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Everything You Need To Know About HOA Software

Do you need help managing your condo or homeowners association? If you’re not ready to hire a professional management company, why not consider HOA software instead? To help you make this decision, here’s everything you need to know about HOA management software.


What Is HOA Software?

HOA software is an industry-specific computer program that performs essential community association management tasks. It functions as an all-in-one management tool that can make HOA board members’ lives easier. Condominium association software is the same thing, except that it is made for COAs.


HOA Software vs Generic Software

Generic software is designed to work across industries. It offers essential management features, which can be very helpful for HOAs. However, adjustments may be needed to adapt the generic software to the specific needs of your community. On the other hand, HOA software is already tailor-made for your association management needs. It will be easier and more intuitive to use.


HOA Software vs Spreadsheets

Many self-managed HOAs are likely familiar with Excel, Google Sheets, and other spreadsheet programs. It’s a low-cost option that allows HOAs to track their income, expenses, budgets, reconciliations, and other financial transactions. Spreadsheets can perform a wide variety of accounting functions. And even though macros and formulas can be difficult to learn, there are many tutorials and resources available to board members

The main drawback of spreadsheets is that it cannot perform more complex tasks that are essential to HOA management. Spreadsheets are also not efficient because it requires manual data entry, which can lead to as much as 88% errors. Scalability is another issue. While spreadsheets may be sufficient for a small HOA, it will become harder and harder as your community grows. While software may cost more, it’s much better at serving your current and future needs.


HOA Software vs Property Management Software

Property management software is also an industry-specific program. It is used by landlords to manage rental properties. Though they may have some overlaps, HOA management and property management also have unique responsibilities. As such, property management software may not have all the features that you will need to manage an HOA — and vice versa.


What Are the Features of HOA Software?

Accounting and Bookkeeping | condo association softwareNo two HOA software are exactly alike. Nevertheless, here are essential features that you should look for when choosing the best software for your community.


Accounting and Bookkeeping

Managing finances is one of the most difficult responsibilities of the board. As such, many look for HOA accounting software that can make financial tracking easier and less tedious. With a digital ledger, board members can easily keep track of money coming in and out of HOA accounts.


Communications Platform

With HOA software, the board can send announcements and updates to the entire community. The program also keeps track of all personal communications with homeowners so you won’t have to keep rehashing the same details over and over. In addition, some software options offer a forum or community board where homeowners can communicate with each other. These communication features are essential in creating a sense of community.


Financial Reporting

One of the best features of HOA software is robust financial reporting capabilities. You can create comprehensive and detailed reports that help keep track of the HOA’s finances. Financial reports are also customizable so you can make them as simple and easy to understand. This will help board members make accurate and sound financial decisions for the HOA.


Maintenance Management

Board members can use association management software to keep track of maintenance requests, work orders, and vendor payments. The association can also create maintenance schedules and to-do lists for each service provider.


Homeowner Portal

HOA or condo association software may include an online portal for the members of the community. Homeowners can log into their account to view assessment due dates, payment history, communication history, architectural review applications, amenity bookings, service requests, and events calendars. They can also conveniently access HOA reports and documents instead of having to request them from the management office.


Board Member Portal

HOA software may come with a separate HOA portal for board members. It comes with password protection to ensure that confidential or sensitive documents such as annual budgets, financial reports, delinquency reports, incident reports, and reserve studies are safe and secure. This ensures transparency among board members and can help them work more efficiently.


Violation Tracking

In a large community, software can be essential in keeping track of homeowners’ violations. With an all-in-one platform, each violation can be seamlessly integrated into homeowners’ accounts and the accounts receivable sheet. Automation also enables the software to send notices or emails to offending homeowners. Thus, the board can save a lot of time since they don’t have to manually perform these tasks one by one.


Should You Use Free Software?

Board Member Portal | self managed hoa softwareHOA software is an investment. Associations that are hesitant to spend that kind of money may consider free software instead. Is this the right move for your HOA? Here are the pros and cons of free software.

Benefits of Free HOA Software

  • Little or No Cost: Free software is an attractive option for communities that have limited budgets. It allows them to experience the benefits of HOA software without having to shell out a lot of money.
  • Basic Features: Free software may not have extensive features, but it can still help associations perform essential administrative and management tasks.
  • Free Trial: Most software options have free trials so that you can experience the features first-hand. If you are stuck between two software options, you can use the free trial to determine which one is better suited for your community.


Drawbacks of Free HOA Software

  • Limited Features: Free software won’t have the same features as paid versions. It will perform basic functions but you won’t be able to access more complex features such as analytics, forecasting, and financial reporting.
  • Intrusive Ads: Free software may offer full features but with ads. These are not only intrusive and annoying but they also bring up security concerns. Make sure to read the fine print because some companies may be selling your data to third-party marketers.
  • Lack of Support: Don’t expect frequent updates — or if any at all — with free software. Since the software company isn’t making money from the program, it also won’t have the funds or resources to continuously update and improve the program.


Why Consider Paid HOA Software?

