The annual HOA meeting is the most important meeting of the year, an opportunity for members to vote on items like the budget and board members and discuss issues that improve the community. Yet, getting people to show up for the annual meeting sometimes feels like an impossible task.
You don’t have to keep dealing with the frustration of poorly attended meetings and delayed decisions. There’s no single method guaranteed to drive up your numbers, but it is possible to set an attendance record for this year’s annual meeting. Give people a reason to show up—something more than a chance to see the budget—and they’ll be more likely to attend.
- Get feedback from homeowners and try to meet their needs. If you want to know why homeowners skip the annual HOA meeting and what it will take to get them there, just ask. Put together a survey. Solicit suggestions on your social media account. Ask your neighbors when you see them. Review their answers carefully, looking for ideas you can implement. You may be surprised to learn that something as simple as providing childcare during the meeting frees up parents to attend the meeting. Someone may suggest changing the month, day of the week or time of the meeting to one that’s more convenient. You’ll also find that some people won’t show up for the meeting no matter what you do. Stay focused on the ones you can encourage.
- Set out a spread and have some fun. Many boards hold HOA meetings in the evening or on weekends when homeowners are most likely to be home. This is also a prime relaxation time. When faced with the option of attending a meeting or spending some quality time with the family, it’s easy to see why so many people decide to stay home. Consider turning your meeting into a social event—and make sure there’s food. Host a chili cook-off contest. Have your community potluck. Build your pasta buffet. Set up an ice cream social. Sharing a meal helps create a sense of community and eases hunger-related tension.
- Advertise the meeting. People can’t attend the meeting if they don’t know about it. Start advertising the annual meeting by sharing the date on social media or sending save-the-date reminders to members as soon as you set it. Post it on your social media accounts. Include a reminder in your monthly member newsletter. Put up flyers in the community’s common areas.
- Entice people with incentives for attending.
If your by-laws allow it, consider offering door prizes for people who attend the meeting. Pull together a collection of items like potted plants, gift cards or discounts on services to give away to those present. You may also want to invite a guest speaker to talk about a topic that’s relevant and interesting to community members.
As you prepare for the annual meeting, it’s important to make sure you cover all the business required by the law, your CC&Rs and your by-laws. Call us today to learn how we can help you manage your HOA.