How HOA Voting Software Simplifies Important Community Decisions
Your residents’ choices and attitudes determine everything from board leadership and administrative rosters to landscaping choices and amenity availability schedules. HOA elections and polls shape policy with required votes and essential surveys. E-mail doesn’t preserve the privacy of your residents’ votes, and paper ballots turn every question into an in-person or mail-in extravaganza.
A full-featured, flexible HOA voting software package integrates directly into self-managed HOA software. It gives residents the opportunity to voice their opinions about important considerations that affect life in your community—without printing out ballots and either convening a community meeting to hold a vote or waiting for residents to mail back their selections.
Choose your slate
When you evaluate HOA voting software, versatility should be the first item on your list of selection criteria. Whether you need to set up a one-question referendum on a single issue or build the slate for an annual board election, you want the ability to add as many data fields and types as your situation requires.
When multiple candidates seek the same office, you need the right data structure—radio buttons—to limit resident choices to one of several individuals. The same holds true of “yes/no” questions and any pick-one scenario. Conversely, if your question allows for multiple answers, you want checkboxes so residents can make more than one choice. In addition, look for the ability to build a dropdown menu of choices. And if it’s essential to prevent voters from skipping a question, your HOA voting software must enable you to designate fields that mandate a response before ballot submission.
Structured questions with predetermined lists of answers aren’t the only types of inquiries that HOAs make. To allow for free form write-in answers, you also need text input fields, and calendar pickers to ensure proper entry of dates. Finally, if you need to ask residents to submit credentials or other documents as part of a vote, you need file upload fields to accommodate PDFs and other common data types.
Limit one per customer
If you allow each individual resident to sign up for an access account on your self-managed HOA software, you may need a built-in mechanism to restrict household voting. Depending on how your homeowners association conducts its individual surveys, you may need to limit votes to one per address. For that matter, some of your surveys may be relevant only to residents who serve on neighborhood committees or have identified themselves on the basis of specific interests. In these cases, you’ll need to be able to tag each resident’s account with identifiers that denote their community roles, and use these tags to designate who qualifies to vote on a specific issue.
At the same time, you also may have surveys that you use to assess public opinion or learn more about the attitudes of prospective residents. In these cases, you’ll need to open up your vote so everyone can participate.
Serious issues and just for fun
Many homeowners association elections and polls shape the essential future of your community with choices about leadership and policy. Beyond these serious votes, however, full-featured HOA voting software makes surveys so easy to conduct that you can use them as a light-hearted, just-for-fun feature on your HOA website.
Who’s your favorite musical group? Which season do you love the most? What’s the most important book you’ve read in the last year? Which famous person do you wish you could meet? All these types of questions give you a chance to get to know your community better—and to foster more awareness among neighbors while you’re at it.
See what’s what
Once your poll concludes—or while it’s running, if it’s an open-ended survey that doesn’t require a blind vote—download your data through your HOA voting software. Now, you can analyze the results in a spreadsheet program, graph them for greater impact, and share the visualization with fellow administrators, board members, or the community at large, depending on the issue you’ve surveyed. Beyond that, your HOA voting software should offer you built-in graphing that provides an immediate view of results.
With self-managed HOA software that integrates support for HOA voting, you can modernize and streamline your approach to polls and surveys, find out where your community stands on fundamental issues, and even use the voting process for fun or public outreach. HOA voting software from HOA Start makes it easy to centralize your polling efforts through a secure online platform that saves you time and simplifies your administrative efforts.