Cloud-based tools and strategies for successful online meetings
One of the biggest questions that associations have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is how to move from an in-person board meeting to a virtual environment. First, it’s important to consider the needs of the client. This requires assessing existing tools to understand what can be used outside of a normal face-to-face meeting. For example, is the software compatible for meeting on any device? What communication channels are efficient? Do you ask homeowners to submit questions in advance or use the chat function? And, of course, what are the best practices for a virtual meeting?
Without the ability to meet and socialize in person, it may seem challenging to help everyone feel involved and connected. We have held video conference meetings, which enable residents to interact with us and the Board of Directors. They can see, hear, and chat with everyone as well as participate in the discussion and decision-making process for their community. On a social level, some communities have used video conferencing platforms to host online events and get-togethers. Until we can meet in person again, the virtual environment is helping our communities maintain their meetings and keep the community spirit alive.
You may be wondering how we have transitioned during this pandemic. Our office phones, CRM software, ticketing software, accounts payable process, and client records – virtually everything – was already “in the cloud,” so the only aspect of our business we needed to do was change from in-person board meetings to Zoom meetings.
Significant investments in technology and the transition from a manual, in-office process to cloud-based tools has allowed us to focus on the client rather than contend with the backlog of paperwork and outdated software. The cloud-based environment has taught us an important lesson about the value of continuous investment and ongoing operational improvements.