Does the apple pie contest get more votes than your condo board elections? These tips will bring even the most reluctant of residents to the ballot box.
Let’s be honest, getting condo residents out to your association meeting is challenging at best. Some meetings don’t require a huge turnout, and that’s fine. You probably don’t need a large turnout for voting on a landscaping contract.
It’s a different story when you are scheduling condo board elections. This is a vote that will directly impact residents, and in order to keep your condo community happy, residents need to feel like they have a vested interest in how the property is managed.
Many residents may not feel strongly about condo board elections, but a few votes can make a huge difference in how the condo association is run. Quality of life is no small issue when you are trying to live in a community with shared responsibilities and benefits. This is precisely why condo residents need to be involved, and why, as the current condo board, you have to find ways to get them invested in the process.
People have a million reasons to skip condo board elections – or any condo association meeting for that matter. Your job is to accommodate residents, and make it not just easy, but desirable to participate. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
One of the most reliable ways to increase participation in condo board elections is to make it easy for residents to vote. Virtual voting removes the barrier of meeting attendance, and allows people to vote while they are out of town, at work, home sick, or just too busy to make it to a condo association meeting.
Meet the candidates
In large condo communities, residents may not know who is on the condo board, much less who might be running for board offices. A meet and greet could boost interest in elections, and possibly boost the interest of community members in running for offices – especially those offices that are difficult to fill.
If you have a nice community space, plan a few hours on a weekend or weeknight to introduce the candidates and let residents get to know them. Make it fun and offer light snacks. Free food is a winner when it comes to getting people out!
Advance notice is good so people know when they should plan on voting, but it comes with a caveat. Too much notice, without a follow-up or two, can leave people time to forget about an association meeting and condo board elections.
Notice of pending elections, then a meet and greet, followed by one more notice a day ahead of the elections seems to work well for many event planners.
Share the benefits
Be sure to let your community know what the benefits are for participating in elections. This is one of the surest ways for residents to have a voice in how the condo community is run. Make sure they know that.
Reaching out to your community throughout the year helps everyone stay informed and feel involved. If you don’t already have a newsletter, create one. It doesn’t need to be extravagant; a one-page newsletter is probably enough to keep residents updated on most issues of interest in the community. A monthly newsletter is great, but sending one out every other month, with supplements as needed, might be enough for your community.
Social media outreach
You can set up private group accounts on social media sites that can only be seen by group members. This gives you the ability to post updates or points of interest more frequently than you can with a paper newsletter. Just bear in mind that not everyone has or wants to be involved with their neighbors on social media, so don’t give up on the newsletter. Also, prepare to hear every vented complaint, if you start a Facebook Group, by residents who may use it as their public soapbox to rally residents for non-productive matters. On the other hand, some condo communities create Facebook groups amongst themselves, and it’s better to be the moderator.
From social media to social events, the simple fact is that people are more inclined to be involved when they feel a connection. Regular social events throughout the year helps bring residents together, and offers an opportunity for people to meet and get to know one another. It’s also a great chance for condo board members to get a pulse on the community and act accordingly.
Are your condo association meetings lonely? Do you struggle to get residents involved? Then you should know that Evercondo makes it easy to connect residents, board members, and condo management to each other. Contact us for a demonstration, and we’ll show you how we can facilitate communication throughout your condo association, from owners to property managers.
What tips would you add to this to help other condo boards get residents more involved in their community? Please share with us in the comments.