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5 Stellar Habits of Super Effective Condo Board Meetings

If you’ve ever sat on a condo board, chances are, you’ve shared the same, pie-in-the-sky dream. You know the one: you walk into that board meeting, and everybody’s immediately on the same page. The business of the day gets taken care of line-by-line, point-by-point, with the sort of efficiency that would bring even the most hard-lined Type-A personality to their knees, productively weeping tears of joy. Then, before you know it, the meeting’s over – all business has been taken care of, a plan has been set for the next meeting, and everybody’s on their merry way. Sound too good to be true? It’s not – and better yet, we can help you get there.

Habit 1: Plan Out a Super Effective Year

In order to find success, you’ve got to set yourself up for it, and that means going into your next condo board meeting with a solid game plan. This isn’t necessarily about ironing out all the nitty-gritty details you’ll be tackling during each meeting (more on agendas later), but rather, about establishing an overall tone or theme for the conversation that should ideally be dictated by what your board is hoping to accomplish in the coming weeks and months. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered:

  • Q1: Consider this your leaping-off point for the year to come. Take some time during this meeting to plan out what your board wants to take care of over the next 365 days and start getting some quote requests out there.
  • Q2: Take some time during this meeting to review quotes, evaluate them against your condo’s ongoing Reserve Fund Study, and ensure everything lines up all tickety-boo.
  • Q3: This meeting will be a big one. Now that you’ve identified what needs doing and have confirmed that “Yup, we can pay for that,” you’ll be using this time to actually approve and book your vendors and contractors for the work that needs doing.
  • Q4: Take a minute to take stock. Review the work that’s been done, the work that’s in progress, and where all of that leaves you as you head into the coming new year.
  • Q1: Rinse and repeat!

Habit 2: Organize a Super Effective Agenda

Similar to the above advice suggesting that you take a moment to plan out your condo board’s year in advance, it’s also not a bad idea to plan out each effective board meeting’s agenda through a similar approach:

  • Start with a broad, overarching topic – you know, to keep everybody on point.
  • Take that big topic and break it down into more digestible bits to work through during the course of the meeting.
  • Before digging into new things, start by tackling and clearing away older, outstanding items – that way, you can be sure nothing dwells or lingers too long without being taken care of. This is a good time to review the last meeting’s minutes, as well, just to give everyone on the board a quick refresher regarding where things are at.
  • As you work your way through new topics and subject matter, be sure to parse any takeaways down into small, actionable items that are specifically assigned to individual board members.
  • Address any fines or violations that need to be taken care of.
  • Finally, ensure alignment quickly on everything discussed, say your farewells, and give yourself a pat on the back for a meeting well-run!

Habit 3: Keep Everyone Super Focused

In order to enjoy that sweet, sweet taste of condo board success, you’ll want to focus on making your meetings effective by, well, keeping everyone focused. This ideally will fall to the condo board chair, who should always be working to move conversations forward, keep track of time, and even table stalled discussions to be picked back up again at a later date. If at any point conversations get out-of-hand and meeting attendees get unruly, take a moment to refer back to your board’s standing code of ethics. Need a quick rundown on what exactly a “code of ethics” entails? Happy to oblige.

When we talk about a condo board code of ethics, we’re referring less to a set of defining values, principles, and morals (which is precisely what people often imagine a code of ethics to be), and more to a series of guidelines and rules that relates in a general sense to the conduct and actions of board members as a whole. You won’t (or, shouldn’t!) find any guidelines dictating political allegiances or moral imperatives here – rather, most condo codes of ethics instead trend closer toward provisions that implore members to attend and participate in all meetings to the best of one’s ability, and similar-such imperatives.

Habit 4: Keep Meeting Minutes Super Accessible

This is a quick and dirty habit: when you’ve got a set of meeting notes compiled, simply upload them online (ideally to your condo building’s web portal, if it has one) in order to ensure that everyone can access them – from other board members all the way through to your Edmonton condo management company, if need be.

Habit 5: Be Super Realistic About What Can Be Covered – and Super Respectful of Everyone’s Time

It goes without saying that any condo board member is invested in the community’s ongoing success – otherwise, why the heck else would they volunteer for the thankless, payless role?? That said, it’s important not to take advantage of your board members’ passion and commitment. No matter how ride-or-die your board members might be, take care not to overwhelm them with excessive amounts of tasks, action items, and expectations. We’ll mention again: nobody’s getting paid to be a condo board member, so be sure to be respectful of everyone’s time by being realistic about what can be covered off during any given meeting.

An organized condo board isn’t just more effective – it’s also a better, happier place to be. And you know what they say: happy condo board, happy life! Well, maybe that’s not something they always say, but we can bet you’ll be saying something similar once you start putting these new habits into practice – and if you’ve got further questions about how to usher your condo board towards super effective success, you know what to do. Pick up the phone or send us a message at Catalyst Condo Management, and we’ll be happy to chat about board meetings, condo living, or anything else you’re interested to learn about!

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