HOA Budgeting Best Practices

HOA Budgeting Best Practices

The fiscal year is coming to a close for HOAs and community associations. Thus, HOA budgeting season is in swing. Some HOA boards may find it enjoyable to freshen up the data each year, but the majority find it to be rather stressful.

This article will discuss financial habits that every board should practice, a step-by-step budgeting process to ensure that funds are allocated effectively, and when hiring a property management business to help with the process makes sense.

Four Best HOA Budgeting Practices

These financial habits are great for every HOA or community board, regardless of your budget, the size of your area, or where you live.

#1: Reserve Funds

The best advice is occasionally the most basic. This is the situation. Make sure the board doesn’t overextend its resources and find itself in trouble. How? Don’t blow your entire budget.

Keeping money in reserve gives room for unforeseen events. HOA fees should account for all of these factors, which include the size of your community, the types of units on the property, and the services you provide. The precise amount varies widely based on these factors.

#2: Financial Reporting

It has never been simpler to maintain accurate documentation of board actions. Make sure the HOA board treasurer maintains thorough records of all financial transactions and extensive notes. While the budgeting and finances remain transparent, intelligible, and intact, detailed reporting makes it simple to rotate board members and bring in new ones.

#3: Auditing

You should always be ready when dealing with the IRS. You could be surprised by an audit when you least expect it. Make sure you’re prepared in case they ring your doorbell (knock on wood).

#4: Insurance

Every year, check your board’s insurance policy to make sure you have the protection you require. Always take precautions to protect the board and the area in case the worst happens.

HOA Budgeting: Step-by-Step

If the budgeting procedure for your HOA board is unclear or excessively complicated, start by simplifying it into four straightforward stages.

Create. To construct a preliminary draft, use the budget from past years—or, if your board is new, from similar communities. Usually, the HOA board treasurer is in charge of this duty.

Review. The board should gather together when the draft is finished to debate the budget, make any necessary adjustments, and approve the draft.

Prioritize. What are the priorities of the board? The board will determine what is reasonable for the fiscal year. Prioritize what needs to be done now above what can wait until later in the future.

Research. It is now time to conduct real-time price research once priorities have been established and the budget draft has been approved. Although the budget draft may provide pricing estimates, nothing is finalized before the board obtains quotes for the services and projects.

Hire. When your research is finished and the board gives its approval, it’s time to sign contracts with suppliers and other contractors.

Reserve. Finally, you’ll have some unspent money in your annual budget because you’ve undoubtedly been adhering to the first best practice outlined above. It’s time to allocate those funds to the following:

  • Deduct. In case of need, set aside a percentage of your reserves to cover insurance deductibles.
  • Legal. Reserve the remaining funds for any future legal costs.

Responsible budgeting is the first step to financial success.

Every HOA must prepare its budget. You must work as a team and take into account all potential elements when creating an HOA budget. You run the danger of becoming bankrupt if you don’t create a budget. A poor budget strategy may result in incorrectly estimated HOA dues, which may subsequently trigger special assessments or the depletion of reserves. Repairs and upkeep suffer from a lack of funds. You will soon see declining property values and dissatisfied homeowners.

Planning a budget is essential to an HOA’s performance, but it does not end there. Additionally, you will need to make sure that you adhere to the budget all year long.

Part of successful HOA management, financial reporting, and budgeting is using great community association software. Schedule a demo with our team and see how Smartwebs can help you manage your communities smarter. 

How to solve common homeowners association parking issues

HOA Parking Rules: How to solve common homeowners association parking issues

Homeowners associations frequently dispute the HOA parking rules and regulations. Understanding what regulations the HOA can and cannot enforce, however, is essential to finding solutions to parking-related problems.

Establishing and enforcing HOA parking rules and regulations

In order to maintain peace in the community, residents of HOAs are required to follow a number of regulations. However, one of the most contentious HOA laws frequently has to do with parking. It is easy to understand why given that there are around 273.6 million registered motor vehicles in the US.

The first thing your board must do when enforcing homeowners association parking regulations is consulting your governing documents. What your HOA parking regulations are should be spelled out in black and white in your CC&Rs. Your rules should be clear and unambiguous, with no opportunity for misunderstanding. When drafting your parking regulations, be sure to use precise wording so that residents are aware of what to expect.

