Best Practices for Submitting HOA Work Orders

The homeowner association (HOA) work order process is critical to keeping a well-maintained community. Submitting accurate, detailed work orders can help preserve the “curb appeal” and value of your community association. Below we have laid out the best practices to follow when submitting work orders to a vendor, so keep reading!

What is Considered a Work Order?

A work order is a request for a service or repair of any community equipment (i.e., pool, volleyball courts, playgrounds, etc.). Work orders can help track, manage and pay for vendor services. They are used by homeowners, property managers, and community managers.

Understanding the difference between a work order and a community improvement is also important to note as these are separate items and should be handled as so. Again, a work order is submitted when something existing needs to be fixed or repaired. A community improvement would be a nice item for the community to have or add to its current amenities. An example of a community improvement would be to add lighting to tennis courts to so it can be used at nighttime. This is not a work order to fix lighting that is already existing, but instead to add lighting that isn’t already there. 

Is There HOA Software That Can Help Manage Work Orders?

Yes! There are many options for HOAs to submit work orders for their community associations. Our software SmartWorkers helps you automate your work order process and help keep everyone informed along the way. Homeowners submit requests online and receive an automated email notifying them that it’s being processed. Staff will review the submission and assign a vendor who will be notified via email, text, or voice message. Then you can easily track work orders with our unique link, so you always know the status.

Our mobile app gives you on-the-go access to view all HOA work orders quicker! Virtual community maps with GPS navigation can route vendors to the item’s exact location. Vendors have immediate access to all information to get started and capture real-time updates with photos that notify everyone of progress.

Best Practices for Submitting HOA Work Orders

When you submit a work order, it’s important to follow these best practices to ensure your request is processed as quickly and efficiently as possible:

Make Sure It’s Detailed

Include as much detail as possible about the nature of the request, how long it has been an issue, how frequently (or infrequently) it occurs, and any other relevant details that may help the vendor understand the problem.

Include Photos

Include photos of the problem area(s). Images are helpful because they provide visual proof of what needs to be addressed and can also help with identification purposes if there are multiple people submitting similar requests for different reasons. Regarding specifically related issues such as interior damage caused by leaks or exterior damage caused by storm damage/wind storms/etc., including photos may also help determine whether additional repairs might be needed.

Include Your Contact Info

Even if you submit a very informative and thorough request, a vendor could still have questions regarding the issue. That’s why it will be important to include the best way to contact you for any questions regarding the work order. 


HOA work orders help your community stay ahead of issues and make sure things are fixed promptly. It will be essential to keep track of any work orders, so your community thrives. Having software in place helps you do it! The process can be automated, so you no longer have to use pen and paper to ensure your issues are resolved. 

Our team would love to show you the power of SmartWorkorders. We will walk you through a detailed demo showing how your community can use our software to solve some of your work order pain points. Contact us today to schedule a demo!


5 Tips For Handling HOA Architectural Requests


HOAs are responsible for maintaining the safety and aesthetics of their neighborhoods. Having a consistent way to deal with your architectural requests will help your community association. You might need residents to get approval before painting their front door a different color or building an addition to their house. We know it can be challenging to keep track of all the architectural requests in your community, so here are some tips for handling your HOA architectural requests! 

Educate Your homeowners On Your Policies

It’s essential to make sure your homeowners are aware of your policies. Ensure that they are fully informed about the rules, expectations of any fees, as well as how to submit requests for their property.

Outline your policies in an easy-to-read document, so it’s not confusing for homeowners. You can minimize the number of rejected requests by simply creating a clear policy document!

Make Sure HOA Architectural Requests Are Uniform

The first thing to consider when managing HOA architectural requests is whether or not they are uniform. Ensure that all architectural requests are submitted in one format, so you can be sure that any request is handled consistently. If the format of your architectural requests is inconsistent, there will be confusion among board members when reviewing them. You also want to make sure that all architectural request forms are clear and easy to read, so no one misses an important detail while reading them.

