How to Find a Customer-Centered Homeowners Association Website Software Provider
Whether you’re already looking for a homeowners association website software provider or you’re just getting started in your quest for the ideal option, you want to find a solution that’s centered around your needs. Chances are that you’re very familiar with websites from having spent plenty of time online, but you’re not a web software expert yourself—and even if you do have experience with popular content management systems such as WordPress, you may not be looking for a do-it-yourself solution. After all, if you’re like most homeowners association administrators and board members, you’re a volunteer, and as important as your HOA duties are, you don’t have time to sit down and develop a website from scratch, especially not one that can accommodate some of the specialized needs of community management.
For starters, homeowners associations deal with a considerable volume of invoicing for dues and fees, many of which recur monthly or at least quarterly. If you’ve spent any amount of time dealing with manual invoicing, you know all too well what a chore it is, and you’re probably eager to find a solution that enables you to spend your time doing more important and rewarding things to benefit your community. But the one piece of the online invoicing puzzle that’s difficult to figure out without a lot of research and a potentially noticeable expense is the ability to accept online payments.
That’s because you need to find a payment processor, the go-between that sets up secure online payments and interacts with financial institutions. You’ll find plenty of them out there, but to find the right one, you’ll have to wend your way through a potentially bewildering set of regulations, fees, rules, and other hassles.
Now, a customer-centered homeowners association website software provider would build the payment processing aspect directly into the website offering they provide. But as you continue to research your HOA software options, you quickly find that many providers don’t offer this critical function, or that it’s superficial, inflexible, or too expensive to be worth the trouble. Worse yet, in some cases, you may be unsure whether the service truly is secure, and that’s a form of uncertainty you simply can’t afford—pun intended—when it comes to dealing with community members’ money.
Another sign that a homeowners association website software provider may not actually put customers first? Take a look at sample websites, or ask to see any templates it offers to help you design your site. If what you see reminds you of the early days of the internet, or the templates offer you virtually no means of customizing their appearance, chances are that the provider’s more interested in signing you up as a customer than in providing you with a platform through which you can create a site that truly showcases your community.
To compare a website software provider’s feature offerings to what your community needs, you’ll want a must-have list of what your site can’t do without. Evaluate each provider that you consider against that list, and if something you really need doesn’t exist within an individual provider’s feature set, that’s a pretty good sign that it’s time to look elsewhere. In fact, some providers think they should tell you what you need rather than listen to you. Their vision of what to provide tends to run at least a decade out of date, and that’s not the only problem with their offering.
In many cases, if an HOA website software provider’s features look stale, it’s because the programming that makes the website function is dated as well. Some providers lock themselves in to a code base that they can’t update without a time-consuming, extensive, expensive rewrite. If you opt for one of these providers, you’re stuck, too, unless and until they finally update their software.
When you ask some HOA website software providers about features you want but that they don’t offer, some of them actually may try to convince you that you don’t need these features in the first place. They may not be able to meet your needs, but they still want to secure you as a customer. That’s like trying to sell you a car without windshield wipers and then attempting to convince you that it never rains.
At HOAStart, we’ve spent years helping homeowners association create the HOA websites they really want, and we’ve seen these types of inadequacies in other providers’ homeowners association software offerings all too often. We’ve engineered our software specifically to avoid these problems because we know that homeowners associations deserve better results and support. Time after time, customers ask us whether our software will do something specific that they really need. We’re always delighted to be able to say “Yes” when other HOA website software providers say “No.”
And that “Yes” includes something you probably won’t find with any other homeowners association website software package: a truly free trial period, with no financial information required, one that lasts an entire 30 days. That’s a full month to try out every feature, ask questions and get answers from our expert support professionals, design a site, share it with your board and residents, and really get to know what we can offer you.
You know what you want. You need what you want. Built-in secure online payments. Modern, professional page templates. A member directory with built-in privacy features that enables your members to control how much personal information they share. In-depth feature sets that grow with you, packed with features you may not have realized you really need. The ability to schedule community amenities, program neighborhood events, build a repository of critical community documents, and secure any page or function as private. That’s just the beginning of what we offer.
So if the homeowners association website providers that have come up in your research have been more of a disappointment than anything else, and you’re beginning to wonder whether you’ll ever find the full-featured site-building opportunity you want, let HOAStart expand your expectations. Features, support, free trial and more: It’s all here waiting for you and your community.