It might be challenging to balance HOA parking while keeping residents happy. However, since the HOA was established to manage the neighborhood, you must make it clear to every member that these regulations are for the association’s benefit.

Common HOA Parking Rules

What standard parking regulations may a homeowners’ association have? Norms might differ from one group to another. However, HOAs often enforce restrictions regarding what kinds of cars can and can’t be parked inside the neighborhood, as well as where vehicles may park, how long they can remain there, and for how long they can park there.

  • Vehicle Restriction The majority of HOAs have particular regulations regarding the kinds of vehicles that may or may not be parked within the neighborhood. Most localities have restrictions on certain types of vehicles, including RVs, trailers, boats, and junk cars. This is carried out to uphold the property’s value and the visual attractiveness of the neighborhood.
  • Parking locations Most organizations have policies about owner-occupied parking spaces. These regulations are frequently established by the community’s CC&Rs and frequently change from community to community. Typically, homeowners must park in their garage or driveway. Each homeowner is entitled to a specific number of parking spaces. Most residences have a limit of two parking spaces.
  • Parking duration The last of the most typical types of parking regulations concerns how long residents may leave their vehicles in a certain location before they are forcibly removed. If the HOA has a common parking space, for instance, the board could let cars park there for a limit of 24 hours. The HOA may take action if the owner goes beyond that limit. Associations take this action to prevent an accumulation of abandoned automobiles in the neighborhood.

In other instances, organizations could restrict parking to homeowners and to certain times and locations. For instance, only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. may homeowners park in the clubhouse parking lot.

Frequently asked questions regarding HOA parking restrictions and regulations

Can the HOA limit parking on public streets? 

The HOA may prohibit parking on the street. Whether the street is public or private will determine this. Associations typically lack control over public streets. Therefore, unless state laws specifically prohibit it, they are unable to specify whether or not members may park there. When a crime takes place on a public roadway, law enforcement is in charge. In contrast, HOAs are free to control parking on community-owned private streets.

What determines whether a roadway is public or private? A street is considered public if it is open to use by non-HOA members or the general public. The government is in charge of maintaining public streets. Private streets, on the other hand, are exclusively accessible to HOA members and are maintained by the HOA.

Could an HOA restrict how many vehicles you can park?

Although homeowners associations have no say over how many cars a homeowner owns, they do have a say over how many cars are parked in the neighborhood. Most individuals are only allowed to own two automobiles; thus, they must find parking space somewhere for their other vehicles.

Is the HOA permitted to require you to park in your garage? 

Although it may seem unjust, the HOA has the right to require you to keep your car in your garage. Associations typically take this action in regard to automobiles that don’t adhere to their standards or are forbidden in the neighborhood. It’s important to maintain the beauty and make the neighborhood aesthetically pleasing.

How can an HOA better enforce vehicle regulations?

Enforce towing of vehicles

Most board members have the authority to tow vehicles that break community regulations; however, this varies from community to community.

Your board should start by notifying the homeowner through a violation notice that they may be towed if they fail to cooperate within 96 hours. Additionally, you must tell the local traffic police within an hour after authorization and provide the towing operator with documented authorization.

Revoking community amenity privileges 

Some HOA boards may be able to temporarily revoke an owner’s rights to parking or utilizing community amenities, depending on state laws and the association’s CC&Rs. However, this kind of enforcement is only applied to persistent offenders.

Enforcing community speed limits 

Generally, homeowners associations have the authority to set speed restrictions inside the community, as long as they only apply to private streets and are permitted under your CC&Rs. However, be sure that the posted speed restriction does not clash with any local laws. If so, you are unable to enforce it.

How to fix common HOA parking concerns

Parking issues arise in any organization. The key is to develop a plan and process for dealing with them. The following are HOA parking solutions for some of the most typical parking problems:

Limited resident parking If there is insufficient space for residents to park, you can turn some visitor parking spaces into resident parking. This is assuming that you reside in a neighborhood where the HOA controls the common spaces.

Residents occupying guest spaces. All residents must be informed if this is not permitted in their neighborhood, and signs indicating this must be posted. Imposing penalties and revoking rights is a successful strategy for reducing this kind of activity. If the issue is severe enough, you may even need to enforce towing.