Make Sure You’re Timely in Your Response

If you have a board member dealing with the request, be sure that they are responsive to residents’ questions and concerns. The quicker you can respond, the better.

It’s also important to let residents know when your board will be reviewing their request and if there will be any delays in making a decision. If it helps, you can set up regular meetings with your Architectural Committee or Board of Directors. This would allow them to make decisions on all requests at once instead of having several people come forward with individual requests that need separate considerations from other projects being considered by the Architectural Committee or Board of Directors. 

Timeliness is critical for handling HOA architectural requests. If you don’t respond to residents about the status of their request within two weeks, they may assume that it’s been rejected, which can lead to frustration and low perception of your responsiveness.

Be Consistent in Approvals and Rejections

It’s important to be consistent in your approach to architectural requests and in the way you communicate decisions. This is especially true for the more common requests, such as changing front door colors, adding shutters or columns, installing a new mailbox post, or adding fencing. If you reject one request because there are too many similar ones already on the street, then it’s important that you also reject subsequent requests for those reasons.

If a homeowner submits an application for approval of plans for an addition or modification and it fails on some technicality (such as not being complete), don’t automatically grant approval just because other homeowners were able to get theirs approved without any problems. You need to maintain consistency so homeowners understand how they can get what they want while staying within HOA guidelines.

Use HOA Software to Help Manage Requests

You can use software to help manage the approval process. HOA Software enables you to track requests, save time and make your life easier!

  • It helps you manage the approval process by tracking all requests uniformly so that everyone knows what’s going on.
  • It also helps with consistency: when using software for approvals, it’s easy to have consistent standards across all projects and homeowners because everything is managed from one central location.
  • Board members will be able to directly vote on architectural requests online from anywhere at any time, making the approval process quicker.
  • Residents will be able to submit architectural requests online from a centralized location and track the progress of their requests from their resident portal.

Are you interested in architectural software? Check out more information about SmartArchitecturals


These tips should help you handle HOA architectural requests more efficiently. We know running an HOA is stressful, but Smartwebs is here to make it easier! With our software, you’ll be able to track, manage, and approve architectural requests from your residents. Schedule a demo with our team. 


What HOA Management Issues Does Software Solve?

HOA management software is a great way to manage the day to day of community association management. It helps you automate many of your tasks and keeps all your information in one place. This software also helps improve resident satisfaction, efficiency, and cost savings.


Accounting can be a daunting task but with HOA software, it is much easier to manage. With software like Smartbooks you’ll be able to:

  • Centralize all of your community documents
  • Easily integrate with your banks
  • Manage all of your accounts in one place

SmartBooks is a cloud-based, bank-integrated accounting software to manage all of your HOA accounts, documents, payments and so much more under one login. Our smart, yet the simple interface is easy to use, which makes managing your community faster than ever before.

Resident Communication

Communication can help create a sense of community and involvement, which are essential to creating a positive environment for residents to live in.

Clear communication is also vital when managing an HOA. To make sure everyone is on board with your plans and that they understand the reasoning behind them, it’s essential to communicate well with your residents from day one. If you focus on good communication from the start, this will continue for the rest of your tenure as an HOA manager—and beyond!

With SmartCommunications, we help you do just that. You can easily text or email your residents with just a couple of clicks. With SmartPortal residents can contact you directly through the software so you can keep better track of your communication with them. 

Amenities Maintenance

Amenities maintenance is one of the larger responsibilities for HOAs and something that can be difficult to manage without a dedicated system in place.

Work order software has several advantages over manual methods of tracking and scheduling maintenance requests:

  • It can track which members have made requests for repairs or improvements on their properties. This means that you won’t have multiple people calling about the same issue or trying to schedule work at the same time—you’ll know exactly who needs what, when they need it and how much time they need before you can get someone out there.
  • The process becomes streamlined because all requests are logged electronically instead of being left on pieces of paper around town where they may get lost or misplaced.

Violation Creation and Tracking 

HOA violation software is a helpful tool for HOAs. It helps you stay organized and keep track of violations in your community. If you want to manage your HOA more effectively, violation software will help you do that!

