Disorganized and poorly-run board meetings are time-wasters that can make even the most ardent board member cringe at the thought of an upcoming session. On the flip side, a well-run board meeting can be a productive hour or two or three that benefits the entire building. Here are a few tips from the professionals for getting the most out of your meetings.
Preparing for the Meeting
No one should be heading into a monthly board meeting unprepared and uninformed. The days when the board meeting served as the primary method of disseminating information are long gone; today rapid communication like email, smart phones and BlackBerry devices can keep board members, residents and managers up-to-date monthly, weekly, daily or even by the hour. So preparation for the next meeting can begin almost as soon as the first one ends.
“Preparation, I believe, is paramount to the success of any board meeting both from the managers’ perspective and from the board members perspective,” says Nancy Hastings, CEO of MAMCO Property Management in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. “The meeting materials should be provided to the board a week in advance and it should be in a package that’s concise and easy for them to digest. It should also be put in the order that it will be discussed at the meeting.”
Denise Lindsey, vice president of business development for Signature Property Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey, wholeheartedly agrees. “Preparation is paramount to a successful board meeting,” she says. “A board meeting is a working session where the board members must rely on timely and complete information to make important decisions on behalf of the association.”
“Board meeting preparation is essential to ensuring a smooth and productive meeting,” adds Tejas Kadia, CMCA, AMS, and founder of Reliance Property Management Group in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Board members and the association’s manager should review all of the agenda items and supporting documentation prior to the meeting to ensure the best use of everyone’s time.”