Limited guest parking If you reside in a planned community, you have the right to charge visitors who wish to park in guest spaces a parking fee. As an alternative, you might mandate that visitors get HOA parking permits. You’ll be able to stop arguments among owners by doing this. To find out if you have this authority, be careful to review your governing papers.

Insufficient parking for the handicapped. You must make accommodations for residents with disabilities in accordance with the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Make sure there is accessible parking for those with disabilities. If that isn’t practicable, try to redesign the area to make it more accessible for residents with disabilities.

Smartwebs can help

Do you need HOA software to assist you in getting work done and relieve your workload? We’ve got you. To help operate a successful community association, Smartwebs provides an all-in-one solution for community association management and accounting. 

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

What are HOA CC&Rs and how are they enforced

What are HOA CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions)? 

When homeowners reference HOA CC&Rs, they are referring to either of two things:

  • The rules of a planned community 
  • The HOA document is called the Declaration of CC&Rs. 

If you live in a community with a homeowners’ association, you must follow the rules in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.

HOA communities have their own rules, usually described in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions is a legal document that specifies all of the HOA community’s laws and regulations. Typically, the Declaration of CC&Rs is filed with the county recorder’s office. It forms part of the land’s and community’s official real estate records.

The goal of these rules is to protect property values in the community. However, this can be frustrating if you want to change your home.

Though most rules are easy to agree with, there are some that might interfere with your plans or seem unreasonable. But it’s worth pushing through those and obeying them because the consequences of breaking them really aren’t worth it. Not to mention, by adhering, you are helping to maintain the beauty and value of your home and community. 

Maybe you want to park your car on the street and convert your garage into storage space. Your HOA may enforce CC&Rs that prohibit street parking or restrict what can be done with garage space. Perhaps you want to build a deck or add a pool. After reading the CC&Rs, you may discover that pools or decks are not permitted in your community. 

HOAs can and should enforce CC&Rs in accordance with the laws of that state and community regulations. Not adhering to the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of your community can result in penalties and fines. 

Common CC&Rs in Community Associations 

Real estate CC&Rs generally include limitations and regulations such as:

Property Maintenance. Your community association’s CC&Rs may require you to mow your lawn on a regular basis. Alternatively, the CC&Rs may stipulate that you cannot allow the siding of your house to become dingy or for the paint to peel. Some HOA communities may provide landscaping and home maintenance services, such as power washing or exterior painting. Other HOAs will require residents to handle these tasks on their own. 

Home decor. Depending on your community’s CC&Rs, the regulations for exterior home decor can be simple or complex. Typically, the goal is to maintain a clean and sometimes uniform look in the community. What colors or shades you may use to paint the house could also be governed by various CC&Rs.

Pet rules and restrictions.

HOA pet policies (CC&Rs) can include, but not be limited to, the following:

Pet registration.

HOAs first need to know how many pets exist in their community before they can properly enforce CC&Rs. Before moving in, associations may require new homeowners to register their pets. Before getting a new pet, current residents should also fill out pet registration documents. Community associations may have restrictions on certain breeds of dogs as well.

The HOA can keep track of all the domestic animals in their neighborhood thanks to pet registration. They can simply pursue homeowners who disobey the pet policy. Additionally, it makes it simpler to monitor the annual rabies vaccinations of pets.

Pet waste cleanup.

One of the most prevalent issues in pet-friendly associations is animal waste. Animal waste may be hazardous and toxic if it is left unmanaged in public spaces.

Consider requiring all residents to tidy up after their pets and properly dispose of their waste when creating your HOA dog poop bylaws.

To promote adherence to the rules, the HOA may provide bags and garbage cans around the neighborhood. You can even choose to impose fines on property owners who fail to pick up after their dogs.

Some HOAs may even require you to submit a DNA sample of your pet for testing of pet waste that is found unattended in order to help enforce pet CC&Rs. 

Dog barking rules. 

What solutions does an HOA have for noisy dogs? Dogs occasionally bark and create noise, but not constantly or loud enough to irritate the neighbors. Therefore, one of your HOA dog regulations may be to ask residents to report any issues with continuous barking to the management. If a pet is unable to go to sleep at night, it may need to be brought inside.

The HOA should speak with the pet owner upon receiving concerns. They frequently have no idea there is an issue. They can brainstorm solutions to noise issues together.

