What is HOA Quorum and How Can My Association Meet It?
A healthy HOA is built on fellowship and participation, in which homeowners have a hand in the regulations they comply with, and choose the individuals who help enforce them. Board members are democratically elected by homeowners to represent the entire community, but for the results to be considered valid, votership must reach a critical mass. This is also known as reaching an HOA quorum, and it is crucial to the HOA voting process.
With that said, maximizing homeowner participation can be challenging. Here is everything you need to know about quorum and how to improve homeowner meeting attendance and voter participation.
What is Quorum?
An HOA quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present to make a meeting and the decisions that result from it binding. The rule originates from Robert’s Rules of Order, a widely used manual to govern parliamentary procedures.
Generally, a quorum is at least half of the organization’s members, however, this number can vary based on HOA bylaws.
The purpose of meeting quorum is to prevent boards from taking actions and making decisions that do not represent the will of the majority. Ten percent of homeowners, for example, should not be able to make decisions on behalf of the whole.
How to Boost Homeowner Participation
Meeting HOA quorum relies on maximizing homeowner participation in meetings and elections. Although homeowners are required to pay HOA dues, their involvement in decisions that govern the association is hardly a given.
To help you engage homeowners in your community and achieve HOA quorum, try these tips:
Welcome New Homeowners
Start early! New homeowners are likely unfamiliar with your HOA practices, even if they come from a different community association. That’s why it’s crucial to get the word out to every new member. An HOA welcome packet is a great place to start, as it informs new members of the meeting schedule, upcoming events, and the importance of their participation.
Send Meeting Notices Early and From Multiple Platforms
Everyone has their own schedule to contend with, that’s why it’s important to notify homeowners of meetings as far in advance as possible. Some HOA bylaws dictate the amount of notice that must be given, with 30 days being the most common.
Additionally, consider using different channels to reach everyone, such as social media, your HOA website and direct mailings. Include the time, date and brief overview of what will be covered in the agenda.
Incentivize Participation with Fun Perks and Positive Reinforcement
It can be difficult to convince homeowners to trade their leisure time for an HOA meeting that they may perceive as dry or unengaging.
To combat this problem:
- Try pairing HOA meetings with social events. A happy hour event, for example, is a great way to incentivize homeowners to attend a meeting while socializing with neighbors. An ice cream social or pizza party-style meeting could be equally effective.
- Ensure meetings begin & end on time, are well-planned & executed, and don’t drag.
- Allot time to recognize accomplishments of members in the community.
- Set a positive tone. Focus on making community improvements rather than honing in negative aspects or singling out homeowner infractions.
- Incorporate a simple giveaway or raffle to encourage excitement and buzz.
Create Committees Based on Homeowner Interests and Skills
Committees give homeowners the chance to participate outside of becoming a board member. You can entice community members to join by creating groups that speak to a variety of interests, such as:
- Landscaping Committee
- Safety Committee
- Social Committee
- Welcome Committee
- Maintenance Committee
Not only is this a great way to encourage homeowner participation based on their unique strengths, it can also take certain tasks off of the board’s shoulders.
Provide More Than One Way to Cast A Vote
One of the biggest deterrents for homeowners may be a lack of convenient, easy voting. While some states require the use of paper ballots, online voting is becoming more and more common in a number of states.
HOA online voting tools like Association Vote can be vital in helping you achieve quorum. They offer homeowners a faster, easier way to vote on their own time, from their personal devices. For states that require paper ballots with an online voting system, Association Vote is the only HOA voting tool that can provide solutions for both methods.
Rely on HOA Experts to Meet Quorum
Meeting HOA quorum is essential for any functioning HOA, although it’s not always easy. That’s why you should rely on the help of industry experts like Page Per Page.
Page Per Page’s unique understanding of HOAs and community associations is built on years of experience. From their mailing expertise to their online voting and website solutions, Page Per Page offers HOAs a suite of tools to help improve homeowner attendance and participation. They can help your HOA design and mail out eye-catching direct mailings to ensure that your members know all the details of your next meeting — and want to show up.
Utilizing the services of Page Per Page is the first step to maximizing homeowner participation and meeting your HOA quorum.