You can use HOA violation software to:

  • Track violations as they happen. With our mobile app, you will be able to drive the community and easily manage and track violations. You don’t even need cell service! Our offline app will download your community map before you even start your drive and our GPS system will follow you as you’re making your rounds.
  • Automatically send out violation letters. With our Zero-Touch Mailing service, you will be able to send out letters directly to homeowners without printing and stuffing envelopes yourself. Once you’ve completed your community drive and get back to the office you’ll simply process the violations and the system will do the rest!

There are so many issues that can arise when managing an HOA community but having the right systems in place will be a huge asset to you. We recommend outlining your wants and needs for a software provider and then demoing multiple solutions until you find the right fit for your community. We think the clear choice is Smartwebs but ultimately you have to choose the right solution for you. If you’d like to demo our HOA management software, contact our team!


4 Traits of Good HOA Managers

Managing a homeowners association is no joke! As an HOA manager, you need to be able to do everything from scheduling meetings and managing finances to overseeing maintenance and keeping the place safe. A good HOA manager needs many skills—but the good news is that you can learn them all! Here are four of the most important traits of a good HOA manager.

#1. They Can Manage Financials

A good HOA manager will ensure the financials are managed correctly. Handling revenue, expenses, and budgeting is a key part of the job, and it needs to be done well in order for the HOA to function optimally. A good manager will be on top of all financial activities:

  • Determining monthly fees from members
  • Tracking payments from members
  • Creating budgets based on estimated expenses for each year
  • Keeping an eye out for unexpected costs that may arise throughout the year (e.g., if there’s a calamity that causes damage to common areas)

HOA software tools are available to help manage these tasks. For example, SmartBooks offers a complete package with many useful features including:

  • Reporting capabilities
  • Centralize all of your community documents
  • Easily integrate with your banks
  • Manage all of your accounts in one place
  • Residents can see real-time balances

#2. They Communicate Effectively

While effective communication is a vital part of every relationship, it’s especially important for an HOA manager to be able to communicate effectively. This includes communicating with homeowners and board members as well as vendors and contractors. After all, if your HOA manager can’t communicate well, how will they be able to make sure projects get done on time and on budget?

When it comes to good communication skills, it’s always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. It’s also important to have the right tools in place for your HOA manager to easily communicate with homeowners. SmartCommunications helps managers do just that! They can easily email or text residents individually or even send out mass communications to the entire community. 

#3. They Stay Up-to-Date

It’s important for HOA managers to stay up-to-date with changes in the law and industry, so they can provide accurate information to their boards. Regularly attending local seminars and state or national conferences is a great way to acquire continuing education credits. These events also give you the opportunity to meet other people who share your interests, chat with vendors and suppliers who might have new products or resources you need.

Trade publications are an excellent source of news and articles from experts in the field, so make sure you’re subscribed to at least a few of these magazines. The most popular trade magazine for homeowners association professionals is Community Associations Institute (CAI), which has over 45 years’ worth of content addressing topics including but not limited to board management, managing multiple HOAs as a consultant/manager, budgeting/finances, and even using social media effectively when working with your communities.

Lastly, it’s important that HOA managers have a good understanding of the community’s governing documents or covenants—including bylaws, CC&Rs, policies & procedures—and how they relate to state laws regarding homeowner associations. Thorough knowledge of these governing documents will help ensure that the manager abides by them when making decisions on behalf of their HOA boards. You should also know where residents can find copies of these documents if they’re unfamiliar with them; many HOAs post their governing documents on their website for members’ use.

#4. They Know the Rules

The rules in a homeowners association are only as good as their enforcement. If the HOA manager is unable to apply them fairly, they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. The board will establish rules with the best of intentions and they must be enforced consistently in order to keep conflict at bay and to protect the integrity of your neighborhood.

It can be difficult for an HOA manager to keep up with all the rules and regulations (particularly among larger communities where it’s easy for different HOAs to have slightly different bylaws) but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it becomes second nature. Managing violations can be a daunting task but with SmartViolations, it doesn’t have to be! With our HOA software, you can easily track, submit, and report on community violations with just a few clicks. 

