- October 22, 2014
- Posted by: @dmin
- Category: Condo Board of Directors
The idea of a condominium meeting – whether for a board or for the entire community – can sometimes be enough to cause high levels of stress for everyone involved. As many board and community members are involved in other industries as their primary careers, these meetings may not be exactly what they expect. Fortunately, with a good condo property management firm in place, these meetings can run more efficiently and create better results for the community overall.
These meetings are extremely important, as they can guide how a community is run, which is important for both investors with tenants living on the premises, and for owner-occupiers:
- 17.1% of individuals who purchased a condo in 2013 did so for investment purposes versus residing in the condo themselves.
- 11.9% of the investors want to resell the condos they have purchased for a profit.
- Other investors want to rent the condos they purchased out to tenants.
For investors, a well-run community is important to encourage tenants to live in their units, as well as for attracting purchasers when the time comes to sell. For residents, meetings are important for setting policies that will directly affect their standards of living.
Setting an Agenda
In order to keep a group of people on-task and on-schedule, a flexible but firm agenda is recommended. This agenda should be included in notices which go out to residents and owners as part of the condominium management services provided when a meeting is set. Having an agenda sent out in advance allows members to discuss issues prior to coming to the meeting, and gives members a chance to consider any questions or issues they have with the business to be discussed so they can be well-prepared for the meeting.
There are many components to a good agenda, and here are just a few to consider:
- Executive meeting. For the directors, attorney, president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and another major players, an executive session might precede the meeting in order to prepare for the meeting itself.
- Call to order. This should articulate exactly when the meeting will start and the meeting should begin promptly, and on-schedule.
- Review of the minutes. This section can include ratifying the minutes of the prior meeting.
- Review of the financial statements. This section can include the appointment of the auditor for the next fiscal year.
- Election of Directors. For most condominiums, there are elections of directors each year. Staggered terms are most popular so as to allow for continuity on boards
- Old and New Business. This portion of the meeting is used to resolve items brought up from previous meetings and to bring up new items for consideration. There may be additional voting during this time, depending on the issues discussed.
- Open forum. Members and owners can bring in items of concern in order to voice their opinions and bring the board’s attention to issues they might not have been aware of.
- Meeting end. The end of the meeting should be set for a particular time. While this can be made flexible to address needs as they arise, having a clear-cut end time in mind can make the meeting go faster, making it less likely to run long.
Are you in a condo community? Have you attended your community meetings? What items do your condo property management company and your board put on the agenda? If you are a member of a condo community, share this article among your residents to show how meetings should be run.
How Long Should a Meeting Be
When running a meeting, it can sometimes be difficult to tell how long a meeting should run. A common complaint is that meetings run too long because people speak for too long. A good threshold to set is to keep a meeting between 45 and 90 minutes, if possible.
Keeping a meeting relatively short helps people keep from getting bored and letting their attention drift. It can also be a good idea to put more important items of business up front, while people are fresh. Shorter meetings can attract more participants as well, meaning that more issues can be addressed to the satisfaction of the community rather than just a chosen few.
With how popular condo ownership is these days, a short meeting is particularly important for most participants and condominium management services should include a way to keep meetings under control. With 12.6% of owner-occupied dwellings being condos, and 35% of housing stock in major metropolitan areas of Canada consisting of condos, more and more people are likely to show up, meaning that meetings can get out of control quickly if they are not well-planned and well-run.
Preparing for a Meeting
The number one factor for having an efficient meeting is being prepared. For all attendees, whether you are a condo property management representative, owner, or board member, this means doing any or all of the following:
1) Reading the minutes from the prior meeting in advance. Having any inconsistencies noted already before the meeting saves significant time.
2) Reviewing the financial statements.
3) Be familiar with old business that is on the table and how it will be handled, and be prepared for the new business that will arise.
4) Have copies of every report or item that needs to be addressed, including the agenda and any financial statements, printed in advance, with enough copies for the expected number of attendees.
5) Take care of pre-meeting communications in advance. This includes the treasurer and property manage discussing financial reports ahead of time, as well as taking care of as much discussion and debate in advance as possible.
An effective condominium management service should be able to help with many of the types of meetings needed to run a condo community effectively. At ICC®, our property managers and Senior Staff attend all Owner Meetings and quite often act as
Chair of these meetings to ensure they are run efficiently and effectively.
Does your property management company help your community with its regular meetings? What services does the company provide to help the meetings run more effectively? Share this article with your fellow residents and discuss it with your condo manager to ensure you are receiving the right services for your community and that meetings are being handled efficiently and effectively.