Pet leashing rules. 

Your HOA can require pets to be kept on a leash when walking in the neighborhood. Unleashed animals can be harmful not only to themselves since they run the risk of becoming lost or getting into traffic, but also to other members of the neighborhood.

There are several situations that can make an aggressive pet aggressive, even if they aren’t naturally aggressive. This may cause a catastrophic battle that hurts both people and animals.

The HOA might build a dog park as a middle ground where animals may run about unrestrained. If your neighborhood allows pets, having this feature might be quite tempting.

Parking regulations. 

The community association’s CC&Rs may specify how to park in front of a residence. For instance, your HOA parking rules and regulations may prohibit street parking and control overnight visitor parking. 

Trash can storage.

Trash cans, utility meters, and clotheslines may need to be covered or suitably hidden from view, according to the CC&Rs of your community. 

Of course, the HOA may also have additional requirements. The CC&Rs may, among other things, limit the height of your fence, require a defensible space for fire safety measures, or forbid political posters.

What Are Resolutions?

“Resolutions” are additional rules and regulations that an HOA adopts.

CC&R Inspections

The CC&Rs can be enforced through regular inspections or community drives. An HOA manager often conducts such inspections, checking to see how closely properties adhere to the association’s rules and notifying owners of any potential infractions.

Any homeowner who has infractions discovered on their property will be subsequently notified of community violations. On the following inspection, managers will check to see if the problems have been corrected.

Penalties for violating HOA CC&Rs

When escrow is closed on a property in a planned community, the buyer often signs a number of documents, one of which states that they have read the CC&Rs and agree to abide by them. The CC&Rs are often upheld by the HOA, which may fine you if you violate them.

Penalties for violating community association CC&Rs may include:

  • Verbal warnings or written violation letters. Most organizations will begin with an announcement, either vocal or written. Such a notice’s objective is to inform the resident that they have broken a specific CC&R and to request that they remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
  • Fines. Residents who don’t resolve the problem might be subject to one-time fines or costs for each day it goes unattended. Some HOAs may additionally charge for the labor and supplies the association used to resolve the issue on its own.
  • Amenity suspension. Failing to adhere to community association CC&Rs can result in a loss of access to community amenities such as pools, gyms, and other common areas.
  • Lawsuits. Last but not least, the association may go to court and ask the judge to order a resident to resolve the issue.

Example. Let’s say you have a huge dog despite a restriction stating that a community’s maximum pet weight is 30 pounds. You may face a fine in addition to being ordered to move or give up your dog. Don’t depend on the rules changing, as that is typically rare.

So, before purchasing a house in a planned community, read the CC&Rs.

Do HOA CC&Rs expire?

They usually do.

Naturally, the state legislature will have a significant impact on how long CC&Rs may last before being renewed or changed. However, when that time has passed, the association must vote on whether to continue or end the CC&Rs.

Covenants would naturally expire and cease to be binding if, for any reason, the association didn’t carry such a vote.

HOA Dues and Assessments

Homeowners often need to pay yearly or monthly dues as well as sporadic special assessments to the HOA

The CC&Rs outline the many sorts of payments that the community requires, the procedures for special assessments, and the consequences of not paying, including late fees and interest.

What happens if you do not pay HOA dues or fines?

Failure to pay HOA dues or fines can result in a lien or the foreclosure of your home. Typically, this is the last resort for community associations, but they can and do have the right to do so. 

The HOA may decide to foreclose the lien if it believes you lack the resources in your bank account or from a job to satisfy a money judgment. The proceeds of the foreclosure sale would go toward satisfying the debt. Some states have requirements for how long or how much you must be delinquent on your assessments before the HOA can foreclose. For instance, a California HOA cannot begin the foreclosure process unless the past-due assessments are at least $1,800 in value or have been overdue for more than 12 months.

Ways to Prevent HOA Foreclosure

You might be able to request—or the HOA might require—a preforeclosure meeting to discuss the infraction if your HOA is considering foreclosing on your home. You might be able to negotiate a solution at the meeting, such as agreeing to start a payment plan right away to settle your fees or penalties in exchange for the HOA’s promise to delay foreclosing.

