How to Increase Homeowner Participation in Board and Annual Meetings
Annual meetings and board meetings are crucial pieces to your HOA leadership journey, and we consider it our job to help you reach your homeowner participation goals.
While homeowner participation is not required for board meetings like they are for annual meetings, the more engaged a community is in the running of their association, the happier and more satisfied they will be with their community as a whole.
The increase in homeowner satisfaction more transparency and engagement makes finding ways to bring homeowners into your meetings a worthwhile goal to pursue.
Whether you’re trying to increase board meeting or annual meeting attendance, you can use the following strategies to bring homeowners into your meetings:
- Advertise the meeting long before the meeting date. Giving homeowners plenty of notice will enable them to plan accordingly if they wish to go.
- Consider the timing of the meeting(s). You may need to poll the homeowners in order to find meeting times that are the most convenient.
- Share the agenda ahead of time. Let homeowners know what exactly you’re planning to discuss. While hot topic issues like assessments, parking, and amenity changes will always generate the most interest, staying transparent about the exact meeting topics will enable homeowners to know what’s happening in their community and encourage participation.
- Invite a special guest speaker to discuss any issue that’s been occurring in your community. This tip is especially helpful for annual meetings, as providing educational entertainment while ballots are being counted will help create a positive annual meeting experience for homeowners.
- Hold raffles for attendees. Winners do not have to receive something elaborate; something as simple as a gift card to a restaurant close to the community may be enough to sweeten the pot and encourage attendance.
- Serve snacks, especially if you’re hosting an evening meeting. This tip is especially helpful for bringing homeowners into an annual meeting where they might otherwise choose between going to the meeting or grabbing a bite to eat instead.
- Combine meetings with social events. If you’re putting together an annual meeting (or are about to make a decision you know will affect the community), consider hosting a meeting at an ice cream social or chili cook-off.
- If you have good news to share with the community, it may make sense to hold off sending an email/social media post and instead promise a big reveal at your next meeting. Important caveat: you must tell them at the meeting, and it needs to be informed that someone would find it worth going to a meeting for after a long workday.
- Prepare for your meeting(s). Offer a clear agenda and if it makes sense to have a presentation with your material, make sure the presentation is ready ahead of time. Also, prepare to move the discussion along if your board members seem stalled out on a particular topic.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Proactively communicating important information will help board members keep a good relationship with their homeowners.
When disagreements arise, it’s important to know how to diffuse and de-escalate the conflict. Most importantly, if homeowners have concerns about a proposed plan, try to be open to compromise and show a willingness to reach a mutually agreeable solution.
Related: Essential Board Member Skills
While no strategy will ever bring a homeowner engagement or attendance to 100%, implementing a few of the above strategies can drive attendance up and make your meetings more successful.
If you’re a board member looking for additional help managing your HOA community, or perhaps looking to replace your current HOA management company, contact Spectrum Association Management today to receive a free quote and see what makes us refreshingly different.
Also, visit this link to have access to our free webinar on how to be a better HOA Board Member.