To Ask or Not to Ask, that is the Question.
Property Management has seasons; here are just a few: budget season, reserve fund planning season, CAO reporting season and the AGM season.
Your Corporation's AGM (Annual General Meeting) is an excellent opportunity to learn about the members of your Board of Directors, the ongoings and the fiscal health of your Corporation.
As Board Members prepare for these meetings, there is often a debate; after the AGM, should we include a Q&A period?
The shortest AGM that Onyx has attended was a record 12 minutes. The Board chose not to have a Q&A period because they felt that the community was well aware of the ongoings of the community through newsletters, community engagement and email announcements.
While we will follow the direction of the Board Members, our approach is to have these sessions; it shows transparency and can help create a sense of community. Here are a few tips to ensure these meetings are well-run and productive.
Beware of the Squeaky Wheel
There is always one! These folks make their views known. However, in these sessions, everyone must understand that the questions should relate to the Corporation and Common Elements, not to items that are their responsibilities or conflicts with their neighbours. Anything which does not relate to the Corporation should be taken offline and discussed with the Property Manager.
ON and ON and ON
Have a clear and defined meeting duration, Onyx suggestions 30 minutes. Ensure that each unit representative is instructed that they can only ask one question and will be allowed to ask others once everyone has been given a chance.
Give it up to your Board of Directors (and the crowd goes wild!)
The Property Manager should thank the Board and remind folks that they are volunteers and make decisions together and must have Quorum; this helps community members understand decisions are not personal.
Sometimes we laugh, and sometimes, we cry!
The good news is that we see mostly smiles and laughter in these meetings, but there can be tears, frustration and tension. It can be challenging for a Property Manager to de-escalate these situations, which can completely derail a meeting. One of the surest ways to have better control is to hold your AGM virtually; yes... we miss your face but these meetings have so many benefits! Those not playing by the rules can be muted or removed from the meeting. Our friends at @condovoter are fantastic!
Come on, 25!
Quorum. To hold your AGM, 25% of the community is present/engaged, without this, the meeting can not take place, and decisions can not be made.
People are busy; we get it! The easiest way to reach Quorum is through virtual hosting and electronic voting companies like @condovoter. Owners can vote ahead of the meeting, which is counted towards Quorum, and they do not have to attend the meeting!
If virtual meetings are not preferred, if Corporations have had issues in the past achieving Quorum. We suggest that a raffle item is worked into the annual budget. Those that attend or provide proxy can win the raffled item. It can help create interest. Other options are holding a community event before or after, like a BBQ or having a food truck come by (better in the warmer months); attendees can purchase their food to control the cost for the Corporation. This is an AWESOME way to engage the community. Our Team's go-to is a Taco Truck.