Planning Community Events and Meetings, COVID-19 Style
One of the biggest questions HOAs have faced during the pandemic has been how do you move from an in-person board meeting to a virtual environment?
First, it is extremely important to understand what the client needs. This requires assessing existing tools to see how those 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 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 and in larger groups, the virtual environment is helping our communities conduct their meetings safely and keep the community spirit alive.
You may be wondering how we were able to successfully transition during this pandemic. Fortunately, 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 to 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to cloud-based tools has allowed us to focus on the client rather than contend with the backlog of paperwork and outdated software.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 pandemic has highlighted the need for management companies to continually make investments in improving and enhancing their operations to provide the best possible service and support.