Want to engage your residents, have open communications and more effective and efficient operations?
1. Annual Meeting
Not only is it required by law, but it provides a great
opportunity to review prior year’s accomplishments and to
share the goals for next year.
For any business, the Annual Meeting is always an
important gathering of stakeholders. While your
association may not seem like a "business" enterprise,
there is certainly important business to transact at the
Annual Meeting, and your residents will expect this
meeting to be conducted accordingly.
2. Regularly Scheduled Board Meetings
It is important to have the meeting dates scheduled for the
entire year so residents can plan on attending.
The purpose of a Board Meeting is to conduct business of
the association, but not necessarily to elicit comments,
complaints, or concerns from residents. Nonetheless, the
consistency and transparency provided is helpful in
3. Committee Meetings
Board meetings should focus on making decisions and
committee meetings should focus on brainstorming.
Each committee should focus on one concentrated area of
the association, and their meetings should focus on how to
achieve certain goals. The committee should then create
an organized plan to present to the board for approval at a
regularly scheduled board meeting.
4. Executive Board Meetings
Executive Board Meetings are held following the regular
board meeting, for reviewing sensitive and personal issues
such as collections, compliance hearings, and legal
This is the time for residents to speak individually with the
board about issues directly concerning them personally,
such as disputing a compliance issue.
5. Town Hall Meetings
Should be held to discuss one or two specific items that
require community input. Dues increases and changes or
additions to rules or the declaration are common topics.
It is common, but not appropriate, for town hall meetings
to be open-ended events where boards open the floor to
listen to residents’ concerns; however, that leads to
unproductive complaining, making the board
uncomfortable and defensive. The appropriate meeting to
listen to residents is coffee and conversation with the
6. Coffee and Conversation with the Board
When a board wants to engage residents in an open format
the best way to do so is with a casual one-on-one
conversation with a board member to discuss any
concerns and ideas about the association.
This informal and non-threatening environment, prevents
a mob mentality, prevents heated debates, and provides
an opportunity for quiet and shy individuals to have a voice.
A schedule and outline of the types of meetings held by
your association, and the expected business to occur at
each one, will help set expectations among residents and
encourages understanding of the association's operations.
This goes a long way toward keeping residents satisfied,
enabling more efficient operations and building a solid
sense of community.
By Arnold A. Barzak III, CMCA, AMS, PCAM