If your community is having trouble keeping volunteers engaged, the problem might be your meetings. One of the biggest complaints that we hear from community association Board members is that the meetings are too long.
Board meetings should be about an hour long. If the Board President is vocal and keeps chatter and gossip to a minimum – the Board should be able to run through the agenda items and make quick decisions. For more complex communities, meetings may be a little longer – but should NEVER exceed two hours.
If you find that a lot of owners attend and want to chat – maybe consider offering a pre or post-meeting social gathering. Once the official meeting is shut down – owners can linger and socialize without detracting from the Board’s ability to accomplish their goals.
Remember these keys to success:
- Board Meetings are for the Board to conduct business – specifically to make decisions that pertain to the community association
- Homeowner Forum should be the last item on the agenda as most owners’ questions will most likely be answered in the body of the meeting
- The Board should set the precedent during the meeting by keeping their comments short and on task
- Owners speaking during the Owners Forum – should be limited between 2 and 5 minutes
- The Board is made up of volunteers – they want to get home!
For more helpful hints about productive meetings – visit your local chapter of Community Association Institute http://www.caionline.org/pages/Default.aspx. They have a list of helpful reading materials and even classes to address Board Meetings.