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5 Benefits of a Homeowner Online Portal

Modern-day technology has allowed for a myriad of advancements in the condo and HOA management sphere. One such advancement is a homeowner online portal, a tool that has made leaps and bounds in helping associations everywhere.


What Are the Benefits of a Homeowner Online Portal?

Technology has come a long way in the last 30 years and has changed our lives in a major way. In fact, the past decade alone saw progress in various fields such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.

Social media is ubiquitous, a fixed presence in the online world. Businesses rely on technology now more than ever, and community associations are no exception.

Homeowners and condominium associations have largely depended on manual processes and physical copies of documents. The advent of online portals, HOA software, and websites, though, has made a huge difference in the way these associations are managed.

Making the switch can feel daunting, especially for an association that has primarily employed a traditional system. But, a homeowner website portal does pose many advantages. If you are hesitant to transition to a digital format, here are some benefits of a homeowner online portal to convince you:


1. Convenience

One of the most obvious benefits of homeowner online accounts is convenience. Setting up an online portal where homeowners can access various information is useful for all parties involved — HOA management, board members, and homeowners.

By simply logging on to their accounts, homeowners can view their ledger and account balance as well as manage their contact details. No more jumping through hoops and submitting a sundry of request letters. All you need is a stable internet connection, and everything is just a few clicks away.


2. Security

It is only natural for homeowners and HOA managers to feel concerned about privacy and security. There are so many horror stories about software and websites getting hacked, with personal data leaking. However, these kinds of stores are few and far between.

In truth, homeowner online portals and websites are very secure. Developers put in a lot of work to create security protocols and privacy measures, such an SSL encryption, that will safeguard user information. Servers also typically have numerous firewalls and off-site backup drives to protect end-users. Additionally, accessing such online portals will require homeowners to input a user ID and password that are unique to each user.


3. Control Information

The ability to control information is a chief concern among HOA management companies. Such companies usually have multiple clients, with every user having their own homeowner online account. The beauty of an online portal is that the HOA management company can adjust its settings and set which information to publish for all owners to see.

There is also a function that allows the company to specify which items are for managers only, board members only, or for everyone. That means, if something is confidential (like a delinquency report), the company can hide it from homeowner accounts and leave it open for managers and board members only.


4. Make Dues Payment a Breeze

How many times have associations fallen short on income because homeowners forgot to pay their dues? A homeowner’s online portal gets rid of the middleman and streamlines the assessment collection/payment process.

Homeowners can simply log on to their accounts and settle their fees with a few clicks. This will greatly lower the delinquency rate in an association and increase homeowner engagement, to boot.


5. Lighten the Load of HOA Management

Managing an association is no joke. It involves a lot of time, hard work, and patience. With the use of a homeowner online portal, though, HOA management can look forward to a lighter load.

Aside from effortless dues collection, a website can make communication easier, improving the relationship between the homeowners and management. Moreover, since homeowners now have access to everything they need, such as personal data and association documents, this equates to fewer phone calls and emails requesting for such information.


Connecting Homeowner Accounts With HOA Management Software

A homeowner online portal is beneficial for both the association and the HOA management company. However, it is not a complete package. For that, you will need an HOA management software that comes with all the bells and whistles, such as report generation, accounting, and processing of receivables and payables.

It is a good idea to connect homeowner online accounts directly to the HOA software. This way, management can streamline processes and close the gap between the two programs. You can painlessly send information from one software to the other.

Not all developers offer both programs, though. Some associations or management companies utilize an online portal from one developer and management software from another. However, there are developers that offer both programs, making it easier to integrate the two.


Educate Homeowners on the Online Account Portal

While homeowner portals do provide plenty of advantages, they are virtually useless without proper education. An association or HOA management company that opts to use a website or portal should take the necessary steps to teach all community members how to use it.

Some homeowners may be able to teach themselves, but not everyone has a sufficient understanding of the way technology works, especially the older demographic.

To make sure the investment does not go to waste, it is important to guide your homeowners to learn how to use the online portal. This means scheduling training sessions, creating an educational video, and handing out pamphlets with detailed instructions. Associations can even distribute these instructions via the community newsletter. The effort will pay off in the end.


The Bottom Line

From convenience and security to making administrative work a breeze, the benefits of a homeowner online portal are clear. Both the association’s members and HOA management companies can gain from the use of such portals. Apart from practicality, online portals and websites add to customer retention for HOA management companies and homeowner satisfaction for HOA boards.

If your association or HOA management company requires an effective and reliable homeowner online portal, Condo Manager has everything you need. Call us at 800-626-1267 to learn more about our services. Alternatively, you can fill out an online form or schedule a free demo of our product.



Homeowner Online Account: How To Improve User Experience

From access to various information to easy dues payments, a homeowner online account can help members of an HOA in many ways. The challenge is finding the right one that meets your standards.


Key Features of a Homeowner Online Account Portal

The modern world is always online. People expect instant access to information whenever and wherever they are. The idea that someone would have to call or email a request for something as simple as an account balance and then wait for a response is, frankly, unacceptable for most people today. A homeowner web portal, though, makes for an easy solution.

