As a real estate project manager, an important skill to possess is the ability to run an efficient meeting. Our project managers lead several meetings per week: project progress meetings, budget meetings, vendor kickoff meetings, design meetings, etc. Here are some helpful tips on getting the most out of all of the meetings on your calendar:
Be Prepared- Take the time to be prepared for every meeting. Do any prep work necessary- reviewing contracts, drawings, schedules, etc. As the leader of the meeting, it is your responsibility to be prepared.
Use an Agenda– Always bring an agenda, even if it is just a few bullet points. An agenda keeps everyone on task and defines the topics being discussed at the meeting. This way, participants know if/when specific topics will be discussed.
Keep Meetings on Topic- It is inevitable that topics outside the scope of the meeting will come up. If time allows, and if the discussion is meaningful, continue the conversation. If not take note of the topic and politely let participants know that you need to discuss the topic at a later time.
End Meetings Productively- Before everyone leaves the room, or ends the call, make sure the following things are clear:
Clear agreement of what has been accomplished
Clear agreement of what has yet to be accomplished
Who has what responsibilities moving forward
Date/time of next meeting
Follow-Up- Be sure to have someone (if not yourself) take meeting minutes during the meeting. Then, send the minutes to all attendees within 24 hours of the meeting. The minutes should highlight action items and who is responsible, deadlines, and key takeaways. Be sure the minutes are written in “lay persons” language so they are easy to read and reference. Additionally, follow up on any topics that could not be discussed during the meeting.
Manners- This may seem like an easy one, but it is so important. Be sure to be respectful of everyone’s time and schedule- begin meetings on time and end meetings on time. Don’t over-use your technology (cell-phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) and be sure to make eye contact with all participants throughout the meeting.