One of the benefits of holding virtual HOA meetings is that members can attend no matter where they are. Whether they’re at home, at the office, on vacation, or relaxing at the park, they can still stay involved and connected. This can be especially helpful when trying to meet quorum.
At the same time, this can also be a drawback. Ease of access can also mean that attendees become more comfortable and laid back because they’re not in a formal setting, such as sitting in the clubhouse with other members. It is important to remember that whether in-person or virtual, HOA meetings are still meant for official business.
Here are just a few tips for maintaining appropriate etiquette while attending virtual HOA meetings:
- Show up on time.
Plan to log on a few minutes before the start of the meeting so you know you’ll be on time, won’t miss anything, will be counted for quorum, and won’t be a distraction popping in late. Make sure you have the necessary log-in information, especially if the meeting is password protected to prevent unauthorized guests.
- Pay attention to your surroundings.
Be aware of what is around you. This includes sights and sounds. You don’t want to be set up so that attendees can see and hear your kids arguing in the background, are distracted checking out what’s on your shelves, or can’t hear you because of the lawn guys outside your window. Pick a quiet spot with a neutral background if possible.
- Limit distractions.
Turn off any alarms or notifications on your phone, close other Internet tabs, and situate yourself in a place where you can be focused. If you’re busy multitasking or responding to other issues, chances are good you’ll miss important information. This also increases risk that you’ll be wasting time by asking questions about something that was already discussed.
- Know how the technology works.
Whether you’re using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or another platform, familiarize yourself with how it works. If you’re not leading the meeting or actively speaking, you’ll want to put yourself on mute to cut down on excess noise and conversation. If it’s your responsibility to share information and you’re using slides or video, make sure you know how to share your screen so others can see.
- Act professionally.
You should maintain the same professional behavior that you would if the meeting were being held in person. Avoid talking over others, trying to have side conversations, or starting arguments. Remain calm and respectful of others. Even if you disagree with something that is said, be polite about it and share your thoughts in a constructive manner.
- Stay focused.
Avoid straying off topic. No one wants to sit in a meeting that drags on for hours, even if they are joining in from the comfort of their own home. Stick to the agenda, and if there is something else you want to discuss or you need more information, jot down a note for yourself and connect with the board afterward. You don’t want to take up everyone’s time with an issue that only pertains to you or to a small number of people. That can be discussed privately at another time.
HOAs are trying their best to continue operating as efficiently as possible during these challenging times, and that often means getting creative about how to get things done. Members should be ready to adapt as well and be flexible to new processes and procedures until in-person meetings resume. For more support with organizing and holding meetings, communicating with members, and ensuring that important tasks are still completed, partner with a reputable property management company like Kuester. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help now and in the future.