When considering which software to use for your homeowners or condo association, always remember the following integral features of the homeowner web portal:


1. Security

Security is a feature that you shouldn’t overlook. Because HOAs often deal with sensitive and confidential information, it’s paramount to make sure such information remains secure. Thus, when you’re considering your options, look for a homeowner online account portal that offers SSL encryption to protect your data.

Your provider’s servers should have several firewalls and redundant hard drives. It’s also important to have an offline backup in case of corrupted or hacked data.

In addition, every association member should have their own unique user ID and password. For management companies with numerous HOAs under their guidance, it’s critical to have a separate online portal login page for every HOA.


2. Account and Contact Information

Homeowners should have the ability to view their account information as well as manage their contact details. This way, if they need to change anything — such as their phone number, emergency contacts, or email address — they can do so straight from their computer. This will allow your HOA to remain up-to-date on all critical homeowner information.


3. Account Balance and Online Payments

homeowners association dues payment | online homeowner portalHomeowners’ lives don’t revolve around the HOA. They have personal and professional lives that take up most of their time. Therefore, it can often be difficult to keep track of unpaid dues.

Your homeowner web account portal should allow homeowners to view their account balance and make payments online. This level of convenience is beneficial for both homeowners and the HOA as it can reduce the number of delinquencies as a result of forgotten payments.


4. Request Management

Gone are the days of printing out forms and manually filling them out to make service or architectural requests. Your homeowner web account portal should have a request management feature.

With this feature, homeowners should have the ability to make requests using their accounts. These requests then go straight to management or the board for review and approval or denial. Requesting homeowners should also be able to view the status of their requests with ease.


5. Communication Tools

Your homeowner portal should allow you to send reminders or notices to homeowners, whether it’s a mass message or meant for individual members. Some providers even have customizable, built-in templates that you can use. A portal with integrated communication tools will make it easier for all parties because they can access everything all in one place.


6. Conduct Surveys

It’s often difficult to acquire feedback from homeowners, especially if you have a large community with hundreds of members. Your homeowner’s online account portal should allow you to conduct surveys en masse. This way, you can obtain suggestions from homeowners or gauge how they feel about a particular change. You don’t even need to print out the questionnaires and physically hand them out. Save time and money with a digital portal.


7. Community Event Management

Community events are only fun if attendance is high. But, how can you ensure attendance when your members don’t even know that an event is coming up? Your online portal should allow you to post upcoming community events, complete with all the necessary details. Homeowners can then view these events using their individual accounts.


8. Community Documents Access

One of the hallmarks of a great online homeowner portal is document management. Your portal should let you upload and store important community documents, such as your meeting minutes and governing documents.

Homeowners should then have the ability to view and download these documents as they wish. Of course, that doesn’t mean all HOA documents should be available to them. Sensitive or confidential documents must remain protected and for management’s eyes only.


9. Permission Controls

Obviously, sensitive information like account balances, ledgers, and violation notices should not be freely available for anyone to see. However, this kind of information is still extremely valuable to the people it pertains to and should be easy to access.

That’s why your homeowner online account should include a robust account system that makes it easy to determine who sees what. You should have the ability to tag someone as a board member or a regular member of the community.

Beyond that, you should be able to control what each user is allowed to do, such as add new information, approve a request, view financial statements, and the like. Typically, only board members and HOA managers are privy to confidential or sensitive data. In the same way, only homeowners should have access to their own information. Other than that, your homeowner online portal should give you the ability to grant access to the permissions system.


Benefits of an Online Homeowner Portal

If you still feel on the fence about investing in a homeowner portal, take the following benefits into consideration:


1. Round-the-Clock Access to Information

The largest advantage of a web portal is the ease of access to various information and documents. Rather than getting in touch with the board, community manager, or support department, association members can download and read these documents online whenever they want.

This ease of access is great for both the community members and the support members who would otherwise be taking their call. They can make better use of their time by addressing more pressing issues.


2. Convenience

homeowner's association member online account | homeowner web portalWith an online portal, homeowners have an easier time completing HOA-related activities. There’s no need to do things the manual way, which is more time-consuming.

For instance, a homeowner online account makes it more convenient to pay HOA dues. You can send scheduled reminders or notices to homeowners, which they can see immediately. They can view their account balance and settle any overdue payments.

Another area a portal can help with is service requests. Homeowners can quickly make a service or architectural request without having to physically file the paperwork. All they need to do is enter their resident portal login information and navigate to the service they need.


3. Stay Up-to-Date

Once documents are written, they don’t always stay the same. As communities grow and need to tackle new challenges, the governing documents are often edited to meet them. To make sure everyone is following the same rules and guidelines, it’s important for them to have access to the most up-to-date version of all documents. The same is true for personal account information like balances and violations.

Automated, scheduled updates easily address this problem. Just make sure the most recent documents are always in the system, and your HOA management software or portal does the rest.


The Best Homeowner Online Portal for You

A homeowner online account portal is a great way to connect to your community, keep association members up-to-date, and streamline otherwise time-consuming processes. Rather than calling support and waiting around for a response, they can conveniently access all their information from a single, secure location.

Condo Manager offers the best HOA management software for communities of any size. Our comprehensive homeowner online account portal comes with all the features detailed above. Reap the benefits of our sophisticated management solutions today. When you are ready to upgrade your community’s online presence, request a demo or give us a call at (800)-626-1267.



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.