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  • Writer's pictureKarel Costa-Armas

4 Essential Tips for New Board Members and Managers

Updated: May 27, 2023

New board members need a little orientation so that their experience is positive. I’ll give a few tips that will help both sides – Management and the board.

Transparency – Management should share updates with the entire board. All directors were elected and should have the same updates as the officers. While the President of the association may have executive powers and possibly more information because of the day-to-day operations, the manager’s reports and relevant proposals should be shared with all directors.

Tip 1- bullet point style weekly reports / Weekly reports become monthly reports. Weekly reports can be simple emails with relevant files attached. The monthly reports may even be shared with residents as if it were a newsletter from management.

Tip 2 - Prepare and share the board packet a week prior to the board meeting. While the agenda may still change prior to the meeting, the directors will have their materials to review a few days ahead of time.

Tip 3 – Directors should ask questions prior to the board meeting. This will help them become more familiar with the agenda topics and avoid wasting time during the meeting. Long meetings are not necessary. One hour meetings should be the norm (if not shorter).

Board Meeting Preparation – The manager and the President should be communicating the potential agenda items for the next meeting throughout the month. If other board members / directors want an item on the official agenda, please speak to the President so it can be added. The management contract will usually stipulate that the manager can only take direction from one person, and that is usually the President.

Behavior and formality of meeting proceedings - Board meetings are primarily discussions amongst board members. A format following Roberts Rules of Orders should be followed. It need not be extremely strict. There are plenty of “how to” videos online on these procedures. Basically, there should a be formal process where the agenda is followed, motions are properly made, and follow-up takes place. Your management company may be able to provide Board Certification and Board Orientation courses. If not, there are prerecorded courses online and legal firms provide these all year long at no cost.

Board member conduct can also be formally adopted via a Code of Conduct resolution. Your management company should be able to help with resolutions. If your management company is not able to assist you, ask your association attorney for a template to start the process for a formal resolution.

Tip 4 – Share files on the association’s website. Florida Condo Law requires certain official records to be shared with all owners. This standard should be applied to just about every association. Files such as Minutes, Financials, Bids, and Contracts are some of the more important records that are usually sought when questions arise. This doesn’t mean that you’ll share them with the public; only owners on the property deeds... and this section of the association’s site will be password protected for owners only.

Sharing this information willingly and routinely will help avoid suspicions and naysayers getting out of control.

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