Additionally, you might be able to reclaim your house after the sale if you lose it to an HOA foreclosure. After an HOA foreclosure, certain jurisdictions’ laws permit the foreclosed homeowner to reclaim the property.

To summarize: 

CC&Rs are legally binding documents that outline the permitted and prohibited uses of a property. These rules and regulations are in place to uphold community standards, maintain property values, and protect residents of the community. Failure to adhere to your community’s CC&Rs can result in fines, penalties, lawsuits, and liens on your property.  

10 Best HOA Accounting Software Companies

Best HOA Accounting Software

Manual bookkeeping is no longer used by homeowners associations across the country. You can easily automate accounting processes and generate financial reports with HOA accounting software!

What Is HOA Accounting Software?

If you’re new to technology, you may be asking yourself what HOA accounting software is.

HOA accounting software automates many tasks in finance and produces a full range of financial statements. Useful for HOA boards and managers, this software helps to manage day-to-day tasks such as Balance Sheets, Income Statements, and Cash Flow Statements.

HOA management software is more comprehensive and includes features such as communication and event management. HOA accounting software typically does not offer these services.

What about property management software? Property management software is designed to help you manage rental properties of all types, whether they are residential or commercial. This type of software functions differently from HOA management software because it focuses on property management rather than managing an entire neighborhood.

What are the benefits of using HOA software?

  • HOA software streamlines all of your processes within your community, such as ensuring violations are issued and handled. By automating these tasks, you’re freed up to do other tasks that need your attention.
  • With Cloud-Based HOA software, you can manage your homeowners or community association from anywhere. Having a cloud-based solution allows you to access your HOA software from any device, at any time. In today’s remote work environments, this is especially critical.
  • The best HOA accounting software combines the review of all important association documentation and data in one centralized location. This means that everyone involved will have easy access to relevant information, and can be held more accountable for their actions because they are available at any time.
  • Your data is more secure when it’s in a cloud-based system than stored on one computer or as hardcopy in a bunch of folders.
  • Streamlined communications software can create better communications with your customers. With all information in one place, it’s easier to come to a consensus and make decisions.
  • With all of the data available, it can be used to strategize for a neighborhood’s future. Reporting on an association’s activities and using them to figure out the current situation is helpful.
  • HOA accounting software creates a smaller margin for error. Since the software only requires one accounting entry per transaction, this makes it much more efficient than a manual system.
  • Savings. HOA accounting software saves you time and money. Although you are paying for the software, you cut down on time spent performing manual tasks.
  • Financial reports. With HOA accounting software, you can generate real-time reports with the click of a button. Accurate reports allow you to make smart and informed decisions for your community.

What is the best HOA Accounting Software?

1. Smartwebs

Smartwebs All-In-One Platform + Mobile allows you to say goodbye to time-consuming manual work and outdated software, allowing you to make the most of every minute.

Workflow automation means spending less time on community bookkeeping. Smartwebs accounting software was developed and designed exclusively for community associations, using the most up-to-date cloud technology and security. Powerful workflows, easy automation, and improved reporting will keep your HOA running smoothly.

Rated the best HOA accounting Software for ease of use, Smartwebs makes accounting, violations, work orders, communications, architectural requests, and more not only simpler but SMARTER.

  • Automate Receivables
  • Faster Payables
  • Better financial reporting
  • Advanced Accounting Intelligence
  • Stronger Bank Integrations

Smartwebs pricing starts at $0.35 per door making it affordable for self-managed associations and large-scale alike. You can schedule a FREE demo to see how the software works.

HOA Accounting Software

2. Appfolio

AppFolio Property Manager has some great accounting features for HOAs, including bill entry and automated accounts payable. A full stack of integrations, including debt collection with online payments, and automating late fees.

AppFolio is primarily a property management software designed for corporate accounting, HOAs can still benefit from their software. With features such as:

  • Record corporate transactions in a separate chart of accounts
  • Automatically create bills and invoices between corporate and property books
  • Bill back associations for management fees, admin work, vendor bills, and costs for common area maintenance

Pricing starts at $0.80 per unit per month, with a minimum monthly fee of $250. You can even sign up for a free customized demo.

Appfolio property management software

3. Buildium

Buildium is a property management software that can be used for HOAs as well. It provides property managers with efficient software that is easy to use, even for people who aren’t confident with new technology. Buildium focuses on streamlining tasks so that you spend less time on them. It has quickly attracted the eye of property managers.

