Four Ways to Prep for Your Texas Association Annual Meeting
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Did you know there are several types of condominium association or homeowner’s association meetings that may occur in the ramp-up or in combination with your annual meeting? Whether you are gathering to discuss issues within the community, changes in neighborhood bylaws, or board nominations, consider which type of meeting your board should hold to accomplish its goals.
• An open session, or executive session, is called by board president or majority of board. In this meeting, the board exercises their right to vote without input from the association membership. These meetings are often restricted from voting on certain topics, so make sure to check your governing documents.
• A work session is an informal planning meeting. In a work session, the board may take action, but all actions must later be ratified at an open session meeting.
• Special meetings regarding assessments or emergency matters are called by the board president, majority of the board, or a percentage of the association. In a special meeting, the entire association exercises their rights to vote
• An annual meeting is one where all shareholders attend and vote together to elect the board of directors. To pass any measure, a quorum of the membership must be present. This is arguably the most important meeting of your community – where major decisions on policy, budgeting, and future planning take place.
Regardless of the types of issues facing your COA or HOA, there are four tools you can use to implement more effective annual meetings within your community:
1. Consider your audience. Be aware of your message and set a time limit for discussions, cadence to the conversation, and measurable goals. Regular and special board meetings must be open to all owners, but this also depends on the right of the board to reconvene in a closed session. If you have the legal title to property within the association, or are an owner’s personal representative, you will probably attend all regular Texas HOA or COA meetings.
2. Set a brief agenda. Keep your meetings on track, so that you and your board can be productive. First, identify action items. Second, highlight shared objectives. Third, have the agenda clearly visible for all members, so that everyone can keep their eyes on the prize. That way you and your team can work together to effectively accomplish your goals.
3. Follow all bylaws. Research your association’s bylaws and Texas's legal requirements. If you need assistance determining which laws apply to your association, contact FirstService Residential. We partner with you to offer customizable solutions to help manage your community, including financial, legal, and operational solutions.
4. Stick to business. When members of an organization come together to solidify their goals, it is only natural to want to discuss subjects of mutual interest. Allow everyone to share their feedback and discussion points. However, you can check off more action items if you steer the conversation towards what you want accomplished immediately. Redirect all off-topic conversations, so your meetings are more productive. Set a follow-up schedule so that additional action items discovered in the course of the discussion don't get lost in the shuffle.
Volunteering as a board member can often be challenging, but by partnering with a property management company that can help you navigate the proper tools and training, you can learn to manage the process more efficiently.
Want even more pro tips to help your Annual Meeting run smoothly? Fill out the form to download our handy infographic “Preparing for Your Annual Meeting in 9 Easy Steps”.