Share Important Information Easily with HOA Document Software
Let’s face it: HOAs generate a bundle of paperwork, and every document plays an important role in governance, compliance, and legal status. In some states, laws require your HOA to share specific documents with the public, your residents, and prospective property owners. Whether you’re trying to make sure your homeowners association keeps up with essential regulations, share information to market your community, or provide residents with the rules they need to follow, you need a convenient, centralized place for everything from meeting minutes to covenants.
That’s where HOA document software comes in. It’s the easiest way to skip the paperwork and still make data available to the right people—if you choose the right package to meet your needs.
Long-established HOAs have the file drawers to prove it. Their legal descriptions and covenants may have been created on a typewriter. Some of their rules and regulations exist as scanned photocopies of typed-up documents. And when someone asks for a copy of a file, administrators cringe, make paper copies, and either put them in the mail or drop them off in person.
If that’s your situation, you can’t change the fact that your governing documents originated before everyone had access to computers, but you can create a high-quality scan of those pages and share the result as a digital file. Instead of fifth-generation photocopies, you can recreate your guiding rules in your favorite word processing software and share them in PDF files.
But once you’ve digitized all your documents, what do you actually do with them? Send out copies via e-mail attachment? That might update your processes by a decade or so, but now you’re forced to transmit them on demand and verify receipt.
Skip the onesie-twosie handouts and look for HOA software that enables you to create an online document repository: A safe, secure storage area in which you can organize your files however you see fit. Whether that’s a chronological set of meeting minutes or a topic-by-topic collection of architectural rules, you need the ability to set things up to match your content.
Who sees what
Once you’ve uploaded your files and organized them by the right criteria, now you need to specify what’s visible to whom. Some of your documents may need to be visible to the public, either to satisfy state laws or to make them readily accessible. Others may need to be off limits to anyone who’s not a verified resident, or restricted further to the current board, members of a committee, or administrative staff.
The easiest way to accomplish this type of document management is through folder-level permissions. Simply put, your HOA document software enables you to edit the settings for each document repository folder you create so only the right people can access the contents. Look for the ability to create tags that specify community roles, and use those tags to prescribe who sees specific files.
Up to the minute
Rules change, boards continue to meet, and new information becomes timely to share. With the right HOA document software and a well-set-up document repository, you can add new items at any time and ensure that they continue to reach only the right people.
When you need to upload multiple files, you don’t want to add them one at a time. To make this task easier, you want to batch your uploads for convenient processing. Look for the equivalent feature on the download side, so residents can grab multiple items in one pass. Likewise, it’s handy to be able to rename files after you upload them, so you can turn cryptic titles into names that residents will understand at a glance.
Plats, plans, and photos
You may not think of your document repository as a place to store images for use in creating web pages and illustrating e-mail messages, but the right HOA document software makes your storage area do double duty. This way, you can send out a message to your entire community and attach an essential bulletin or photo to it, or build a website page and illustrate it with a community map that’s inserted directly into page text. In these cases, your repository serves as the source of content you use in other ways.
Give your file cabinet a rest and stop relying on paper or e-mail to transmit files. HOA document software from HOA Start makes it easy to centralize and secure your files, ensure that they’re easy for the right people to access—and eliminate the complications of older file-maintenance schemes.