You’ve Got This.

HOA management can be a busy job but one that is also rewarding! Having the right HOA software will be key to being a good manager as it will help you do your job more efficiently. Schedule a demo with our team today to see how Smartwebs can help you. 

What is HOA Accounting Software?

What is HOA accounting?

HOA accounting is the bookkeeping, record-keeping, and financial reporting that takes place in homeowners associations (HOAs). HOAs are communities with a governing authority that enforces rules, collects dues, and maintains common areas for residents. This entity is called a Board and can be managed either by volunteers or by a paid HOA management company. If the Board members are unpaid volunteers, they are responsible for performing HOA accounting. If the community uses an HOA management company, then this company is responsible for most of the association’s accounting tasks.

Is it different from regular accounting?

Many of the same financial accounting principles apply to both HOA accounting and traditional accounting, but there are major differences. You can use virtually any software that complies with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to do your HOA’s books, but you’re much better off using software that was specifically designed for HOAs.

HOAs have many financial transactions that are different from regular businesses or individuals. They also have more transactions than most other types of entities and a large number of recurring monthly transactions such as mortgage payments and common area fees. For these reasons, it’s important to use an HOA-specific application if you have this type of entity.

What is HOA accounting software?

HOA accounting software is a comprehensive suite of tools to help you manage the financial accounting needs of your HOA. It’s important to choose the right software that can handle all of your needs, whether you’re just starting out or are an established HOA with many members. There are several key features and benefits to consider when evaluating HOA accounting software.

There is special accounting software for HOAs.

While most accounting software will work for an HOA, there are some products that are specially designed to function in an HOA setting. These products can make managing the finances of your association a much easier process and help you save time by streamlining tasks.

HOA accounting software tends to include basic accounting features, such as general ledger, accounts payable/receivable, invoicing and payment processing, reporting capabilities, and budgeting tools. In addition to these basic features, HOA accounting software can also give members access to view their own financial records through a secure portal.

These special programs can also simplify the process of collecting dues from members by automatically sending out collection notices when payments are late or missing. Some even offer online payment options for community members to pay their dues quickly and easily by credit card or e-check.

Tell me more.

Wondering where you can get software like this? You need SmartBooks! We built our accounting software specifically for HOAs and their distinct needs. Our software will help you manage your books with ease and also easily integrate with our management software to create one single platform to manage your communities. If you’re looking for superior HOA accounting software, schedule a demo with our team today and see the power of SmartBooks.

How to Attract Top Talent for Your HOA Community

Ask Yourself What Makes Your HOA Community Unique

How do you attract top talent to your HOA? Your community’s mission statement, vision, and culture are some of the most important factors determining whether it attracts top talent or repels prospective residents. To get a step ahead of the game, it’s important to consider what makes your community unique. Is it in a desirable location? Is it in a city that’s known for its art scene? A university town? If you’re putting together an ad for potential candidates, ask the following questions to make sure you’re appealing to who you want to be:

  • What is your community’s mission statement and vision?
  • What is the reputation of your community and how has it been established in your market?
  • What are the values that define your community (e.g., caring about family members, environmentalism, etc.)?
  • What is the culture of your community (e.g., we’re a low-key place where people take care of their neighbors)?
  • Who are the current residents and what draws them to live there?

Offer Competitive Benefits to HOA Employees

It can be hard to stand out as an employer and entice qualified candidates in a competitive hiring market. Fortunately, you have a secret weapon: benefits. By offering certain kinds of benefits, you can make your HOA community an attractive place for potential employees to work.

Benefits are something that employees and job seekers value highly in their careers, so offering good benefits is a great way to attract top candidates. As you’re building your list of benefits for HOA employees, include both tangible and intangible options so that there’s something for everyone.

