Annual Meetings : Why They Matter and How to Prepare
Just the word "meeting" may cause some association members to roll their eyes. If there's one meeting that members should invest time attending, it is the HOA annual meeting. This core meeting provides a big picture of governance, goals, budgets, and more. By following several important steps, your board can prepare and conduct a meeting that engages and informs the community.
Step One: Review Your HOA Governing Documents
The association bylaws serve as an important resource for planning your annual meeting. Specifically, the bylaws may state when the annual meeting is to take place, such as the second Tuesday of a certain month. The bylaws most likely also include timelines for establishing committees. This is especially important if your annual meeting includes elections. As volunteers, nominating committees require time to form and to complete their tasks.
You will want to review any state requirements regarding annual meetings. Some states require an appropriate length of time for posting notices and agendas about the meeting. When an annual meeting takes place at the same time each year, it is easy to recycle previous meeting notices. Be aware that this practice can lead to the wrong dates in both the day and year. Review, plan and publicize your annual meeting by referring to your HOA governing documents.
Step Two: Consult with an Attorney
As a board, you may want to consult with an attorney regarding your annual meeting. Asking an attorney to run the annual HOA meeting can help alleviate any suspicions of impropriety members may have regarding the board and the property manager.
Having an attorney involved in your annual meeting is also helpful regarding elections. Details such as the wording on election ballots can result in possible litigation later without the review of an attorney.
Step Three: Keep Confidential Information Quiet
Board members may become excited about a new development or another item up for discussion at the meeting. Any information that is for associations members only must stay that way. Discussing an annual meeting matter with a non-member, whether at the grocery store or elsewhere, can lead to the start of rumors and the spread of incorrect information.
Board members should also refrain from conducting annual meeting business via email or over coffee. The annual meeting business is for the meeting, period. Don't let your conversation stray into topics related to the annual meeting agenda.
Why Your HOA Annual Meeting Matters
Board meetings are often dry and some might say boring due to the topics covered. What both board members and association members alike have to realize is that annual meetings provide a foundation for building a stronger association. Not only are they a platform for updating what worked, what didn't, but annual meetings also serve as a springboard for creating the best year possible.
As a professional management company, we understand the importance—and the value—of annual meetings. RealManage has more than 30 years of experience providing HOA management services to associations of varying sizes and types.
Our team recognizes the important responsibilities of HOA boards and boards serve in a volunteer capacity. In addition to board duties, there are work, family, and other obligations demanding your attention.
That's why we provide important support when it comes to decisions involving budgets, vendor relationships, and more. To learn more about our services and how we can help you create better community engagement, reach out to us online. At RealManage, we are here to help associations like yours by providing the board support you need. Let our team lessen your load by contacting us today.