Buildium allows you to perform many different property management tasks, like accounting, rental applications, tenant screening, document storage,

Buildium is free to try, and while pricing may not be ideal for all communities, it has plenty of options for those of different sizes. This software could improve small things, such as accounting functions, though it remains a good product overall

 

Buildium Property Management software

4. FreshBooks

FreshBooks promises to make bookkeeping easy, allowing you to spend time on more important tasks. This software focuses purely on HOA accounting. One key feature of FreshBooks is its ability to be used on the go. That way, if you run into an emergency and need to track your time for a client later that evening, you don’t have to worry about not having the app with you.

You can try FreshBooks for free for 60 days. After that, subscriptions start at $4.50 a month with five billable clients. If you have over 500 billable clients, you will need to contact FreshBooks for custom pricing.

5. Condo Manager

Condo Manager is specifically designed to cater to HOAs and COAs, although property managers can still use their suite of features.

This software provides full-service accounting, from budgeting to bank reconciliations to monthly reports. Condo Manager not only does accounting, but also offers website services, online resident portals, communication tools, and service request management that help to improve your association. You can contact them for a free demo of the software.

6. CINC Systems

CINC Systems provide robust accounting and HOA management software modules. Their pricing starts at $39 a month. This all-in-one association management software boasts modules for accounts payable, collections, homeowner billing and payments, lockbox services, and monthly reports. It also offers other features typical in HOA management software, such as communication, CCR management, and ACC management.

Pricing starts at $39 a month.

7. FrontSteps

FrontSteps is a service that can be used to create and manage HOA websites. With this software, you can customize it to have many useful features such as violation tracking and online payments. This website makes it easy for residents in the community to file work orders. The management side lets you take care of your financial needs with their accounting services.

Pricing starts at $79.95 per month.

8. PayHOA

PayHOA is a cloud-based homeowner association (HOA) management software for communicating with members, collecting dues, and tracking expenses. It boasts of being an all-in-one platform to manage your community associations.

PayHOA offers a 30-day free trial. Afterward, pricing begins at $49 / per month.

9. MoneyMinder

MoneyMinder provides software exclusively for HOA accounting, catering to its needs. Utilizing MoneyMinder, you can track resident dues and other income. This software also displays reports, sends invoices to homeowners for payment, and compares your budget with your actual expenses.

What’s even better is that it is free for the basics, yet comes at $159 for the paid version for full capabilities. Those who want a taste of the features without risking anything are able to download the app for a trial period before paying.

If you’re looking for HOA software solely for accounting, Money Minder is a great option.

10. Quickbooks

QuickBooks is well-known accounting software. While it does not offer options specifically catered to HOAs, it is still a great solution for an HOA just starting out. With this software, you can automate dues payments, wages, and bills. You can also track your income and expenses, allowing you to compare your budget with actual figures.

Pricing starts at $12.50 per month.

HOA Meeting Minutes Template

HOA Meeting Minutes Template: What should it include?

Want to know how to take minutes for homeowners association meetings? You’ll learn what type of information you should include, and how to properly format the minutes with our easy-to-use editable template. 

Because it is the law, HOA boards need to take the minutes of every meeting. This way, there will be an accurate record of what was discussed in the meeting.

If you’ve never seen a meeting minutes template before, writing one can be difficult. Recording minutes the first time can often be daunting.

This article will show you everything about recording HOA meeting minutes, from the order of items to be recorded to word-for-word instructions on what can be left out. You will find a sample of the minutes document below to use as a template for your meetings after reading this article.

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What are meeting minutes?

HOA meeting minutes are a record of everything that has happened between the members during the meeting.

During a meeting, minutes are recorded and detail the subjects discussed, the actions taken, the decision-makers, etc.

Why are meeting minutes so important?

HOA meetings are important because, without them, there could be a lack of proper documentation. As a result, the minute’s document is often the first port of call when there’s uncertainty about whether issues have come up.

Minutes help dispel disputes among board members.

Meeting minutes are open to the public. Residents have the right to view all of the information in meeting minutes. However, executive meeting minutes are not mandatory for publication and include confidential matters.