Going for the full, paid version is still the best option for associations. Contrary to popular belief, HOA software is not that expensive. Most companies offer different packages at different price points. It’s up to you to find the software that meets your community’s specific needs and budget. You can also start with the basic package then move up to higher tiers over time. This way, you won’t be spending more money than is currently needed.


Investing in HOA Software Is a Commitment to Your Growth and Success

 There’s no doubt about it; HOA software can make board members’ lives easier. With essential features and automation capabilities, the association can save valuable time, money, and effort. Board members become more efficient and thus, are better able to serve the community. Though purchasing software may be a long-term financial commitment, it brings with it amazing benefits that can serve as the impetus for your community’s growth and success.

Interested in self-managed HOA software? Feel free to reach out to the Condo Manager team today! We have created comprehensive and innovative software solutions designed to meet the needs of HOAs and COAs. Call us at (800) 626-1267 or email us at sales@condomanagerusa.com for a free demo.



The Importance Of An HOA Website And How To Design It

Homeowner association websites are no longer a nice-to-have, bonus feature. In this digital age, it’s a must-have for any HOA community. If your association has yet to take the plunge, here’s why you need an HOA website — as well as how to design one that works for your community.


Why Do You Need an HOA Website?

A homeowners association website has many benefits for both management and the members of the community. Here are key reasons that underscore the importance of having an HOA website.


1.  Increase Online Visibility

HOA websites are an important marketing tool, especially since over 90% of home buyers use the Internet for their homebuying process. Apart from increasing online visibility, you can also use your website to showcase your community. It can attract potential homebuyers and provide them with the information that they need when choosing a home to purchase.


2. Provide Convenience to Homeowners

An HOA website serves as a one-stop communication hub for your homeowners. They can simply visit your website to learn about upcoming events, read the latest community news, obtain copies of HOA documents, or submit requests to HOA management. With integrated software features, homeowners can even use the website to pay for their monthly association dues. This makes it very convenient for homeowners to stay involved and participate in HOA matters.


3. More Efficient HOA Operations

Going digital can lead to more efficient HOA operations. A website can save the HOA board, management, and employees a lot of time. For instance, instead of rummaging through cabinets to find a single document, you’ll be able to find what you need in mere seconds. You’ll also have less phone calls and emails from homeowners since they can access the online portal instead. Thus, you’ll have more time to focus on more important community matters.


4. Cost-Effective

Running a website is not cheap; however, it’s also not as expensive as some may think. You don’t need to hire an entire HOA website design team. There are many HOA software and tools that can provide the features that your website needs. Some options even have HOA website templates that are easy to use and customizable. Considering the other benefits, an HOA website is a worthwhile investment. Also, you can offset the costs of the website with the money you save from fewer office supplies and overtime fees,


How to Design an HOA Website

Now that you know the importance of having an HOA website, it’s time to create one. If you’re looking for HOA website ideas, here are important elements to consider.


Skill Level of Homeowners

Having an advanced and intricate website is useless if your homeowners do not know how to use it. When designing an HOA website, make sure to consider the skill level of homeowners. For instance, it’s better to have a simple and easy-to-use website if you are catering to an older audience.


Features Based on the Needs of the Community

There is no perfect HOA website. The best HOA websites are those that cater to their members. If you want to identify crucial website features, think about the needs of your community. Here are some features that you might want to include:

  • Community Calendar to keep homeowners updated on upcoming social events, seminars, board meetings, and so on.
  • Bulletin Board to post important announcements, board meeting schedules, and agendas, the latest community news, etc.
  • Photo Gallery to show potential homebuyers what it’s like to live in your HOA. It also encourages homeowners to visit your website after social events.
  • Blog and Newsletters to provide homeowners with valuable information that can increase their quality of life, such as tips for saving electricity or how to prepare for a storm.
  • Suggestion Box is an easy way for homeowners to send their comments, questions, complaints, and recommendations to the board or management.
  • Online Portal where homeowners can log in to see their account details, overdue details, and HOA documents.


Modern and Responsive Design

Regardless of what aesthetic design you choose, there are modern design elements that must be present in your HOA website. For instance, since most people browse the Internet using their mobile devices, it’s important to have mobile compatibility. Thus, a responsive design is a crucial website element to have. It ensures that your website displays properly regardless if it is viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.


Website Security

Some HOAs decline to have a website because they want to avoid potential security breaches or leaked information. That shouldn’t stop you from creating a website, though. There are many ways to make your HOA website secure. An important tip would be to choose a reputable host that offers security features like secure sockets layer (SSL), denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, web application firewall (WAF), or structured query language (SQL) server security. These can ensure that governing documents, homeowner directory, and other sensitive files are kept safe.


Update Regularly

A well-maintained website is just as important as one that is well-designed — or maybe even more. If your website is clunky and outdated, it will send the wrong message to potential homebuyers. It will also prevent homeowners from finding the information that they need. As such, HOAs must update their website regularly to keep it running smoothly and properly. Regular updates will also keep your website secure and protected from potential breaches.


