Annual meetings are a requirement for all HOAs as outlined by the Homeowner’s Association Act. These meetings should give residents enough notice to attend (at least 14 days before the meeting), and will cover important information like budget updates, amendments to current governing documents, and new board member elections.
The global pandemic has shaped how HOA members view annual meetings, underlining the importance of creating a yearly environment where everyone is comfortable having their voice heard, no matter where they are.
If your HOA is local to Florida, Wise Property Management, a St. Petersburg HOA management company in the area, has compiled everything you need to know about how to have an effective virtual annual meeting and the nuances associated with providing this option to your members.
What is an Annual Meeting?
An HOA annual meeting is a general meeting where everyone participating in the HOA membership can come together. This meeting addresses current issues, covers the annual budget, outlines major upcoming projects, and reports on initiatives throughout the prior year.
Additionally, the annual meeting is a time when board elections are held. Essentially, the annual meeting is where all business that needs to be conducted or information that needs to be shared with all members present can be taken care of.
Given the importance of information covered, there are requirements to ensure everyone’s voice is heard, information is shared effectively, and voting can happen with the majority present.
Why are Virtual Meetings Impactful for an HOA?
Virtual meetings are an essential tool in any HOA’s toolbox. This simple alternative to in-person meetings ensures everyone’s voice can be heard no matter where they are at the time of the meeting.
It is important to know your state’s requirements for virtual meetings. A section of the Florida Not for Profit Corporation Act states that the board of directors can grant members who are not present voting rights as if they were present and allow them to participate in the meeting through remote methods.
As long as the HOA’s bylaws and state regulations allow for it, virtual meetings are a great alternative to in-person meetings. When in doubt, you can always contact Wise Property Management, one of the top St. Petersburg HOA management companies to ensure requirements are met for the annual meeting.
Tips for an Effective Virtual Meeting
If you decide to move forward with a virtual meeting, the following are our tips on how to run an effective meeting despite having some people in person and some on video call:
- Choose a reliable video call platform – Zoom and GoToMeeting are two popular platforms that will be easy to navigate and ready to use.
- Be sure to follow the rules regarding sending an agenda out no less than 14 days prior. Having people attend virtually will not allow them to pick up a printed schedule on-site of the meeting.
- Conduct a test run of the meeting to ensure everything is working correctly. On the day of the meeting, be sure the meeting owners are on the call before starting to greet those who may join the call early.
- Have a designated question collector. Ensuring someone is monitoring the call’s chat so no questions are missed will allow everyone to feel their voice is heard.
- Record the virtual meeting and post the recording for all members. This allows those who didn’t make it to go back and watch the video and documentation of the meeting. Be sure those who are attending the call know they are being recorded and that they consent.
Virtual meetings are an incredibly effective way to run an annual meeting, as we are all still trying to navigate a hybrid and remote work model. When in doubt, St. Petersburg HOA management companies like Wise Property Management ensure all requirements are met, and a virtual meeting will run as smoothly as possible!