It all happened right before the covid hit, we were at the beginning of a pandemic crisis shock and one of our clients called us looking for a solution to do an online vote. We did not have an AGM app back then however the problem got us curious immediately.
In less than 6 months, after working with multiple condo and HOA lawyers to ensure it was compliant with all legislative laws, we released the first app that hosts AGMs virtually!
This was all exciting with a new history being made in the condo world. To be honest, we learned most of our lessons from our first virtual AGM but after personally moderating many, we want to share with you the lessons we learned so you can kill it in your next event.
First, know your audience
Not all condo associations are the same and in some cases, depending on your building demographics, you might not be able to hold a fully virtual event. In this case, your best option is a hybrid one consisting of people attending in person and others attending virtually.
Best way to know this? At least 1 month before your AGM, send a survey and see what is the preferred date for everyone. You can list 2-3 options to have the highest chance of getting a quorum. Also, ask for advanced questions and what topics co-owners want to cover in the agenda.
Choose the right solution
When it comes time for an AGM that requires a secret ballot, the need for a solution that can support live voting and live quorum calculation is crucial.
Virtual meeting software like Zoom, Teams and otherwise, are insufficient at supporting this for many of the same reasons outlined above during meeting registration. More specifically, the native polling tools cannot accommodate proxies. To elaborate, these tools only allow ALL attendees to vote and will not account for those present that have already submitted a proxy, the weighting of ballots for proxy holders, and those ineligible (e.g. in arrears) to vote.
The right solution is the one that will give you peace of mind, save you time and money compared to your previous AGMs in person. Propty will save you at least a combined 16 hours of effort from managing the attendance, reminders, proxies to sharing the voting results and so much more.
Prepare like a pro
Now that you chose your solution, don’t deny it! Everyone has experienced issues connecting their microphone, camera in a meeting.
Always do a practice session event with the board members. You never know how your camera and microphone will behave. If you’re hosting your first virtual AGM, we recommend you schedule one with all co-owners.
Draft the votes questions and answers in advance. There is nothing worse than typing the questions live, this wastes everyone’s time and drags the event further.
The best AGMs we’ve seen made their co-owners well informed days before the event. They prepared a PowerPoint explaining in detail the agenda items. Some even took it to the next level and did an explainer video and posted it on Facebook!
Send the invites
Make sure to send your invitation email at least 21 days before to give time to co-owners to go over the materials and prepare for the event.
What is nice about Propty? Once you have prepared the materials, Propty makes the whole invitation process ridiculously easy. The invitation also includes a basic, step-by-step video that shows how to attend the event, assign a proxy digitally and vote during the event.
Finally, always hold a brief call the night before the meeting with all board members to run through any potential hitches and how to handle them, as well as go over the script and discuss the board nominations to make sure all the topics were covered.
Define the responsibilities during the event. Know who can take the chairman role, take notes and ensure the event is recorded.
If your board is not tech-savvy and you’re hosting 50+ participants, ensure you have a moderator. It is worth every penny. Remember the board is already going to be busy answering questions, presenting, sharing a PowerPoint presentation and barely having time to moderate the questions while managing the chat and the speakers, all at the same time.
Put on the show
The chairman should run through the housekeeping at the beginning of the meeting. They should inform everyone they are muted by default to save everyone from a cacophony of barking dogs / shouting children / TV noise and the sound of eating or drinking.
- At the start of the event, remind everyone they are muted by default and see if there are any objections that the event is recorded.
- Encourage people to use the chat function as it is more efficient than activating their camera and microphone. Your goal is to answer all these questions as you cover the agenda items and reduce the number of new questions asked as much as possible.
- Timing is your essence! The best AGMs time the event perfectly as planned.
Forwarding 1 year, Propty has become even more powerful helping condo associations save tons of hours and operation costs, especially voluntary board members who barely have time to manage the day-to-day tasks.
If you recently had a virtual AGM and have tips to add on holding an AGM, please do share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m sure there’s more to be said! And if yours is still to come, I hope this has been helpful and that it all goes like clockwork. Good luck!
Propty is an easy-to-use platform that helps condo managers run buildings more efficiently while building a trusted resident community. With Propty, it’s simple to schedule and run AGMs whether it’s virtually or in person. Since the pandemic has hit the globe, Propty has hosted 1200+ AGMs in Quebec with an average quorum of 73%.