Tangible perks might include paid time off (PTO), paid sick leave, free parking or other transportation reimbursement options, help with continuing education and training expenses, or discounts at local businesses that your employees frequent. Intangible perks might include flexible scheduling options, unlimited vacation days, or a casual dress code. Offering these kinds of benefits may also help you attract younger talent—millennials are especially attracted to workplaces with a flexible culture.

Create Clear Job Descriptions

To attract top talent to your HOA community, you must make sure to have a clear job description posted. Your job description should provide a list of responsibilities and what you expect out of an employee.

Here are some elements to include:

  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Full description of the job
  • Requirements and qualifications needed

Make The Interview Process Smooth, Efficient, and Enjoyable

Now that you have a pipeline of candidates to interview, it’s important to make your interview process as smooth and efficient as possible. Nobody likes interviewing for a job. But with the right approach, your company can make the interview process enjoyable for everyone involved.

Before an interview is scheduled, be sure you’re clear about what the next steps will look like and when they’ll happen—for example if you’ll be doing onsite interviews or phone screens before making a final hiring decision, let candidates know that in advance so they don’t get their hopes up unnecessarily (or worse yet, cancel another potentially better opportunity).

Then, once that candidate has an offer in hand, follow up with them as soon as possible—especially if they’re also interviewing at other places. You want to make sure they have all the information they need to decide while it’s still fresh in their minds.

After an offer is accepted:

  • Be very clear and upfront about when the new person will start working at your company. If there’s a delay in starting due to visa issues or some other external factor (like Covid-19), keep them informed of any changes to this timeline so there aren’t any surprises along the way. If possible send them regular updates on what’s happening until their first day does arrive; this will help build trust between both parties before work even begins!

Consider Working With an Employment Recruiter

  • Consider working with an employment recruiter. An experienced recruiter can help you connect with the best candidates for your HOA’s open positions. They will act as a liaison between you and the highly qualified people who may not be actively looking for a job but would jump at the chance to work for your community association. The recruiter will save you time, as they are able to source potential employees quickly, and money, as they are able to define exactly what qualities in a candidate make them right for your HOA community.

Ready For Your Next Great Employee

Attracting excellent talent to your HOA community can seem challenging, but if you know how to market effectively and build the right team of people, the results are worth it.

To attract top talent to your HOA community, you need to build a strong team. This is not an easy or quick feat, and it will take time and resources, but it’s an important step in building the foundation of your company.

To build this team, you will need to network! Your team should be made up of people who have different skills and experience. Networking helps you find talent that isn’t limited to what’s available on the market right now.

We hope you find your next great employee and that these tips help you do just that. Once you’ve hired the right person, make sure they have the right tools! Smartwebs helps HOA community managers do their job with ease. Schedule a demo with our team today to see what Smartwebs can do for you. 


HOA Communities: 3 Tips for How to Write a Violation Letter Template

The first planned community in the United States is defined by its curvy streets and park-like scenery just outside of Chicago. This planned community modeled the modern HOA communities we see today. In order for these communities to thrive, homeowners have to agree to rules and regulations. When a homeowner breaches that agreement, a violation letter is the first notice. Violation letters can consume the lives of HOA leadership, especially in large communities. That is why you need a simple and thorough violation letter template. Continue reading to learn 3 tips for how to write a violation letter template.

Stay Professional in Tone

Nobody wants to receive a violation letter. What’s worse than a violation letter is one that is poorly written and informal. Your letter needs to be professional. It should be more cover-letter-like. A letter template will standardize your violation letters. This gives the letter a more professional appearance. You should first state the purpose of the letter, give evidence of the violation, then request the needed changes. Many HOAs also include the specific agreement citation to direct homeowners to exactly what they are violating. Written evidence is helpful, but photos are the best evidence. Having a space in your template to easily insert photos will make your templates more effective. Also, every violation letter should provide a reasonable timeframe for making changes. Your letter should not be a fine, but it should request that the homeowner resolve the violation.

Include the Next Steps

After a homeowner has received a violation letter, they need to know what to do. Legally, every homeowner has the right to dispute a violation before being penalized. HOAs are legal entities, which means a homeowner has the right to file a lawsuit against an association if they disagree with their violation. Violations do not always lead to lawsuits though. The first step is a disciplinary hearing if you would like to dispute the violation. Detailing the next steps for homeowners in the letter will ensure your HOA community is communicating well.

