Crockers’ Top Tips for Effective Committees

Body Corporate Committees Working Together

Body Corporate Committees    |   Read Time: 3 Minutes   |   May 2021

Crockers’ - Successful operation of committees

How can you ensure your Body Corporate Committee is working as efficiently as possible? Community Living Specialists Crockers share their top tips for your Committee.

Get your number right

A Body Corporate committee of less than 10 units doesn’t need to form a Committee but may choose to. A Body Corporate of 10 units or more must form a Committee. While there is no legal maximum or minimum requirement for the size of your Committee, for practical purposes, Crockers recommends you have no more than seven members. However many members you choose, make it an odd number. When it comes to voting on decisions there's a high probability of a tie occurring if you have an even number of people.

Agree on your purpose

Discuss what your purpose or objective is, and therefore how formal your processes need to be. Common sense applies here – if you’re running a small, amiable Body Corporate you may only need a relaxed structure, if you have a large remedial project you’ll need a serious structure and to resource up accordingly.

Decide how often you’ll meet

Depending on your structure, you may decide to meet just before or after your AGM, or more frequently, whether that is monthly or fortnightly. There is no right number, just what is right for your Committee. Consider using Doodle polls when trying to set meeting dates.

Treat each other with respect

Remember to treat your fellow committee members with respect and create a collegial atmosphere. Remember that Committee members are volunteers with their own jobs. Practising the “Commend, Recommend, Commend” discipline goes a long way – where constructive suggestions for improvement are wrapped between commendations for the work being done.

Consider communication

If you have something to discuss but can’t do it in person, consider using Slack or Teams instead of email. It’s hard to have an effective group discussion over email, and everyone’s inbox feels the strain.

Agree on delegated authority levels

Think about what tasks can be approved by the Building Manager or Body Corporate Secretary without needing the Chair’s approval. Simple tasks such as paying bills on time or replacing lightbulbs don’t need everyone’s approval. Similarly, consider which tasks can be approved by the Chair of the Committee without involving the Committee, and which really need you all to get involved.

Agree on sharing out tasks

Don’t overload anyone. Again, remember that Committee members are volunteers with busy lives. Tasks which you may consider allocating are minute taking, keeping an eye on the financials, maintenance actions and arranging the next meeting.

Consider how you report back to the Body Corporate

It is your responsibility to report back to your Body Corporate members. Publishing minutes, regular updates, newsletters, emails and setting up a community Facebook group are all good options. If you engage a professional Body Corporate Manager, ensure they receive a copy of your minutes.

Address conflicts of interest

It’s important that members declare any potential conflicts of interest and agree on how you are going to manage them. A conflict of interest occurs when you have a personal interest at the same time as you’re acting for the collective group. For our top tips on dealing with these, see our recent article about how to deal with conflict of interest here.

Discuss resolving differences

Differences of opinion are always going to happen when groups get together. It’s important to discuss how you will deal with them before they come up. Having strategies in place can help to stop differences from escalating and becoming disputes. One idea is to come up with a code word or phrase that members can use when they feel a discussion is getting too heated.

Running effective committees is a huge area and these are just a few of Crockers’ top tips for your Body Corporate. If you’d like some further advice, or you're in the market for a great Body Corporate manager, contact our community living experts on 09 968 3311 or bc@crockers.co.nz

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