HOA Resources & Tips for Conducting Annual Meetings
HOA Resources • Practical homeowner resources covering a wide range of topics should be available to every HOA board. • One especially useful subject involves annual meetings. • Guidelines and tips for how to conduct annual meetings is helpful to any HOA board. • Running an annual HOA meeting requires a sizeable amount of preparation. • Because they can be so labor-intensive, organizing an annual meeting increases the risk of some tasks falling through the cracks. • By developing strong HOA resources and annual meeting guidelines, board members can avoid any glitches.
HOA Resources Plan, Plan, Plan Planning is the foundation of the annual meeting. Without careful planning, board members won’t know schedules, tasks and follow-up items. The board’s HOA resources should include templates and more to help simplify planning.
Schedule The board needs to establish the annual meeting timeline. This timeline needs to work backwards from the actual meeting date to include all the activity involved prior to the meeting. An example might involve establishing a nominating committee and providing notices by a certain date to the HOA membership.
HOA Resources Review the Governing Documents The HOA Bylaws, for example, should clarify requirements for the annual meeting. The board will need to make sure they follow established rules for what needs to take place prior to the meeting. Either the HOA resources guidelines or the Bylaws should indicate the deadlines for these tasks. Check with State Laws The HOA resources should also indicate any state laws governing the annual meeting. These laws may dictate requirements for formats, schedules, notices, agendas, time frames or other aspects of the annual meeting.
HOA Resources Get Expert Opinions If the HOA works with a management company, it’s important to get input from this professional organization on the annual meeting. HOA management companies have exceptional expertise when it comes to a wide range of HOA resources and can help ensure annual meetings are conducted without issue. In addition, the HOA’s attorney should be consulted as needed. Don’t Discuss Issues Before the Meeting If issues are on the agenda for the annual meeting, board members must be careful not to discuss and/or resolve the issues among themselves before the meeting. Doing so may be a violation of some state laws.
HOA Resources Develop an Accurate Check-in Process Thorough HOA resources should include a process for checking in members at the annual meeting. Because voting takes place, getting an accurate attendance list is critical for accuracy. Decide on an Agenda Developing an agenda is one of the most challenging tasks for an annual meeting. Too many agenda items will cause the meeting to go longer than it should. On the other hand, if some important issues aren’t covered, some members could feel the board did not do its job.
HOA Resources Decide on an Agenda (cont.) Agenda items must also pass muster on confidentiality and privacy criteria. However, it’s critical the board always include positive items on the agenda. Although issues should be discussed, the annual meetings should not turn into solely a gripe session. Incorporate “feel good” stuff about accomplishments of its members.
Determine if a Social Event is Appropriate Some HOAs hold social get-togethers in conjunction with the annual meetings. These events, such as a dinner or dessert social, could be held before or after the meeting as a way to enhance community relations.
Establishing and following HOA resources helps board members manage the association’s projects more efficiently, including the annual meeting.
The guidelines above turn an annual meeting into a productive and meaningful community event.
About the Author
Susan Williams is the Vice President, Business Development and Marketing for Associated Asset Management, a community management firm that does business in Arizona, New Mexico and Florida. Learn more about HOA Resources by visiting http://www.AssociatedAsset.com.