Apathy and the Condo Owners’ Meeting

Condo owners’ meetings are a mixed bag. Some people look forward to them with great anticipation. Others see them as a chore, or a waste of time. Still others never attend and have no intention of ever attending.

Why are association meetings so polarizing? A lot of it has to do with the management company. If the property manager establishes early on that the meetings are quick and to the point, and doesn’t allow them to be derailed by sidebars or irrelevant dialogue, there’s a greater likelihood for a better turnout. On the other hand, if the meetings tend to drag on and on and degenerate into squabbling and bickering, why would anyone be motivated to take time out of their schedule to attend?

But one of the biggest hurdles to getting condo owners to attend meetings is overcoming ownership apathy. Perhaps owners never feel like their voices are heard or that their opinions aren’t valid, so why bother attending? Maybe they feel like even when there’s a legitimate issue upon which everyone agrees, no action is ever taken and nothing gets done.

It’s important to establish early on that every condo owner in an HOA has a voice, and that the property management company is willing to hear that voice and respond to it. But it’s equally important for every homeowner to realize that if they’re completely apathetic when it comes to meetings, then the handful of condo owners who do consistently attend the meetings are the ones who are steering the ship, and are the only ones whose opinion will ultimately matter.

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