If you want to provide accessibility for minutes, they must be distributed to all residents within a specified timeframe. The rule can vary from one state to the next.

Who takes meeting minutes?

If an HOA doesn’t already have a designated note-taker, the first thing they should do is appoint someone as a note-taker. Furthermore, they should have a backup in case that person is unable to attend a meeting.

Often, the secretary will take down the minutes. However, it is common for boards to hire or elect a recording secretary in order to free up their general secretary for meeting participation. If the association works with a property manager, then they may be asked to take, prepare, and share meeting minutes.

The ability to write quality minutes for meetings can be learned through education and practice. It’s not a skill that everyone is born with, but most people can learn to do it effectively. Experts recommend that all board members have an understanding of how to record meetings. Even if they’re not responsible for this task, it’s beneficial to know the process.

Board members are encouraged to write their own notes when they attend open sessions so they can have the information immediately after the meeting. Depending on the time length of the meeting and the role of the note-taker, it can take a few days, or more for the note-taker to get the minutes up. 

What to include in an HOA meeting minutes template:

Here are some of the most important points to include in HOA meeting minutes:

  • The name of the association
  • The date and location of the meeting
  • The time at which the meeting started and adjourned
  • A roll call of those who are present and absent with their respective board positions
  • Board of directors reports
  • Unfinished Business
  • New business and open discussions
  • New meeting details
  • Names of members who voted abstained or dissented from a motion
  • A record of all financial transactions including bank account opening and closing, reserve expenditure, etc.
  • Adjournment
  • Signature of the Secretary

Your local or state laws may have other items and rules on how to take HOA board meeting minutes.

Approving Meeting Minutes

Before proceeding with the day’s business, the secretary must approve the minutes from the previous meeting.

What shouldn’t you record in the meeting minutes?

There are some meeting elements that should not be included in an HOA document.

#1 Off-topic or irrelevant discussions

It is not uncommon for board members to engage in a discussion amongst themselves.

It’s a common mistake for new meeting note-takers to believe that every meeting discussion needs to be recorded in the minutes. That is not the case.

Unless the conversation is relevant to an issue listed on the agenda, it does not need to be recorded. 

#2 Personal Beliefs 

Personal and or irrelevant views and opinions discussed by the board members, or recording persons, similarly should not be included in the meeting minutes. 

#3 Disagreements

Similar to that of personal opinions, arguments, or disputes that have occurred between members should also not be included in meeting minutes. 

HOA Meeting Minutes Template

Here is an example of an HOA meeting minutes template. To make this your own, you can download this template and edit it for your own board meetings. 

HOA Meeting Minutes Template

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How long should the HOA maintain its meeting minutes?

An HOA board must maintain their meeting minutes register indefinitely as part of their official records. Check your own local and state laws as to how long your HOA is required to keep meeting minutes records. 

 

Looking to streamline your HOA accounting and management? Smartwebs is the pioneer in HOA management software!

From violations, inspections, work orders, sending notices and dues payments, etc., smartwebs makes HOA management easy. 

Want to see Smartwebs in action? Book a Demo. We’d love to show you how it works.

Are you using Quickbooks for HOA Accounting?

HOA Accounting Software vs Quickbooks

If you’re like many volunteers for homeowners associations, you probably use traditional accounting software—like QuickBooks or Zoho—to manage your community’s finances. 

The basic out-of-the-box software solutions like Quickbooks can still serve your needs, but you are missing out on the customized features offered by HOA software.

Managing your Community Association goes well beyond invoicing. Quickbooks and other run-of-the-mill accounting software lack the capabilities that make running your HOA easier. That’s where HOA software can bridge the gap between accounting, communications, violations, work orders, and everything else that goes into your HOA operations. 

Quickbooks vs Smartwebs 

Quickbooks is a one size fits all accounting software designed to work for any individual in any industry. That being said, the biggest con of using QuickBooks is that it was not designed specifically for HOAs. Community association accounting software was designed to incorporate industry specifics to make HOA bookkeeping easier.

Smartwebs HOA accounting software was developed and designed exclusively for community associations, using the most up-to-date cloud technology and security. Powerful workflows, easy automation, and improved reporting will keep your HOA running smoothly.

HOA Accounting Software

Customer-based accounting vs unit-based accounting 

Customers, individuals, and businesses use Quickbooks to pay for or send invoices for products or services provided by others.