Getting Started on Your HOA Website  

An HOA website can help your association meet its many goals and responsibilities. Though it will require some capital, the benefits you get in return make it a worthwhile investment. When getting started on your HOA website, you can look for HOA website examples for inspiration. However, with every website design decision, make sure to consider the specific needs of your community. Choose features that make HOA life easier for both the board and the members.

Need help with your HOA website? The Condo Manager team has the website features you need to make it attractive and fully functional. Feel free to call us at (800) 626-1267 or email us at sales@condomanagerusa.com to learn more about our HOA software solutions.



How Can Collecting HOA Online Payments Help?

Collecting homeowners association payments is a very time-consuming process. Each month, the HOA has to issue invoices, collect fees, process checks, and then deposit them to the bank. If you want more efficient operations, here’s how HOA online payments can help your association.


7 Great Benefits of HOA Online Payments

HOA fees are the financial lifeline of any association. It pays for maintenance and repairs, utilities, vendor services, management fees, salaries, insurance premiums, reserve contributions, and contingency funds. HOA fees ensure that your community runs smoothly and seamlessly.

Collecting HOA fees is harder than it looks, though — especially if your primary modes of payment are cash and checks. Homeowners don’t always pay on time and for those that do, you have to spend time processing their payments and depositing them to the bank. All that time you spend on collecting fees each month could be better spent on more important HOA matters.

It’s time for your community to embrace online HOA payments and here are seven reasons why.


1. More Convenient for Homeowners

Almost everyone is busy with their day-to-day lives. Most homeowners simply do not have the time to visit the management office or the bank to pay their HOA dues. Having an online payment system will make it easier for homeowners to settle their outstanding balances. They can pay HOA dues online from the comforts of their own home and at any time of the day or night.


2. Lower Delinquency Rates

As more homeowners pay HOA fees online, associations can see a significant decrease in their delinquency rates. You can save a lot of valuable time because there are fewer late HOA payments to follow up on. The HOA can also reduce attorney fees and other legal expenses that arise from having to deal with delinquency cases.


3. Reduce Operating Expenses

less HOA operating expense | online hoa paymentsAre you under the impression that having online HOA payments leads to more expenses for the association? It can actually help you save more money!

The average cost of processing a single check is $1.22. By switching to online payments, HOAs can save on labor costs, office supplies, postage fees, fuel costs, and other expenses that come with manual payment processing.


4. Reduce HOA’s Carbon Footprint

HOA online payments can help associations become more eco-friendly. Since the payment process is done digitally, you use less paper and ink. There’s also no need to keep driving to the bank just to deposit checks. All checks are also destroyed after 90 days, which only contributes to landfill waste. As such, online payments can help the HOA reduce its carbon footprint and do its part in saving the environment.


5. More Efficient HOA Operations

HOA online payments help eliminate a lot of time-consuming administrative tasks such as manually collecting payments, sorting through the mail, recording each payment details in your books, and driving to the bank to deposit checks. Instead, board members and managers can devote their time to other tasks that are essential to HOA operations.


6. Easy and Accurate Payment Tracking

Having an online system will make it easier to see whenever homeowners pay HOA fees. You’ll be able to keep track of all financial transactions, as well as monitor the amount coming in and out of your bank accounts. If your website is integrated with HOA software, you may also be able to create financial reports for these monthly online payments.


7. Attract More Homebuyers

online homebuyers | online hoa paymentIn this digital age, an online payment system is expected. If potential homebuyers see that you are still using cash and checks, it will create an impression that your community is outdated and unable to keep up with the times.

Today’s consumers place a lot of importance on modern conveniences when choosing a home to purchase. Thus, an online payment system helps convey that your HOA is up-to-date and properly managed.


How to Choose an Online Payment System for Your HOA

If you’re ready to give your homeowners a way to pay HOA online, it’s time to choose an online payment system for your HOA. There are plenty of available options out there so it’s important a provider that meets your specific needs and budget. For starters, here are some important things to consider.

  • Transaction Fees: Make sure that your online payment system does not have any hidden charges. Some payment systems may have monthly charges while others will charge a nominal fee per transaction.
  • HOA Software Integration: Choose an online payment system that is compatible with your HOA software. This ensures that you’re able to seamlessly transfer payment data or details from the system to your software. Thus, less work and potential headaches for you.
  • Homeowner Accounts: For even more convenience, you can set up password-protected accounts that allow homeowners to pay online, view their payment history, and save payment details. You can even include other features such as easy access to governing documents for better compliance to homeowner association rules — which includes HOA fees and assessments.
  • Multiple Accounts: HOA management companies should choose an online payments system that is able to handle multiple accounts. You can set up payment channels for each HOA that you are managing and have the payments go to the correct bank accounts.


Getting Started on HOA Online Payments

Most associations understand the importance and convenience of HOA online payments but have yet to make the transition due to concerns about costs or available options. By now, though, you’re more familiar with online payments and how they can help your HOA. Since there are many available options, take the time to analyze each payment system to find the most suited for your community.

 Looking to get started with HOA online payments? Do not hesitate to reach out to the Condo Manager team today! Our HOA software comes with digital payment integration for easy and hassle-free online payments. Call us at (800) 626-1267 or email us at sales@condomanagerusa.com for a free demo.