As a board of director of a condo association, it is your duty and privilege to serve the condo association and maintain the association in a fiscally responsible manner. In addition, it is also helpful to have homeowners present at the board meetings to witness the board members conduct business. Unfortunately, board meetings tend to be under attended by homeowners especially where the association demographics are of a younger working professional age group.
So How Can Associations Drive Up Attendance?
1. Make the board meetings very effective and efficient. In addition, it is very important to keep the board meetings under 1 hour. There is nothing worse than having 2 hour board meetings that consist of conversations that are more appropriate to have in a hallway or pub. Board meetings are designed for board members to make decisions rather than have open ended conversations. An effective condo management company will send a well trained manager to ensure that the meeting stays on track and is effective.
2. Ensure that homeowners’ opinions are heard at board meetings. During the board meeting, there should be an “owners’ comments” section. During this section, all homeowners that are present are given an opportunity to share their commentary about the association. In addition, give the homeowners who can’t attend the opportunity to write in their comments before the board meeting and make sure that they are then read during the “owners’ comment” section.
3. Survey the homeowners about their opinions throughout the year. For example, send out a survey about ideas for capital improvements. Or ask input on a potential landscaping capital improvement. This will help make the homeowners feel that their say matters and will tend to keep them more engaged with the association rather than disconnected.
4. Form committees. Get homeowners involved in 1 or more committees. The board is responsible to run the association but the more input that the board gets throughout the year, the more cohesive the association becomes, the higher the community spirit.
5. Hold Association Social Events. This is a very good way to build connections between board members and homeowners. And it encourages greater homeowner involvement throughout the year. It also ensures that a greater community spirit is created.
The association is run by a board of directors who are elected by the entire set of homeowners. In turn, the board of directors are committing to serve the homeowners in a fiscally sound and responsible way. Although the board is empowered to make a vast majority of the decisions throughout the year, the board should encourage high homeowner involvement and engagement. The homeowners should also understand that their opinions matter and that they should feel that their opinions are valued by the board. This in turn will help create a high community spirit throughout the association.
About the Author:
Salvatore J. Sciacca aka “Condoboss” is one of the nation’s leading experts in the community property management industry and is also recognized for his blogs and insight on personal and organizational transformation. He is also the President and Founder of Chicago Property Services, Chicago’s #1 community property management company specializing in management and operations of condos/townhomes/HOA’s of 100 units and under. Salvatore is also the founder of managmycommunity.com (MMC), which is a state-of-the-art online support portal for community associations.
With over 20 years of industry experience, Salvatore is recognized for his extensive knowledge of capital planning, preventative maintenance, cost-saving measures and community building techniques. He holds industry stature as a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), the designation of Association Management Specialist (AMS) and is fully licensed as a manager (License #: 261.001386) through the State of IL.