The most important role within an Owners Corporation is that of the Committee of Management. Working together with the Owners Corporation Manager, it is the committee’s role to ensure things are running smoothly. Without good governance, this can be an impossible task. We’ve rounded up some best-practice suggestions to help your committee and community thrive.
Preparation for the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The AGM is an integral date in an Owners Corporation’s calendar. It is the time for all members to come together, discuss issues, understand progress and vote upon the future direction of the Owners Corporation. It also the best opportunity a committee has to highlight the hard work they do on behalf of all Owners and celebrate achievements.
An AGM must be held within 15 months of the previous one, and best-practice is to hold it within 3 months of the end of the OC’s financial year. To ensure the AGM is as productive as possible, Committees should ensure they meet ahead of the AGM to review the financials, approve a budget, and head into the AGM with a clear recommendation to Owners.
The OC Act stipulates that the Committee must also provide a report of its activities at the AGM. Generally, the Chairperson would provide this report. We recommend sharing a written report along with the AGM notice so that Owners have a chance to read it beforehand and bring along any questions they may have.
Building a strong relationship with your Owners Corporation Manager.
The Committee will need to communicate effectively, not just among themselves, but with the Owners Corporation Manager, Building Manager, and fellow Owners. Good communication is the foundation of good relationships, and building strong relationships builds a strong OC.
The Owners Corporation Manager will often be the Committee’s mouthpiece to all Owners. They play an important role in keeping things running, by sending out important communications, directives and getting levies issued and paid.
Owners Corporation Managers not only support multiple committees, but also communicate with owners, tenants, property managers, contractors and more, each day. This means an extremely high volume of calls and emails to manage.
To ensure you get the most out of your relationship with your manager, we recommend avoiding cc’ing them in on committee discussions. Consider alternative platforms for discussion such as WhatsApp. Best practice is to email your manager with the resolution only, to ensure it can be actioned in a timely manner.
Your OCM is also a wealth of knowledge, resources, and support, so don’t be afraid to reach out and see how they might be able to make your life easier.
Boosting community engagement.
Communication to Owners, if left to routine items such as AGM and levy notices, can become dry. This may result in low engagement from Owners, which is not conducive to a thriving Owners Corporation.
We recommend that Committees also spread positive messages to the community, to share progress and good news stories between AGMs.
Initiatives like community newsletters, electronic noticeboards or WhatsApp groups are all great ways to boost engagement. You can also actively solicit feedback through surveys, allowing owners and tenants to feel heard.
These items can even be tasked to subcommittees, which is a great way to bring additional Owners into committee operations.
These are just some ways committee members can improve the operation of their Owners Corporation, boost community engagement and maximise their efforts on the Committee. If you want to learn more, The Knight recently ran a training webinar for committee members on this topic. Watch it below.
This article was first written for and published by CBD News.