOA board meetings are essential for two reasons. Firstly, they are there to approve the budget for the next year. Secondly, they are an opportunity to elect any vacant seats on the board.
This may all sound a little dry, but there are ways of making your meetings a little less boring so that you can get the community to attend. But, how exactly do you do that?
In this article, we’ll look at how you can host fun and effective board meetings.
Outline for Community Meetings
Here’s a step-by-step guide to hosting effective board meetings:
- Start planning early
- Make your meetings fun
- Set your agenda and stick to it
- Get organized
- Take minutes
Let’s take a look at these points in more depth.
Start Planning Early
The key to hosting any effective board meeting is to start planning it early. You’ll only need to host a board meeting like this once a year, so you can begin planning the process as early as you like. Just don’t leave it too late.
Ideally, you’ll want to start the process of planning your meeting at least six months in advance. Very often, associations that perform well have this level of advanced planning in place.
Once you have nailed down the nitty-gritty details about the meeting, such as where and when the event will be held, you can start to send out mailers to potential attendees. You should do this 60 days in advance and then again one month before.
Once you know the date of your meeting, you can always save the date notice in your association newsletter.
The more warning your potential attendees have, the more chance you’ll have of having good attendance.
How to Make Your HOA Board Meetings Fun
One of the main reasons that residents don’t attend HOA meetings is that they are often dull stuffy affairs. Nobody wants to give up their spare time to sit in a meeting that only slightly benefits them. For this reason, many associations fail to achieve a quorum.
Getting enough people to attend and participate is vital for your homeowner’s association. For this reason, you should make your meetings as fun as possible.
Why not hold your meeting at a local restaurant? Alternatively, splash a little of your budget on some food, so your attendees have some motivation for coming along.
Another great way of attracting people to your meetings is to invite a guest speaker who will capture your audience’s attention. There may be a local celebrity who is willing to get involved to give back to the community.
When it comes to your meetings’ content, you must keep the tone as upbeat and lighthearted as possible. Use the meeting to focus on the positive achievements of the association over the previous year.
When delivering presentations, throw in a few appropriate jokes where possible. Try and utilize board members that are charismatic to deliver any representations to the attendees.
Set Your Agenda and Stick to It
If you’ve planned the meeting, got attendees to come, and then plied them with food and drank to win their attention, you’re going to want to make sure that your content is on-point. You’ll need to put on something of a show to make sure the event will not be a wash-out.
The first thing you should do to make sure your meeting is not a flop is to set a cast-iron agenda in stone. You must stick to your schedule once it is set.
If you feel as though the meeting is drifting away from the point, make sure and refer to your schedule and pull it back on course.
The basic outline for your HOA board meeting agenda should run as follows:
- Call the meeting to order– allow attendees a few minutes to mingle and socialize ahead of the main business
- Approval of the minutes from last years meeting– this is somewhat of a formality and can be quite dull- try and spice it up with an upbeat delivery
- Counting of the proxy votes and ballots– try and keep the meeting organized during this section as it may tend to become unruly
- Announcement of the newly elected board members – once the ballots are in and counted, you can announce the newly elected board members- build up the excitement and try and have fun with this
- Adjournment– deal with any other business and call the meeting to a close
Get Organized for Your Board Meetings
If you are responsible for organizing the event, the entire success of the meeting rests on your shoulders. Don’t worry, though, and you can get people to help you.
Make sure that everyone knows their own parts and their responsibilities. If someone needs to order the food, make sure that they know it—Check-in with people on the run-up to the meeting to make sure that everything is in check.
Finally, make sure that you have a backup plan if anything goes wrong. It would be best if you always assumed that the worst is going to happen. That way, you’ll always be prepared.
Remember to Take Minutes
Most state laws and governing bodies require that there are minutes taken of any board meetings. HOA board meetings are no exception, and you’ll need to make these minutes available to all homeowners.
So when should these meeting notes be available to members of the community? This will depend on the state laws, but often it is within thirty days of the meeting.
Some boards will opt to record their meetings and then transcribe them later. This does raise the question of whether it is legal to record HOA board meetings.
If you do intend on recording the meeting, make sure everyone is aware of this. It is always a good idea to destroy the recording after the minutes have been transcribed.
Your minutes should include all agenda items, discussions, actions, and any motions that were taken. It would help if you left out any personal comments or opinions.
The meeting notes don’t need to be verbatim, and they need to get the point across of what was said.
Getting Your Meeting On Track
Hosting effective HOA board meetings takes organization and attention to detail. Often times meetings can get a little crazy with homeowners and board members. Follow the points made in this article, and you’ll win your community over with ease.
For help with everything relating to your HOA, get in touch with us today.