Earlier this spring, an Order in Council allowed Ontario condos to conduct meetings virtually in response to COVID-19. Prior to this, virtual Owner Meetings were only possible for corporations who had previously passed a bylaw expressly allowing it.
The Order in Council is currently scheduled to expire 90 days after the end of the declared State of Emergency. For certain condos with fiscal end dates in the first 30 days after the expiration of the state of emergency, that number is 120 days.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen a dramatic embrace of Hosted Virtual AGMs. Roughly 200 condo corporations throughout the process have successfully held meetings digitally with the assistance of our service.
More importantly, we’ve seen that this is a type of service owners are interested in well beyond the end of COVID-19. In those 200 virtual meetings, nearly 70% of condo boards put forth a bylaw allowing for virtual meetings to be held indefinitely. As of now, every one of those bylaws has passed with overwhelming majorities, showing that this is clearly a service owners appreciate and value based on their experience.
We believe there are a few reasons why owners are getting on board with virtual meetings. First, they’re much easier to fit into a busy schedule. Owners can join a meeting without needing to leave the comfort of their home. This makes it much more accessible, and can help with participation.
Second, it allows for meetings to be run faster and more efficiently. With physical logistical hurdles moved out of the way, focus can be given to the most important topics of discussions. This helps expedite critical building for the condo corporation.
From the perspective of property management and the board, much of the value lies in this being the only way to hold meetings while also adhering to physical distancing requirements. Virtual Meetings allows corporations to ensure important matters like bylaw votes and director elections can continue as needed. Plus, digitizing physical processes means less spending on meeting rooms, catering, and as well as decreased travel time and logistical planning to host the Owner Meeting.
Aside from no more wine and cheese, the main challenge is the prospect of less technology-adept owners needing to adapt and learn something new. Still, our experience has taught us that these types of challenges can be overcome with a little effort and creativity.
While we’re happy to see that the service is in demand, we’re even happier to see that our customers are finding lasting value in what we provide. If you’re interested in learning more about how Hosted Virtual AGMs can help your condo corporation, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help out.