Decide How to Record Violations

Your letter template should make filing and sorting violation cases simple and effective. Whether it is a code, organized by property, or kept in a spreadsheet, your violation template should assist your organizational efforts, not harm them. For this reason, many HOA communities will begin with a digital violation letter and work from software or a database. Many HOAs decide to invest in software for its organizational features.

Use Software to Handle Your Violations in HOA Communities

Violation letter templates are difficult to write, which is why many communities prefer to automate the process. For HOA communities who are looking to get paperwork off of their table, using HOA software can make tracking violations simple. If you want a little more automation than a simple template, you should consider SmartViolations. Learn more about how SmartViolations can save you time and stress.


Should I Hire an HOA Management Company?

Self-managed HOA communities rely on their elected board of directors to run their community. They are responsible for dealing directly with homeowners to answer questions, collect HOA fees, issue violations, and so forth. Having a very active and accountable board is crucial to the community’s success. So how should you decide if you should hire an HOA management company to run your community? Read these tips to determine what’s suitable for your association!

What does an HOA management company do?

An HOA management company’s essential duty is to manage the community’s daily operations, including communicating with homeowners, scheduling maintenance, and other administrative work. Your communities board will still be essential, as will the HOA management company. The HOA management company is there to act as your community’s advisor and help run your community smoothly. 

What are the benefits of hiring an HOA management company?

Easier Management

Your HOA board members usually aren’t community association professionals who have been in the industry for years which can make it difficult for them to handle everyday HOA tasks. With an HOA management company, you get experience and expertise in managing a successful community association and can relieve your board members from these duties. They will take over administrative duties such as communicating with homeowners, processing violations, handling arch requests, and property maintenance. 

A management company will also be helpful for your residents as they will have a clearer picture of who to communicate with. They will have a designated point of contact and someone who will respond quickly to their questions. 

Industry Knowledge

A management company will also help your community be less risky by following all the rules and regulations to comply with the law. Having this industry knowledge will be a tremendous benefit for your association!

Are there disadvantages to hiring an HOA management company?

There are always disadvantages to having someone take over your community’s management, but do the pros outweigh the cons?

Increase in Costs

Hiring a management company will increase your costs for your association as you’ll have to pay for this service. You can increase your HOA fees to cover this cost, but your residents might not be happy with this decision. 

Less Control

While your board is still in control of all the crucial decisions for your HOA, hiring a management company can decrease the board’s governance. If your board is very involved and worried about their duties reducing this could be a disadvantage. However, you can help mitigate this by ensuring the management company and the board are on the same page.

Self-Managed HOA vs. HOA Management Company: Which should I choose?

The answer is: it depends! If your community is small and operating efficiently, it might be unnecessary to have a management company. However, it could be a great option if your board members are struggling with the responsibilities and your community is large enough to cover the cost. If you’re looking at hiring a management company, read this article to guide you on doing this correctly!


Either way, remember that Smartwebs can help you or your management company. With our software, you’ll be able to easily manage your association’s violations, arch requests, work orders, and even accounting. Get a demo of our software to see how Smartwebs can help you!


How to Hire the Right Property Manager for Your HOA

Hiring the right property manager for your HOA community is crucial to your community’s success. These managers are the face of your HOA and are integral parts of the maintenance and care of the property and residents. Having a caring, proactive, organized, and responsive manager is key to making a great community. Follow these tips to help you hire the right property manager for your HOA association!

Determine Responsibilities

Before you can find the right individual, you need to understand what responsibilities they will have in the community. A common and, in most cases, most important task will be homeowner management. This includes answering questions homeowners might have, communicating with them about events, helping them submit architectural requests, and answering violation questions. Excellent communication is crucial, so you want to ensure you have the right tools in place. SmartCommunications allows you to send messages to homeowners in a few clicks! Tag residents into different groups to help send targeted messages out to your community and make communication that much easier.

