Even if you aren’t on the board of directors, it’s important to attend all of your Homeowners’ Association (HOA) meetings. Many decisions made during HOA meetings can have a big impact on how your rental property is managed. For example, you may want to build onto an existing property to help boost property value, thereby attracting more residents and increasing income. Depending on HOA decisions and rules, you may not be allowed to make big additions to your home.

If you are part of the HOA board of directors, then it’s your responsibility to schedule and hold HOA meetings for the community. At Property Advantage, we provide HOA property management services in which we not only help you comply with rules and regulations but also help you coordinate HOA meetings. Here are five tips that we recommend you follow in order to run HOA meetings more efficiently and effectively:

1. Plan the Meeting Out in Advance

If you don’t plan out the meeting before it actually occurs, it may well end up being too disorganized. Not only will nothing get done during the course of the meeting, but you’ll annoy the attending homeowners because they will feel it was a waste of time. This will lead to fewer homeowners showing up for the next meeting.

To plan your meeting properly, start by determining the main goal; it should be as specific as possible. For example, maybe your HOA has been running its own water system and the board has determined there is a need to sell it. This is the meeting’s goal, and part of the meeting will have to be dedicated to informing homeowners about why this has to be done and how it can be achieved.

2. Give Homeowners a Reason to Attend

Your HOA meetings should be informative to the homeowners who attend. If they aren’t, homeowners won’t feel the need to make time for future meetings. For an annual meeting, consider promoting it as a celebration of the community’s achievements. During the meeting, provide detailed graphs, pie charts, PowerPoint presentations, and pictures which display information on the year’s accomplishments as well as how HOA funds were spent to achieve them. This shows owners where their money is going, which in turn will make them more involved in the community and future HOA meetings.

3. Structure Meetings Down to the Minute

Once you have a main goal and an idea of the points you want to go over through the course of the meeting, you should schedule it down to the last minute. Create an agenda and establish a time frame for each item. This may seem like overkill, but it’s an extremely effective way to make sure you go over everything you planned without running out of time. A carefully structured agenda ensures that the meeting will be efficient.

4. Make Sure Business is Taken Care Of

While socializing shouldn’t be discouraged, it’s important to follow the agenda and take care of business first and foremost.

It’s not uncommon at an HOA meeting for a board member to speak for 20 or so minutes without saying anything of value to the topic at hand. Make sure everybody stays on point. Right before the meeting, go over the agenda one last time with the other board members so everybody stays on task. If someone goes on a tangent, redirect them to the business being discussed. Don’t let people’s personal issues derail the important agenda items you need to go over. Treat your HOA meeting the same way you would treat a business meeting.

That said, make sure social time has a place at the beginning or end of the meeting. If at the beginning, have a set amount of time so your timetable isn’t thrown off. Socialization will make your meetings more enjoyable and will allow members of the community to grow closer.

5. Get Help From an HOA Property Management Company

Before you finalize your meeting’s agenda, speak with an HOA property management company. Not only can they help to review your agenda to make sure its goals are clear and you’ve allocated appropriate amounts of time to address each point, but an HOA property management company can also help you prepare the documentation you’ll need.

A good HOA property management company will also be able to help you gain approvals and provide helpful information, making it easier for you and the board to make informed decisions.

Use these tips to make sure your scheduled HOA meetings go smoothly and don’t end up a waste of time for everyone involved. For more information about HOA property management services, be sure to contact Property Advantage today.