HOA Dialogues

What Is HOA Dialogues?

Dialogues is a discussion and Q&A forum, held via Zoom Webinar, with panelists who tackle an issue and answer audience questions. Each session is recorded and available on the HOA Coach YouTube Channel. There are also plans to Live Stream on YouTube or Facebook.

See episode synopsis info here.

When Are HOA Dialogues Scheduled?

So far, we’ve had exactly one “Dialogue episode”, but plans are in the works to initially have these monthly, on the second Tuesday morning of each month, with occasional adjustments. If there is interest in a second session each month, one might be added on the third Saturday morning, though a weeknight might also be possible.

How Can I Help?

First of all, we’d love for you to attend and participate in the conversations. If you have a particular interest or expertise, we’d love to have you on the panel.

Join our mailing list to get the announcements of future sessions.

Contact the HOA Coach with any questions, comments, or suggestions — or to join the panel!

Ground Rules

This is an open forum for discussion about owner association issues, though we might occasionally stray into “loosely related topics.”

None of what you hear is “legal advice”, but rather the opinions of panelists about how they might handle the situation, or generally recommend in situations similar to what was asked.

In general:

  • You should always be well informed about your community’s governing documents, including any CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), bylaws, rules, regulations, policies, and architectural design guidelines, as well as any other applicable documents.
  • Most panelists are aware that there are differences between condos, single family homes, and commercial properties, as well as the nuances of the various sizes of associations. Some may only have experience in one area or another.
  • Each panelist likely has experience with associations in one state, at most a few states. You are responsible for researching and determining the specific circumstances in your state, even if a panelist states an opinion of what might be applicable in your state.

There are very few “hard rules”:

  • No profanity. Be civil.
  • No political statements or discussions centered around political views. Discussing such things as “political signs in yards” are really discussions about association policies and are permitted, as long as specific political preferences and ideologies are not included.
  • No statements for discussions centered around religious views, pro or con. Again, discussions about association business as it might relate to religion are acceptable, such as flags, holiday decorations, or displays of religious items.

These are more “guidelines” than rules:

  • Limit sarcasm. It can be misinterpreted — often in ways it was not intended.
  • Remember: Words matter. Understand that not everyone has the same vocabulary as you do, and some words have different meanings in some parts of the country.
  • All opinions are welcome, if expressed civilly and with a willingness to hear the opinion of others.

Some special consideration should be given to the questions entered in the Q&A panel:

  • The panelists may not have an ideal, cut and dry answer for you. Often our answers will be designed to help you open your thinking to a variety of approaches or solutions, or point you to resources that can delve more deeply into your situation or advocate for you.
  • Don’t explain the entire history of every action that ever took place. Describe the specific circumstances as they exist now, just enough to give context.
  • Try to ask a single open-ended question, instead of many closed-ended questions. Ask “How would you recommend this situation be handled?”, not “Should I knock on their door? End them an Email? Contact the community manager? Or call the police?”

Also, for the panelists:

  • While we’re not aiming for prime-time TV quality, we should all do what we can to make sure our audio and video present well to the attendees.
  • I’ve got a preference for no virtual background, but if your physical environment is not really appropriate, consider using Zoom’s “Blur” virtual background. This will prevent those annoying little gaps where some of your real background peeks through and makes it really obvious that you’re using this feature.
  • But if your background really is quite unappealing (or worse), please try the Blur option.
  • Please know how to check your microphone settings — opening up the Settings window and clicking Audio in the vertical tab. Make sure you have checked the right microphone, and set the “Input Level” high enough that others can hear you well. It helps to show up at the meeting 10-15 minutes early and ask for a “mic level check” to be sure your volume compares well with others, with time enough to modify the audio settings if necessary.