5 Essential Features that Community Administrators and Residents Expect from an HOA Website
When you plan a homeowners association website for your community, you take two essential facts into consideration: What you need your website to accomplish and what your residents expect it to do. Unless your HOA website software provider offers all the features you need to take care of both of these essentials, you’ll soon be frustrated with your site and even start looking for an alternative platform. Plan ahead for a smooth, streamlined, truly satisfactory result, and you’ll have the productive website you need.
For HOA administrators, a truly effective homeowners association website answers the questions you hear all the time. When are our homeowners association payments due? How much does it cost to reserve a specific amenity? Which board members are responsible for which aspects of HOA business? Whom do I contact if I need to request an architectural change? Where can I find the essential documents that outline covenants and other HOA terms and conditions?
Your homeowners association website software provider can’t actually answer these questions for you, but if the software platform you choose is easy to use, you can set up and readily update frequently asked question pages that make all these answers easy to present.
Likewise, if your HOA website software provides an intuitive dashboard view of community affairs, with versions customized for administrators and for residents, you can see what’s going on at a glance, and respond quickly to any business that requires your attention
The same holds true for residents. For example, if your homeowners association website software provider offers an easy-to-use online process for handling architectural change requests, then the entire set of comments on each request, along with any and all documents uploaded as substantiating details, becomes a permanent, trackable part of your online data. No more resorting to phone calls and email to clarify details or straighten out disputes. The entire comment trail, in an easy-to-read chronological order, preserves the exchange of information and shows immediately whether HOA administrators approved, denied, or requested modifications to the request.
Without a convenient way to convey essential documentation to residents, you’re left printing out and mailing paper copies or trying to e-mail digital representations and worrying that your messages will wind up in residents’ junk mail. For their part, residents simply want to know where to find information when they need it.
Skip the paper and e-mail. With the right homeowners association website software provider, you can set up an easy-to-use document repository that provides immediate online access to any important files that residents need to review, along with administrative documents such as board meeting minutes.
Administrators and residents alike want to know when significant community events occur, including board meetings, community milestones, amenity reservations, neighborhood events, and more. Transcribing these events onto phone and computer calendars can be a hassle. Instead, a well-designed homeowners association website software platform provides customizable online calendars to display everything from block parties and tennis court reservation times to important deadlines and board meetings.
Not all HOA website software providers make these types of calendars equally easy to set up and use. Some site software essentially forces you to add these items manually to a calendar rather than populating them automatically as soon as they’re registered or reserved. Ideally, any event or amenity for which a resident can make a reservation should show up on the customized calendar view that greets that resident when they log in to your website. Likewise, administrators should see a complete view of who reserved what and when.
For homeowners association administrators, convenience takes many forms. One of the most essential benefits that a well-designed HOA website can offer is to automate recurring, simple tasks so administrators can avoid time-consuming manual processes. For example, setting up and sending out periodic invoices for dues and fees should not involve a massive undertaking every time payments come due. In a community that requires administrative approval for amenity reservations and event registrations, both those processes should be single-click easy to accomplish.
Community residents also appreciate the convenience of an outstanding HOA website. They want to receive e-mailed notifications of payments due that link back to online payment options, and see these items on their personal website dashboard view as well as in their e-mail. They want simple, secure online payments that make the entire process of fulfilling their obligations quick and easy rather than confusing and time consuming.
HOA administrators also want easy, convenient ways to communicate directly with residents. If their homeowners association website software provider enables them to text or email residents directly through their website, that type of functionality makes many things much easier. At the same time, residents appreciate private chat features through which they can communicate directly with each other and with administrators about everything from funny personal anecdotes to serious questions and HOA business.
Data security is essential to homeowners association websites. After all, you’re dealing with some of your residents’ most significant personally identifiable information, including where they live, how much they pay in dues and fees, the details of their payment methods, and so on. If you try to “roll your own” website, putting together a site solution with features you design yourself, you may have trouble securing the site so that it can protect all of this valuable information from harm. When you choose a homeowners association website software provider for your site, you need full assurances that the platform integrates, maintains, and updates online security to remain compliant with the latest needs. Neither you nor your residents should have to worry about the safety of your data.
The ideal solution
At HOAStart, we have years of experience in dealing with the needs of homeowners associations, and in assisting them to build the kinds of websites that truly fulfill not only their community obligations but also their expectations of how they present their unique neighborhoods online. To demonstrate the value, convenience, power, and depth of the solutions we offer, sign up today for our 30-day free trial. No payment information required, not even credit card details, and you immediately receive access to our entire feature set. Build your site, experiment with options, and set up your content on professionally designed page templates. We believe that once you experience what we offer and realize how easy we’ve made it to create the website your homeowners association needs, you’ll see why HOAStart should be your first and only choice for your homeowners website software provider.