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:
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’ 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.
With 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.
- 9 Non-Negotiable HOA Software Features
- How Can A HOA Management Software Keep Up With Service Requests
- HOA Billing and Payment Processing Made Easier With HOA Software