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Condo Living - What Makes A Successful Board Meeting?

If, as a norm, board meetings are lasting for more than two hours – without accomplishing much – then something is wrong.

Have you ever attended a condo or homeowners’ association monthly board meeting that lasted for hours? Do you serve on a board of directors and spend more than two hours at a monthly meeting? Well, you should not have to do so month after month.

If, as a norm, board meetings are lasting for more than two hours – without accomplishing much – then something is wrong. It may be the meeting location. It may be disorganization. It may even be lack of leadership. When meetings are long and unproductive, the board is usually unproductive.  Most experts agree that a typical monthly community board meeting should not exceed one and one-half to two hours.

Here are some tips to keep your board meeting times within a one to two hour standard:

1) Publish an Agenda! 

The board should be provided the meeting agenda a few days in advance of the meeting date. Some communities find it helpful to time the agenda to keep topics moving forward. If an agenda is timed, be sure to watch the clock and adhere to the agenda. 

2) Leadership! 

The board president determines the flow of the meeting. The president should understand the agenda and keep discussions moving forward. The president is also responsible for keeping all participants focused on the issues at hand. It is his or her responsibility to determine when it is time to halt discussion and call for a vote on an issue. 

3) Come prepared! 

If you are a board member you should review the monthly management report, financial statements, committee minutes and any other relevant data prior to the meeting. By reviewing material ahead of time a board member will arrive to the meeting prepared with questions or suggestions and ready to make a decision on topics.

4) Be ready to make decisions! 

The purpose of the meeting is for the board to discuss and debate community issues and to make decisions. The board meeting is the end of the decision-making process it is not the beginning.

5) Understand the meeting is a business meeting not a social gathering!

Board meetings should not be used as times to socialize. Board members and residents should socialize on their own time and not during a scheduled meeting. Again, the purpose of the meeting is to conduct official business of the community.

For additional tips click here and here.

Midtown resident Tim Huffman is a licensed Community Association Manager and holds the CMCA®, AMS® and PCAM® designations from Community Associations Institute. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Walter Jacob August 20, 2012 at 01:12 PM
This exactly how the May-Ren meetings have now been structured under the new Board. An agenda is posted throughout the building newsletter days ahead of the meeting. The new Board President controls the flow of meetings, but also opens the floor to hear from building residents instead of closing them out of all building business with sensorship as former Board members did for years while Board meeting minutes. This new Board, after being stymied by former Boards, comes prepared with more information and accounting than any former Board. This new board looks at the decisions to be made and instead of acting in a dictatorial, knee jerk reactionary method, looks for critical information and input to make a solid and reasonable decisions. They do this by having more than one quote from "friendly" vendors for building projects, getting more input from residents, and utilizing accounting practices standards recognized worldwide. This new Board knows that this is a business meeting and reflects this by trying to get to all issues. It is not the time a meeting takes (remember the lengthy, unproductive meetings of the past Boards) but rather, the quality of the results.

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