Set the meeting date well in advance, follow proper notification, and remind often.
Many of Priestley Management’s Associations will set the annual meeting date a year in advance. This give members plenty of time to plan for it. Once you have set the date of the annual meeting, constantly remind homeowners of the upcoming annual meeting. Detail the meeting in your HOA newsletters and correspondence to the community. Finally, do not wait until the last minute to send the official annual meeting notice. Generally, planned communities must provide not less than 10 nor more than 60 days’ notice sent by hand-delivery or prepaid U.S. mail to the mailing address of each lot or to any other mailing address designated in writing by the lot owner. Be sure to review your association’s bylaws and follow proper notice of the annual meeting. Don’t do the minimum day requirements!
If there’s a meeting “hot topic,” educate early
Preparation is important for “hot topics.” If an item is going to be a “hot topic,” such as an amendment or special assessment, the board should communicate with the membership well in advance of what all is involved and answer questions.
Always have positive information
Meetings often turn into a time to gripe. It is important for the board to have some positive items on the agenda such as thanking committee members, board accomplishments, etc.
Keep to the agenda
It is very important to follow the agenda and keep the meeting on track. Often, the board and membership will get off track from the agenda which results in a disorganized meeting.
Cover the financials & budget
It is important to go over the current financial position of the membership along with present the budget. Although residents have received the budget in advance, it is still important to explain to the membership.
Encourage the return of proxies
If residents can’t attend, ensure they know to return proxies to the association manager, board secretary, or other resident. The last thing you want is the hassle and expense of missing quorum (minimum voting attendance) and having to reschedule the annual meeting.
Utilize your experts.
Invite your management company, lawyer, accountant, and others who can help answer questions that may arise from the attending residents. An example would be to invite the insurance agent to answer any questions regarding the insurance policy.
Proper preparation will help you achieve annual meeting success. Always make sure you are well prepared and follow your annual meeting plan. The more you can do prior to an annual meeting, the more successful it will be.