Managing violations will be a large part of an HOA manager’s job. This will include creating violations, sending out violation letters, and communicating with homeowners. Managing violations can be extremely time-consuming, so having software like SmartViolations will significantly benefit a property manager. Managers will be able to map, submit, and report on violations making it simple to stay organized. 

Vendor management is another responsibility of an HOA manager as they will get bids, hire vendors, and follow up as needed. With software like SmartWorkorders, you can schedule maintenance with your preferred vendors, track the progress, and pay them directly. This helps everyone stay informed on what maintenance is being performed, and with the mobile app, vendors can directly track their progress. 

These are just a few duties of an HOA manager, and there are many more, so it’s important to understand what they will be doing so you can hire the right candidate. If you want a more comprehensive list of HOA manager duties, you can visit!

Licensing and Credentials 

Does your state require property managers to have some sort of license, certification, or other credentials? Make sure they have them! Even if your state doesn’t require them, it’s a great benefit to hiring someone with industry knowledge as it means they are invested in the industry. In your application, you can simply ask each candidate to input their specific licenses/certifications they have acquired. 

Speak with Their References

References can be a benefit to anyone searching for the perfect candidate. You only see what comes across on their resume or interviews, so speaking with individuals who have previously worked with the candidate can be insightful. Have each candidate give you one to two references for you to reach out to during the interview process, and make sure you look at the references to make sure they have previously worked together. 

Conflict Resolution Skills

Asking personality questions will help you see if the candidate is a good fit for your position. One of the most essential aptitudes for any property manager is conflict resolution skills. We know dealing with angry homeowners, tracking down vendors, and communicating with many different people can be challenging. You want to make sure this individual has excellent problem-solving and communication skills. Asking them to give examples of difficult situations they had to resolve or handling conversations in challenging scenarios will help you better understand your candidates. 

Hiring the right manager for your HOA community can take time, but it will be rewarding in the end! Property managers are a great asset to your community and can help the perception of the HOA in your resident’s eyes. Once you’ve got the right manager in place, make sure you have the right tools as well! Smartwebs’ all-in-one platform can help managers run their communities smoothly. Violations, Architecturals, Work Orders, Communications, Resident Portal, and Accounting management are all at your fingertips. 

Schedule a demo with our team and see how Smartwebs can help you manage your communities smarter. 

How to Explain Your HOA Community Fee Increase

It isn’t news most homeowners want to hear: that assessments might increase. But sometimes, a fee increase is the best way to keep an association in good financial health, and sometimes, increases are unavoidable. Here are some of the reactions homeowners typically have when they hear that their fees are about to increase, followed by the related rationales for an increase.

“I can’t afford the increase.”

When you live in an association, you need to be willing to share the costs, as described in the governing documents you agreed upon in escrow. Keep in mind that if the association does not maintain its property, real-estate values can decline.

“I probably won’t be living here in 15 years when the streets need repaving. Why should I have to pay now?”

Senior citizens and young people living in condos they consider to be starter homes often pose this question. The problem with this “short-timer” logic is that these people are themselves benefiting from the use of the streets, pool, and other shared assets paid for by members who lived there before. Members should pay for the incremental use of these items each year they live there.

“Why don’t we just have a special assessment for a specific project?”

It can be difficult to collect money when you suddenly have a significant expense. It’s better to obtain it gradually, so the funds are there when you need them. Also, a special assessment unfairly penalizes homeowners who happen to live in the association at the time.

We hope this helps you combat some common questions when fee increases happen in your associations. With SmartCommunications, you can get ahead of these questions by sending out notifications via text, email, or voicemail to your community. Not currently using SmartCommunications? Schedule a demo at


Why You Want to Use Professional Landscapers as a Community

Maintaining common areas is one of the board’s most basic responsibilities. To fulfill that responsibility, it’s a good idea to hire professional landscapers.

These fees may seem like an added or even unnecessary expense, but the additional cost will be less than the losses you would face without professional help in the long run.

