Town hall meetings give residents a voice, and a venue to clear up misunderstandings. It is a place where residents, property managers and board members can feel connected by one common goal: improving the building and the overall condominium community.
Whether you are planning to replace Kitec plumbing or there is a major renovation planned, it’s important that everyone has clarity and gets a chance to be heard.
Here are the steps to optimize the experience:
Step 1: Open Up a Dialogue
Schedule the meeting with enough notice so residents can clear their schedules ahead of time. Include a message, assuring residents that their feedback is important to you.
Here’s a sample message you could use to communicate with residents:
“Please plan to attend this quarter’s Town Hall Meeting. Soon you will receive an invitation to anonymously submit questions or feedback about the company. This is your meeting, and it’s important to create a two-way dialogue about the upcoming project. We need your contributions to move forward. Thank you for your input.”
Invite residents to ask questions and encourage commentary that will be incorporated into the meeting agenda. You may hear concerns you did not consider previously.
Step 2: Set an Agenda and Stick to It
Set your agenda before the meeting and stay on top of it. It’s too easy to let the meeting take a new direction and sticking to your goals will work to everyone’s benefit. During the meeting, address previously collected questions and concerns from residents.
Step 3: Consider Hiring a Facilitator
Consider hiring a facilitator in addition to having a legal representative during your next town hall meeting. This will ensure the discussion is fair and effective, while sharing the information with unit owners. You may even need an engineer present at the meeting, depending on the items discussed. If a contractor has already been selected for the project, now is the time to have the residents meet them. However, the contractor could be useful just for the purposes of education, if the meeting is for the purpose of general discussion.
Step 4: Determine a Q & A segment
There are several ways to manage live questions from residents.
- Have a volunteer collect notes from the attendees and bring them to the speaker, who can address them one at a time.
- Have a microphone circulate around the room and a facilitator or helper can offer the mic as questions or comments come up. As long as things move forward at a good clip, you can cover an awful lot of content.
- Offer a follow-up time where people can come with further questions, and assign a person to do this.
Canadian Design & Construction Inc. can help you prepare for, and host, a successful town hall meeting for Kitec plumbing replacement, Fan Coil replacement and mould remediation, or for major renovations and new facilities for common areas. See the website at www.cdcpro.ca for further information about how to contact us.
By: Lisa Brennan