Running HOA Meetings with Conference Calls
No matter what your community looks like, it’s an almost guaranteed headache to get all of your HOA members in the same room on a regular basis. Whether the homeowners are traveling for work or pleasure, or have other family or professional demands, it’s difficult to get everyone on the same page often enough to get things done.
Have you considered running HOA board meetings virtually for some members unable to be there in person? Using a instant conference call service or screen sharing tool with your HOA meetings can allow you to hold meetings and make decisions about whether your board members are physically present or not.
Of course, there are certain rules and regulations that your legal counsel or property management company can help you navigate, but you must ensure that your meetings comply by your own bylaws and the legal regulations of your state.
Questions to consider:
Is a conference call allowed?
In most places, the answer is yes. Make sure to give proper notice to members who will be teleconferencing into the call and provide meeting details well in advance.
Most states also require that a physical meeting place be available to any board members in addition to the conference line and that at least one board member be present at the physical meeting site.
Also, groups should use a speakerphone so that all members can hear each other to comply with open meeting rules. In these cases, a mobile phone on speaker likely won’t cut it.
Sometimes, board members are allowed to dial into a meeting but homeowners who aren’t directors are not. Again, confirm with your state and bylaws.
What about quorum when conference calling?
When you follow regulations properly, any board member who attends via conference call possesses the same rights as if they attended in person. Therefore, a quorum can be calculated with both those who are physically present and those calling in. That way, you can run a proper meeting whether your final board member is on holiday in Hawaii or not (assuming they’ll step away from the surf long enough).
Audio considerations & equipment needs
When you’re running a teleconference meeting, you’ll need:
- A reliable, secure conferencing service for those who are calling in
- A working, up-to-date speakerphone that can be heard by all members who attend in person
- A designated call organizer who ensures that conference numbers & codes are shared with the correct parties and tallies attendance
Other options to consider:
- Password-protected meetings
- Call recording to supplement your regular written minutes
- Screen sharing to allow remote participants to view documents or presentations
- Video conferencing to add a personal touch
- Dial-out options to reach VIP guests or attorneys
Adding a conference calling option to your HOA meetings may minimize some of the stress and complexity that comes with bringing a diverse group of homeowners together. It can help your board get more done and make decisions more quickly with increasingly robust remote communications options.
(Please note that HOA regulations vary state by state – please confirm your state’s laws before implementation).