RealManage Insight

Productive Community Association Board Meetings: Be Heard at Your Next Board Meeting

by Terry Bascher on May 18, 2021 8:42:00 AM

The management of a community takes the efforts of board members and ample collaboration from homeowners. The boards of the Homeowners Associations(HOA) and Condominium Owners Associations(COA) convene frequently to improve management. Some of the reasons these meetings are conducted are to make decisions on waste management, utilities, maintenance of roads, and a review of fees. The sessions are also an opportunity to clarify new policies to foster a better community. That said, the ideal meeting should ensure the agendas are met and homeowners are heard. Here's how to hold a productive board meeting.

The Board Should Listen to Homeowners

The mandate of any HOA board is drawn from homeowners. As such, their voices and concerns should be the top priority during the meeting. The route to a workable solution in the community is through active listening, accepting suggestions, and getting everyone on the same page.

As a board, you can encourage constant communication through e-mails, social media, web forums, surveys, and suggestion boxes. Through such channels, you can gather sufficient information to set the tone in meetings.

How Homeowners Can Increase Chances of Being Heard During Meetings

1. Conduct Yourself Professionally

HOA meetings consist of people of different age groups, backgrounds, gender, and professions. Some may be your friends, while others are just neighbors. It is, therefore, crucial to act and address the homeowners and board members with decorum and in a respectable manner.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Show up on time: Despite your busy work schedule, community association meetings are equally important. Come on time or earlier. This simple act will accord you some respect and boost your understanding of the purpose of the meeting.
  • Observe Ground Rules: Ensure you follow simple rules like switching your phone to silent mode and being attentive. The discipline you portray prevents your suggestions from being overlooked by the board and your fellow members.
  • Prepare Your Submission: An effective meeting should be as brief as possible. The agendas of HOA meetings are shared in advance to help the members prepare. Therefore, it's important to eliminate unnecessary words in your speech through preparation which reduces the chances of being cut short or boring the participants.

2. Offer a Solution

Homeowners have a right to complain and share the negative experiences of services they aren't pleased with. On the other hand, excessive criticism may not boost the chances of better service delivery. Homeowners should therefore address a complaint objectively by offering a solution.

A point to note: Board members volunteer their time to serve for the good of the community. It's essential to support their work by offering ideas and constructive criticism.

3. Be Brief

Conducting a board meeting is a delicate affair that involves listening to multiple views and fulfilling the day's plan. It's the responsibility of the homeowners to share the limited time — generally, board members allow 2-5 minutes depending on the agenda.

Given the limited time, it's important to shape your thoughts and points beforehand. Prior preparation will minimize the chances of being repetitive. To remain brief, present the points in a concise and punchy manner. You could also present some of your suggestions as written notes to optimize your time.

4. Be Patient

The board members use the attendance register to determine who speaks at the meeting. Sometimes the number is huge, making it hard for everyone to speak— the practical solution is to schedule your chance for the next meeting.

The missed opportunity can be frustrating, which calls for patience and understanding. It's also prudent to consistently attend meetings to increase your chances of airing your views.

Let Us Help You Increase Board Meeting Productivity

The frequent HOA/COA board meetings boost the smooth management of the community. It's, therefore, crucial to hold regular meetings to collect views and discuss community issues. That said, it's essential to invest in systems that facilitate constant communication with homeowners and feedback gathering. RealManage has different solutions to boost the productivity of your community board meetings by ensuring everyone airs their views. Contact us today to learn more.

Purpose of an HOA Board Meeting Access

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