Consider the advantages:

Professional Expertise

It takes more than a green thumb to maintain attractive and functional landscaping. A contractor employs experienced staff and trained labor crews. This expertise translates into a cost-effective and successful landscape maintenance program for your community.

Bulk Purchase Savings

A landscape contractor purchases plants and supplies in bulk quantities at reduced prices and can pass the savings along to your community.

No Equipment to Buy or Maintain

The association doesn’t have to purchase, store, insure, maintain, or buy fuel for equipment.

Improved Plant Survival

Trees, turf, shrubs, and other plantings are costly. Without proper care, they don’t survive, especially immediately after installation. A landscaper will guarantee newly planted shrubs and trees, so you don’t have to pay for replacing dead plants.

Reduced Liability

An association’s landscape contractor is appropriately insured and knowledgeable about and compliant with all local and federal environmental requirements and safety regulations. Your contract should shift the responsibility to the contractor and reduce the association’s liability.

Landscaping is essential to a community’s quality of life, its image, and its value. However, maintaining it can be costly. Is it worth an association paying for these services? Yes! Failing to invest in professional landscape maintenance is a false economy because curb appeal makes a neighborhood desirable and contributes to the value of your homes.

Did you know with the release of SmartBooks, you can pay contractors directly? No more managing payments in different systems! One login, one platform. Schedule your demo today at!

How to Prepare Your HOA Community for 2022

The new year is right around the corner, and we want to make sure your HOA community is prepared for 2022! With more and more new HOA communities being built every year, associations need to continue to adapt to changes and prepare for a stronger and better future. Having goals in place for what you want to achieve in the new year will be crucial for your HOA success, and we hope these tips can help you accomplish them.

Minimize Common Violations

Do you have a common violation that residents are always getting fined for? Let’s minimize that! Firstly, you need to figure out what the most common violation is. With our SmartViolations software, you can run a report to see what violations were most common in the last year, so you can work to reduce them. A typical response to a violation is “I didn’t know,” so getting proper communication out to your community about your top violations can help keep your residents up to date on all information. Your community documents can be long and difficult for your community members to read, so having an easily explained document can be a great asset to add to your library. Now that your residents are informed, an important next step is to enforce the violations consistently. This will help reduce the chances of them occurring multiple times.

Prepare a Budget

A budget is crucial to your association’s success as it affects not only the financial health of the community but also the physical health. A well-planned budget can make sure your residents feel confident in their community and ultimately that their HOA dues are being put to good use. Budgeting also helps residents understand if their dues increase, where the money is going and why it’s necessary, helping reduce the unhappiness of the property owners when this happens. Having a plan with clear budget goals will help set your community apart! Need accounting software? Our newest software, Smartbooks, can easily help you manage your community books.

Prepare a Maintenance Plan

Maintenance is essential for your community, and having a plan to prepare for any upcoming or unexpected maintenance needs will be crucial to your community’s success. Repairing items before they can help reduce your overall spending as you can plan for the fix, control the damage it causes, and help with the longevity of the equipment. Seasonal tune-ups to prepare for winter and summer are also great additions to your maintenance plans so you can check on your equipment and keep them running smoothly. Residents will love that you are proactive about the community and that the association is mitigating unexpected closures.

Make Sure You Have The Right Tools in Place

Is your community set up for success? We believe you need the right tools in place to be. With software like Smartwebs, you can reduce how much time you are spending on processing violations, architectural requests, and work orders so you can focus on other essential tasks. Communicating to your residents about community events, new laws, and important messages is key to keeping residents informed and happy. With our communications software, you can send mass communications to your community, updating them via email, text, or both! Our resident portal allows residents to submit architectural requests online, message property managers directly, and see any current violations on their property. Great tools help you manage your communities smarter and efficiently, so let us help you do that! Schedule a demo with our team today to see how our tools can help you.

We hope these tips help you prepare for the upcoming year and set your communities up for success. Smartwebs is here to partner with your HOA communities to help you achieve more, so contact our team today for a personalized demo on how our software can do just that.