4 ways to make your homeowners association website enjoyable for residents to use

4 ways to make your homeowners association website enjoyable for residents to use

Chances are good that if your homeowners association doesn’t already have an online presence, you’re ready to develop a website, especially now that states increasingly require that you set one up. But just as not all regular websites are created equally enjoyable to use, not all HOA websites generate the same amount of enthusiasm from their communities’ residents. How do you ensure that the site you set up not only meets your needs and requirements but offers your residents productive features that will keep them coming back and staying up to date on community affairs? Start with the right software provider and you’ll wind up with a site that more than meets your needs.

1. Share special moments through an online photo gallery

If your residents are like the folks in most communities, they take lots of pictures: at their children’s ball games, around the neighborhood, at community events, while they’re volunteering, and in many other situations. One of the easiest ways to promote neighborhood engagement is to offer your community a way to share these images. With an online photo gallery on your homeowners association website, you can make it possible for your residents to share their images—and still keep the image gallery secure.

At HOAStart, we made sure to add a web gallery to our software so the communities we serve can display their neighborhood pride. Create an online gallery for any event or purpose and invite everyone to send you their best images. As website administrator, you have full control over what gets uploaded, so you eliminate the prospect of inappropriate images winding up on your site. You also minimize the prospect that a select few residents monopolize the feature, leaving other residents to feel left out.

2. Catch up with neighbors through a member directory

Neighborhoods create friendships. To make it easy for your residents to stay in touch with each other, you need a member directory that displays appropriate levels of contact information. Of course, you also need to offer privacy protection, with security features that enable individual residents to take charge of how much—or how little—of their information they make public.

At HOAStart, we not only recognize the importance of this feature, we’ve made it possible for our communities to set up more than one member directory. Include one for board members, and designate it as a private directory that’s screened from public view—or even make it visible only to other members of the board. Create another directory for your general membership, and make it visible to residents but inaccessible to the general public. You decide who can see your directories as a whole, and your members decide individually how visible they want to make themselves.

3. Easily reserve use of community amenities

You take pride in the amenities you’ve set up for your community, but unless they’re easy for your residents to access, you’re missing out on one aspect of convenience that can make your community really stand out. From tennis courts and clubhouse features to swimming pools and play areas, you can make your amenities truly simple to use—if your homeowners association website makes it easy for members to schedule reservations when they want to use these features.

Set up your homeowners association website through HOAStart, and you have all of the power and convenience of online reservations at your fingertips. Customize the days and times that your amenities are available to reserve, and revise them any time your availabilities change for anything from remodeling or new construction to big seasonal events. Cap the occupancy of specific features to maintain realistic attendance levels. If some amenities—or some aspects of them—require payment of a fee for use, set up these features so your residents can make and pay for reservations through your website in a one-step, seamless process.

Don’t settle for less than the feature set you really want. When you choose HOAStart as your homeowners association website provider, you can do all these things—and so much more. We’ve built desirable, logical, easily accessible features into our sites because we know that unless HOA websites are rewarding to use, they lack the level of convenience that keeps residents engaged.

4. Save time and eliminate hassles with secure online payment of dues and fees

Nobody likes writing checks to pay for dues and fees, and no homeowners association likes waiting for the mail to receive payments. Now that virtually everyone is accustomed to paying bills online—and probably expects to be able to do that with homeowners association dues and fees—why not simplify the payment process so you make it as easy as possible for residents to stay up to date with their remittances?

If you’ve ever tried to set up payment capabilities on a website, you know that the process very quickly can get complicated. Depending on how you process payments, you may wind up losing a noticeable percentage of the monies you collect in the fees you have to pay just to accept online payments in the first place. At the same time, no one wants to use an online payment system that they’re not certain can protect their payment details and personally identifiable information, so you want to be absolutely sure that the service you use offers complete data security.

With HOAStart, you can skip all these hassles. We’ve built payment processing directly into our website software, and you can accept both credit cards and debit payments through your site. The setup process is simple and straightforward, the results are quick, and the security is thorough.

Find the features that will make you—and your residents—happy to use them

You want your homeowners association website to offer value and convenience, and when you work with us at HOAStart, you get both. Make your website enjoyable for your residents to use, and ensure that it offers the features you need for administrative convenience. That’s a win-win outcome that will keep everyone happy—and fully engaged.