It’s that time of year again, when annual meetings are planned and presented to communities. Homeowners associations are looking at the annual budget and figuring what they should spend and how much needs to go in reserves. The best way to get the Board and management company together is to set up an annual meeting. They come once a year, sometimes more, and are crucial to the associations success.
Any organization needs to set aside time to talk about goals and catch up with the happenings of the year, especially a community association. It is central for every association to meet annually and discuss the topics of the coming year. Every community has a quorum that needs to be met, which means the majority of board members have to be present for the meeting to be legal. Surprisingly, most annual meetings are low in attendance, which is a concern for the association. Many board members and property managers would agree that the attendance of meetings is low and something should be done. Maybe an ice cream social or horderves will lure homeowners to the meeting. Another suggestion is to send out weekly reminders. The budget for the association is to send out an annual meeting letter, which costs postage, but an email blast is free of charge. Since it is stated in the bylaws how far in advance the meeting notice must be sent, some homeowners could forget. They are normally mailed out a month prior to the meeting. Reminders here and there could enhance attendance.
The purpose of an annual meeting is to breakdown the next years budget and bring any ideas to the table. It is a time for every homeowner in the community to voice their opinions and decide on special projects they think is best for the community. Some homeowners go to these meetings to discuss any questions or concerns they may have. Courtney Smith, one of Cedar Management Group’s property managers says “If at all possible, having a paralegal or attorney present for some legal insight is beneficial to the meeting”. An attorney can breakdown the legal documents and help homeowners understand things from a legal perspective.
Other items discussed at the yearly meeting by the homeowners are any special projects they see fit for the upcoming year. Maybe a new roof for the clubhouse or vinyl for the pool. It is a way to get everyone involved and keep the community at its finest. The community members also have the option to nominate and elect members for the Board of Directors. Courtney also adds, “An annual meeting is a nice way to get feedback from the community at large. It is nice to hear what homeowners are saying and the opinions they have”.