Whether a newly appointed or a long-tenured board member, we celebrate you! You’ve raised your hand to make your building a better place to live for all of your neighbors. But, you’ve also got a full-time job, a family, a packed social calendar, marathon training, a monthly book club, and more. You don’t have the time (nor the desire) to micromanage every little thing your property manager does, but you do want transparency into what’s happening in your building and be set up to make informed decisions.
You already give so much of your time for the good of your building to carve out even more time to sit through unnecessarily long board meetings. The good news, it doesn’t need to be this way.
Why are board meetings important?
First and foremost, board meetings are a legal obligation per your condo or co-op’s bylaws (you can check out our guide to building bylaws here). In practice, board meetings provide board members and property managers the opportunity to discuss and align on a variety of important building matters, including:
- Addressing urgent initiatives
- Solving resident disputes
- Managing on-site team
- Aligning on vendor recommendation
- Reviewing building strategy and financial positioning
- Discussing large capital projects
What’s the current challenge with board meetings?
There’s so much to talk about, yet so little time. While board meetings are an integral part of board procedure and building health, the way they’re traditionally run tends to result in more sleepless nights than good nights’ rest. Without a focused agenda, your board may end up burning the midnight oil without coming to too many resolutions.
The status quo of board meetings is inefficient and quickly leads to an erosion of transparency, trust, and getting things done. But, there’s a way to fix this.
First, use a building dashboard
In today’s world, we use technology to streamline every part of our lives - we’ve got apps to order food, pay our credit card bills, and call a car. So, why not do the same for board governance? It’s unrealistic to expect you can review, discuss, vote on, and more within one board meeting every month - resulting in an inefficient use of everyone’s time.
Rather than be limited to one time a month to dig into the health of your building, board members should be able to get building updates, review financials, digitally vote, and sign documents all in one place. Using a building dashboard (like the Daisy dashboard), you’ll make data-driven decisions, get projects done at lightning speed, and improve the overall health of your building in a fraction of the time it takes without one.
Good board meetings start with good prep
A board meeting is only as good as the prep before the meeting. When done correctly, you’ll go from using your board meeting to get everyone up to speed to using the board meeting to make crucial decisions for your building.
At a minimum, board meetings should be scheduled one month in advance to ensure everyone can make it. To avoid scheduling headaches (and feeling like you’re herding cats), work with your property manager to post a meeting schedule for the full calendar year.
Your property manager should share a standardized agenda and discussion materials ahead of the meeting - via your building dashboard if possible. This way, everyone's on the same page regarding what to review ahead of time and what will be discussed during the meeting. It also provides an opportunity for board members to suggest items for discussion leading up to the meeting and cut down on follow-ups. An effective agenda will include:
- Current building status: Financials, walkthrough reports, resident experience chat/satisfaction stats, project updates, and all other relevant inquiries.
- Discussion points: Priority big-ticket items that require full board discussion (hung votes, vendor discussions, and more).
Stick to the agenda and make it a show
Everyone loves a good presentation - it’s no different when it comes to an effective board meeting. Your property manager should be your meeting ringleader - leading the conversation, making it interesting, controlling the flow, and, of course, keeping an eye on the clock (no one likes to waste time, especially when it eats into dinner time, movie time, family time, gym time, and more).
The standard meeting procedure looks like the following:
- Your property manager calls the meeting to order.
- Your property manager provides a high-level overview of the health and status of the building using your building dashboard.
- Your property manager then leads the group discussion - a good manager will be an active participant (rather than a silent bystander), providing data-driven insights and recommendations, ensuring every voice is heard, and moving debates toward resolution.
- Your property manager ends the meeting.
To take your board meetings to the next level, work with your property manager to keep meetings short, sweet, and to the point. Just imagine how nice it would be to say that classic corny line at the end of every meeting, “I’ll give you back ten minutes of your time - you’re welcome!”
Follow up with meeting notes
As a board member, you’re probably well aware of how important meeting minutes are - they’re a legal document that needs to be drafted, board-approved, and posted after every board meeting. Your property manager or building secretary should draft meeting minutes within 5 days following the meeting and share with everyone (via a building dashboard, if possible).
There’s quite a lot that goes into running effective condo/co-op board meetings. One main takeaway is how important it is to have a good partnership between your board and property management company built on trust and transparency.
At Daisy, we combine our Daisy network that helps boards make data-driven decisions to improve the health of their building with technology that makes their lives easier - especially when it comes to board meetings. With a dashboard that’s updated in real-time, board members always stay in the know and in control of everything happening in their building, board meetings stay productive, and you have more time to do the things you love. To learn more about how Daisy runs buildings differently, visit us here.