Learn How to Administer an HOA Management Website
HOAs rely on websites to communicate with residents, post documents and announcements, and collect payments. Additionally, they offer an excellent way for board members to keep track of what’s going on in the community.
But somebody needs to be in charge of administering the site, and that somebody is usually a board member or the property manager. If you have been chosen to be the website administrator, you may be overwhelmed just thinking about where to start.
If you ignore an HOA website, it can start to resemble a ghost town. An HOA website that isn’t well-maintained can make your community look unprofessional and cause residents to lose faith in the organization. But don’t worry—If you follow these tips, you can be a great website administrator.
The features you should know to keep your HOA website updated
The following are some of the features you need to know and understand to keep your HOA website up to date:
The home page: This is the first page someone sees when they visit your HOA website. It should include a welcome message, links to essential documents, and announcements about upcoming events.
The key to a successful home page is finding an HOA website builder that offers a variety of customizable widgets. That way, you can change the look of your site with just a few clicks and make sure important information always remains front and center.
Communications: Homeowners association websites should provide a way for residents to contact the board or property manager. The best HOA websites include a form—on the home page or a Contact Us page—that residents can fill out to send a message.
Some HOA websites also incorporate a FAQ section where residents can find answers to common questions. This can save you a lot of time because you won’t have to answer the same question repeatedly. Additionally, you can incorporate voting and polls so HOA members can give their opinions on important topics.
Event management: These features are essential for HOA websites because they make it easy to post information about upcoming events and activities. Most HOA website builders offer some kind of event management tool.
If you don’t keep your event listings up to date, residents may not even know what’s going on in the community. Make it easy for them to find out about upcoming events so they are more likely to participate.
Reservation systems: If your community stages events, you’ll need a reservation system. HOA website builders usually offer some kind of online reservation system that you can use to schedule events and activities.
This is a great way to track who’s attending an event and ensure that everyone has a spot. Additionally, it can save you time because you won’t have to take phone calls or answer e-mail messages to confirm reservations.
Online payments: One of the most integral parts of the HOA website is the ability to collect payments online. This is a huge timesaver for both the board and residents. Instead of writing checks and sending them in the mail, residents can pay their dues with a few clicks.
Some HOA websites even allow residents to set up recurring payments so they don’t forget to pay monthly dues. When residents make online payments, you can be sure that the HOA will receive the money quickly and efficiently.
Secure databases: To enable residents to pay online, you need a secure payment processing system to handle payment information. HOA website builders usually offer a security solution to protect your data.
Make sure you understand the security features and feel comfortable with them before you collect payment information from residents. Security elements such as SSL certificates and password protection can go a long way toward keeping your HOA website safe.
Administrative dashboard: As the website administrator, you need to know how to use the HOA website builder’s Admin dashboard. This is where you will go to make changes to the site and add new content.
The dashboard presents lots of information, but HOA website builders offer training materials or customer support teams to help you get started. Once you learn how to use the dashboard, you’ll find it’s easy to keep your HOA website up to date.
Don’t get overwhelmed managing your homeowner’s association website
HOA websites can require a lot of work, but they don’t have to be overwhelming. Start by finding an HOA website builder that offers the features you need. Then invest some time to learn how to use the user dashboard and become familiar with the security features.
Once you have a handle on how everything works, you’ll find it’s easy to keep your HOA website up to date. Your residents will appreciate having access to a well-designed, well-managed HOA website that’s easy for them to use, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time in the long run!