1. Combine the meeting with a fun HOA event.
If possible, hold the HOA meeting back-to-back with a fun HOA event like a pool party, sports day, and scavenger hunt.
Not only will it boost attendance, but also you will save time and resources by holding two HOA events on one day. Make sure, though, to have the meeting before the event or else, the meeting will be totally pushed aside.
Take note, however, that your bylaws may have restrictions on when you should hold an HOA meeting (for example, every second Tuesday of the month), so make sure to check your governing documents to avoid making violations.
2. Provide refreshments.
It’s fascinating how people are more enticed to attend a meeting solely because there’s going to be “free” food. It also helps put attendees in good spirits.
Depending on the type of meeting, you can provide simple but delicious snacks or host a luncheon or dinner. You can order catering if it’s in your budget or provide homemade cooking.
Beware, however, about hosting potlucks. People may not want to come all the more if they have to cook and bring something to the meeting.
And don’t forget to state it in your notices and reminders that food will be served.
3. Have door prizes or raffles.
It may be gimmicky, but it works on some people. Also, giving away cool and fun prizes brings feelings of joy and excitement to the meeting.
If your HOA doesn’t have the budget for prizes, you can raffle extra rides or game tickets or ask donations from local businesses in exchange for some advertisement to your homeowners.
Mention your giveaway in your notices and reminders. If your prizes are particularly covetable, state what they are.
4. Give plenty of advanced notices.
One common reason homeowners don’t attend HOA meetings is that notices were sent out too late so they couldn’t integrate it in their schedule anymore.
Sending out the first notice 60 days in advance and making frequent reminders is a cheap and simple way to boost attendance.
Your state laws and bylaws may have certain rules on when to send out the first and second notices, so make sure to follow them.
5. Include an end time on the meeting notice.
Homeowners want to know how much time they’ll be committing when they attend an HOA meeting. After all, everyone’s busy with their life, work, and family. No one wants to go to a meeting that sucks up all their free time.
So simply including a start and end time on the meeting notice can encourage more homeowners to attend.
While we’re on this subject, keep the meeting short and to the point. One hour is best practice. Two hours should be the max. If there are a lot of things to discuss and settle, split it up into two meetings. Homeowners prefer to have two short meetings than one long one.
Photos by Jonas Jacobsson and Mimi Thian on Unsplash