It’s that time of the year when homeowner associations gather to provide an update on their communities and possibly vote on important issues. An annual meeting can go very smoothly with appropriate preparation.
Here are some tips on preparing for your association’s annual meeting.
- Communicate early and often: Just as with any event, potential attendees need to know in advance. The best practice is to inform community residents 60 days ahead of time, followed by another outreach 30 days in advance of the meeting. Annual meeting planning often starts six to 12 months in advance.
- Share positive news: Uplifting information celebrating the association and its members can both make the annual meeting more enjoyable and facilitate a smoother discussion related to any difficult issues.
- Stay calm: Speaking of hot-button issues, it is important to avoid getting overly upset. By staying calm, more productive discussions are likely to occur.
- Ensure order: Everyone should be treated fairly and be able to have a voice at the annual meeting. Don’t let any one person dominate. By getting to the point, enforcing time limits and using active listening techniques, you should have the appropriate amount of time to address the topics on the agenda.
- Introduce board candidates in advance: Just as in other types of elections such as those for school board or political office, providing an opportunity to meet candidates in advance of the annual meeting, e.g., a candidate forum, will help residents to make informed decisions.
P.S. For a satirical take, visit this article on the five people you’ll meet at the HOA annual meeting.