Is your Home Owners Association planning to launch a new website soon? Or is your HOA board looking to spruce up what you already have? Home Owner Associations come in all shapes and sizes, have different needs, and serve different communities; their websites will be just as diverse. The best websites, however, have plenty in common.
Changing a few things, and adding some others, can make a big impact with your members. Consider adding a few – or all – of the following.
1. Online Payment Processing Integrated with Your Website
Collecting monthly dues is one of the most challenging parts of an HOA manager’s job. Your association may have relied on checks coming through the mail and then documenting who has paid and who hasn’t – Every. Single. Month. The best HOA websites have an integrated online payment portal where residents can pay dues and fees through their user accounts. Having an online payment portal integrated into your website not only pleases your residents but can make your treasurer’s job that much easier with the ability to quickly see who has paid and who is late, send reminders, and easily generate reports.
2. Calendar for All of Your HOA Events
Depending on how active your HOA is, a calendar on your website can be a wonderful reference. With families busier than ever, it’s nice to have a place to reference as different events get closer. You can include HOA meetings, community events, and even project dates and times.
By subscribing to a calendar, residents will see your organization’s important dates on their personal calendar (Google or Mac Calendar for example).
3. A Mobile-Friendly Website
Mobile device use accounts for more than half of web traffic worldwide so it’s really important for your HOA’s website to be mobile-friendly.
Your website’s layout should be compatible with mobile devices and the user experience should be smooth as well; there’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to use a website but being restricted for compatibly issues. People are busier than ever today so if you get them to your site just for it to not be compatible with their phone, the chance they’ll revisit later from their computer is slim. A mobile friendly site where users can read announcements, view the calendar, pay their dues, and sign up for events is key in today’s world.
You can go a step further and provide a mobile app for residents to access information on-the-go. Allowing for PUSH notifications can help homeowners stay up-to-date on the latest announcements. Notifications can also be used to remind residents to pay dues or that an events is coming up.
4. Document Management
Your HOA website is the perfect place to store important documents that your residents might want to reference from time to time. Keep your CC&R rules, board meeting minutes, and financial statements accessible on your site.
These documents should not necessarily be made public so your website should require residents to log in to access certain documents. Go a step further and lock access to some (or all) documents to residents that are up to date on their dues.
5. Online Amenity Reservations
Depending on the size of your HOA, you may have a competitive reservation system for amenities such as clubhouses or meeting rooms. Instead of paper/pencil sign ups or phone calls, automate the reservations process on your website.
You can even require residents to read the common area rules prior to making a reservation.
6. Lists of Contractors
Anyone new to the area will want trusted contacts for things like landscaping, plumbing, and irrigation. Our List Module allows you to have a Contractor Directory on your site that can be edited by your administrators and accessed by your members.
Another way to use the List Module is to list neighborhood businesses who sponsor your HOA. Set aside a specific spot on your website to thank them. You can include their logo and hyperlink to their website. Some ideas of good businesses to approach are:
Local Plant and Flower Nurseries
Plumbers, Electricians, Tree Removal
7. Comment Feature
Sometimes it’s important to have a way for members to respond quickly to one another. Having a webpage with comments allows members to view timely topics like lost pets or babysitters needed and then respond accordingly.
8. Online Directory
Having a secure directory allows members to get to know their neighbors. But, a directory is only as good as the information is accurate. When your directory is generated automatically by the information the residents enter while signing up, you can be confident your information will be correct. Make sure your directory is complete by adding custom fields that apply to your community; babysitters, pet sitters, board members, etc.
Go a step further and offer your residents a free app that includes the directory with one- touch ability to call, text, or get directions. When you make it that easy for your families to stay connected, you’ll be sure to increase community engagement.
There’s no doubt about it, when you volunteer for a neighborhood association, you have to contend with paperwork, mass communication, collecting dues, and somehow keeping up with your own life. Making a few tweaks to your HOA’s website can greatly benefit your residents as well as your board. An excellent HOA website can mean the difference between a community that clearly interacts with residents and enjoys a healthy sense of community, and a community that is slow to move and respond with outdated means of communication.
Let Membership Toolkit show you how to simplify your board’s daily tasks while enhancing your neighborhood’s sense of community through more involved members.