The homeowners association (HOA) board holds a meeting each year to keep the members informed and involved in matters involving the community. While attendance is important, many residents often don’t show up at the HOA annual board meeting. To ensure that doesn’t happen, it’s always good to plan your HOA annual meeting as early as possible. Here are some steps you can take to bring in more members during your next community event.
Importance of the HOA Annual Board Meeting
A lot of community-related matters are discussed during the homeowners association annual board meeting. The board talks about notable events that happened the previous year as well as their plans for the upcoming year. They can also announce any special assessments that might come with the new year.
If there are changes or issues that need to be voted on, they will be raised during the HOA annual board meeting. The election of new HOA board members also takes place during this meeting.
Apart from that, the HOA annual board meeting provides the opportunity to celebrate positive events or milestones that the community has experienced. Bringing everyone together is also a good opportunity to encourage relationships within the community. By providing an open forum, members can share their honest input on community matters.
The HOA annual board meeting is very important. Adequate planning and preparation are needed to have a well-attended and productive meeting.
Preparing for Your HOA Annual Board Meeting
Here are some steps to keep in mind when planning your community annual meeting:
1. Set the Date Early
Decide on an HOA meeting date early. The HOA board needs to give the members notice far in advance, so they can make note of it and have it on their schedules. That way, there’s little room for an excuse to not show up when the date comes around.
2. Advertise and Remind
Once you’ve set the date of the HOA annual board meeting, have plans to remind members that the event is coming up. You can do these months, weeks, and days ahead time. Detail the meeting in your HOA newsletter, put up flyers on notice boards, and mail out postcards before the date of the meeting. You can also advertise the HOA meeting on your community’s social media accounts.
3. Tell Homeowners What to Expect
Provide homeowners with a summary or outline of the upcoming HOA annual board meeting. If they see that certain issues relating to them will be discussed, they will be encouraged to attend even more. If you are planning to tackle a hotly-debated issue, try to educate the members ahead of time. This ensures that members won’t be caught off-guard and that the HOA meeting can go smoothly.
During the meeting itself, provide the members with information packets. Some members will not be familiar with topics like the financial budget. The packets highlight important information that can help them follow the matter being discussed.
4. Plan a Social Get-together
Consider the main demographic of your members when planning the HOA annual board meeting. It can be framed as a social function, like a luncheon, to encourage members to show up. Just make sure to align the meeting with the schedules and lifestyles of the members.
An event involving food is always a good idea for increasing attendance. For example, if your community caters to professionals, it would be best to hold the HOA meeting at the end of a workday. Serving food means they won’t miss dinnertime and it can help ease tensions after a busy day.
Just make sure to take note of community members who have allergies and other food concerns. You want to accommodate everyone during the HOA annual board meeting.
5. Introduce the HOA Board
Not all members are active in the community and thus, they might not know their HOA board. During the HOA meeting, you have the opportunity to introduce the individuals who have been elected to the board.
Begin the meeting with short introductions of each board member. This helps establish familiarity and order during the meeting. It can also foster better connections with the community and lead to better engagement from the members. It will also be helpful if you can give a brief description of the roles and responsibilities of each board member. This way, homeowners know who to talk to when a concern arises.
6. Provide Incentives
These don’t have to be anything big — maybe just a special announcement that will be made or a speaker to talk about some of the issues your association is currently facing.
Another option is having a draw or raffle open to only those who attend. The chance to win big-ticket items can encourage a lot of members to show up for the HOA annual board meeting.
If you plan to provide incentives, make sure it is something that your members want or appreciate. There are some that may not look kindly on the community allocating funds for these incentives.
7. Preparing for the Meeting
Apart from ensuring attendance and providing incentives, you also need to prepare for the actual content of the meeting. Prepare an HOA board annual meeting agenda that includes all the topics and issues to be discussed.
Following the agenda ensures that the meeting does not digress and focus on unimportant matters. It also serves as a schedule of events so that the HOA annual board meeting doesn’t run overtime.
The meeting organizers should also send reminders to board members, especially those who are tasked to make presentations. Prepare materials that will be needed during the HOA annual board meeting, such as ballots for voting new members.
An HOA community manager can assist with the annual meeting preparation. This is to ensure that everything moves smoothly. They will manage the fielding of member questions before the after the meeting, gathering information on what’s happening in the community, and all other support needed for board members during the process.
Having a Successful HOA Annual Board Meeting
The HOA annual board meeting is important because it establishes communication between the board and the members. The board members discuss the status of the community, the financial budget, planned projects for the upcoming year, and the like.
Members also use this opportunity to raise concerns on certain issues and raise concerns. Thus, adequate planning and preparation are important to have a successful HOA annual board meeting. With these tips, you can not only raise attendance but ensure that every voice is heard.