For MIH, the September Equinox just does not just signify the night’s drawing in, it’s the start of meeting season, be these Directors Meetings, Annual General Meetings, Extraordinary General Meeting or Informal Residents Meetings.
We have previously written about our Company Secretarial Services and this blog rather than focusing on how to administer a meeting is about how to make these meetings successful.
For us at MIH, we are keen to try and make the task of being a Director, less onerous. We cannot agree with the perception that a Director or a Board of Directors are ineffective and simply endorse the managing agents actions. For us, we are lucky to have very committed and active Boards of Directors and believe that this help us aspire to a higher level of management.
Assisting the Directors
In order to assist our Directors, we meet with them regularly and provide them with a detailed package of information relating to their property including:
This package is sent out in advance of the meeting in order to allow the Directors to raise questions prior to the meeting and to have these responded to. By utilising this approach MIH feel that our Directors and Boards are fully prepared to be able to make what can sometimes be difficult decisions at Board Meetings.
The team approach
At MIH, our outlook to management is very much a “Team” approach, whether our staff, our contractors, our Boards of Directors or our residents, be they owner or tenant.
As this approach has worked so well for Board Meetings, MIH have expanded on this approach for our other meetings. For our companies that still have Annual General Meetings, we recommend sending out a First Notice of AGM allowing residents to put themselves forward in advance of a meeting.
Questions and queries
We also encourage owners to raise questions on any documentation that has been sent out such as Minutes or Accounts prior to the meeting so that we can ensure that these can be answered fully. We prefer to answer queries prior to meetings but will always make sure that we have a full response to the query at the meeting.
To our collective mind, there is nothing worse than being at a meeting and not being able to respond to a simple query. Unfortunately, where we have taken on new buildings we often find that questions can be difficult to answer. However, because of our good working relationship with the Directors and our willingness to go “the extra mile” we are often able to respond fully to the gamut of questions that are inevitably raised- often including our appointment.
Making the meeting valuable
Although we are great believers in “Praemonitus praemunitus,” we know that we cannot prepare for every eventuality at a meeting. We do however, strongly believe in taking the opportunity at these meetings to let owners know exactly what has been achieved during the past year or so and encourage our Chairperson to provide a Chairman’s Statement and often help with the content.
In addition, we also prepare our own statement what has occurred during the last year. This often includes updates on issues that we feel are pertinent to all, works that have been undertaken or explanations as to why works are necessary, such as Health and Safety Legislation.
To assist with the rationale behind some of the decisions made we may also look to invite specialists to attend meetings. At our next meeting, we have an insurance specialist attending to advise on the increased premium and ways in which everyone can help to try and reduce this.
At another meeting of residents, we have the surveyor attending to provide a review of the major works project that was completed earlier this Summer, (early and on budget) and to advise on the next phase which we hope will commence in February 2019.
Comfort and Reassurance
We are conscious that these meetings are often the only forum for owners or their representatives to provide feedback on the service that they are receiving from MIH in conjunction with the Board. It is also often our first meeting with some owners, as they are not at home when we carry out our regular site visits. For these reasons it is imperative that we are prepared and can provide the comfort and reassurance that good property management brings.
Our Director was recently asked to “sit in” on an AGM for a building that she did not manage and was sad to see how little interaction the Property Manager had with the meeting or the residents. This is not how MIH operate as we take great pride in our management and are happy to shout about it to all involved.
If you would like to be part of an organised, well informed and involved MIH management team then please do get in touch with us. We can almost guarantee that you will never be unprepared for a meeting again!!!