Before most decisions are made regarding how the homeowners association operates and what rules are established, meetings and voting take place. While many homeowners want to stay abreast of what is happening, they also have busy schedules and their time is valuable. In a new statement to the press, Kuester Management Group details some ways to keep meetings on track and cut down on wasted time.
“No one likes to sit through long meetings where little is achieved,” says Bryan Kuester, President of Kuester Management Group. “HOAs can be proactive in moving meetings along by setting a consistent routine and structure. Each meeting should follow the same format so that members know what to expect and can plan ahead. It is easier to transition from one topic to the next because everything is clearly laid out.”
Kuester recommends posting meeting notices far enough in advance that members can submit topics for discussion and adjust their schedules to attend. Issues cannot be debated if they are not on the agenda, so ensure that members know the proper channels to go through to have their concerns heard. This can cut down on discussion during meetings about how to bring up items for review, or redirecting conversation back to topics at hand. Send notices electronically, publish them on the HOA website, and post them in common areas so community members are more aware of when meetings will be held.
“Communication is essential,” notes Kuester. “This is often where many breakdowns occur. Also, discuss business matters at the start of the meeting and open the floor for questions or comments at the end. This way members can hear the issues first and gather their thoughts before speaking up.”
Having time limits in place is also a good idea, adds Kuester. Giving each person a set amount of time to speak will keep things moving and does not allow one person to dominate the conversation. This is another element of running a structured meeting. When members attend a meeting, they know what to expect and how things are done.
“If an issue is dragging out with little chance of swift resolution, it may be a good idea to shelve it until the next meeting,” says Kuester. “Let people gather more information, consider key points, and then engage in a more productive discussion at a later time. This is especially true if a topic is brought up that is not on the agenda and therefore cannot be voted on during the current meeting. Make a note for the next meeting and move on.”
If long meetings are a frequent issue for the HOA, Kuester recommends talking to the property management group about strategies to keep things shorter and more concise while still tackling important issues. Shorter meetings can keep everyone more engaged and enhance productivity.
Kuester Management Group, a division of Kuester Companies, works to protect property values and enhance the quality of life in each of its managed communities. Providing a full range of association management services, Kuester Management Group has worked to foster strong, resilient, and unified communities across North and South Carolina. The company is proud to offer on-site property managers, all zealous for building strong communities meant to stand the test of time.
More information is available at www.kuester.com or @KuesterCompany.