QuickBooks fails to realize what makes HOAs unique – units. 

In QuickBooks, you must create a new customer every time an occupant moves into a unit.. Over time, each purchase will generate one new account with the same address – this makes it difficult to compile documentation by unit, only by the customer. 

Community Association Management software helps you organize records of individuals and units

Smartwebs keeps records on both units and individuals, making it easier than ever to establish a documented history of owners, maintenance, architecturals, payment activity, and more at the touch of a button. 

HOA accounting software was designed to make community association management simpler. With built-in tags and custom fields, you can segment units and owners. 

Do more than just HOA accounting 

With Smartwebs, you can manage every aspect of your HOA, not just accounting. 

Smartwebs is an all-in-one software solution to help you manage your day-to-day community association tasks, such as work orders, architecturals, violations, and more. Using the community messaging feature, you can notify your community members of emergencies, such as storms and flooding, power outages, etc.

Communications

Quickbooks doesn’t capture communications between the biller and the payer. 

If you want to engage with your homeowners outside of billing, you’ll have to resort to other tools disconnected from your accounting software.

Quickbooks is not your HOA informational hub.

Smartwebs bridges the gap and unifies communication between the HOA board and homeowners. Through resident portals, homeowners can respond and engage in real time. 

  • Send mass emails, texts, and voicemails from within the platform.
  • Send direct mail like paper invoices or print newsletters, at the click of a button with zero-touch mailing. 
  • Issue violations
  • Receive maintenance and architectural requests.

Static software vs Dynamic 

QuickBooks regularly updates its products to work within an ever-evolving tech environment. They fit within a scheme of other tools, each playing its own part in the business operation.

QuickBooks is a potentially powerful tool for managing financials for any business. However, HOA management is not on its list of services because of the specific requirements of these organizations.

Smartwebs is constantly improving to better serve HOAs. 

As we expand our products and capabilities, we make them available to all of our users.

We know what it takes to run an HOA, it’s in our DNA. That’s why we’ve included features to help streamline the process for you. Such as readymade templates for maintenance requests, violations, and architectural requests.

Quickbooks vs HOA Accounting Software

How HOA Software can save Self-Managed Communities time and Money

Managing an HOA property requires a significant financial commitment from the homeowners and can impact the annual budget. Self-managed HOAs, as opposed to Management Companies, save the association money and make for more personal ownership for volunteers on the board, especially those in charge of finances. That is why you need the best HOA Software for Self-Managed Communities. 

Board members can create impressive and creative solutions for their communities, but they need support in areas such as finance and legal processes. One tool that provides this support is HOA self-management software. With the right software, board members can streamline operations and make processes intuitive to create an improved community for all involved. 

40% of HOAs choose self-management

Self-Managed HOA Software

Running an HOA without the assistance of a management company can be daunting. But without self-managed HOA software, it gets even more difficult. Some may find managing their HOA to be as easy as tying their shoes, but others find it to be a never-ending battle. This article will explore how a single solution can help your self-managed HOA thrive. We’ll go over what self-managed HOAs are and the type of services they offer. Lastly, we’ll provide a step-by-step process to help you decide what solution is best for you.

What is a self-managed HOA?

A self-managed association or homeowners association is one that strictly relies on members of the association, the HOA board, to run the community. Self-managed associations save money by not hiring an HOA management company but instead self-managing.

Whether it be large or small communities, self-management is becoming an increasingly popular way to manage your HOA. In fact, 30 – 40% of all HOAs are self-managed. 

To be successful as a self-managed homeowners association, board members must invest lots of their own time and have enough experience in each area they run to be successful. The question at hand is – should your HOA consider turning to self-management?

What are the benefits of self-managed HOA software?

Having self-managed HOA software plays a critical part in the overall success of an association.

1. Streamline Communications – Create better communications with your residents. We know it’s hard keeping HOA residents in the loop on what’s happening in their community. HOA  communications software delivers faster messages to your residents by email, text, or voice message within seconds. Create and use customized templates to quickly send communication to all residents at once from newsletters, annual meetings, severe weather alerts, amenities being serviced, and much more.

2. Cloud-based document storage – A cloud-based software solution better protects your data and makes it simpler to deploy and access from anywhere. The software also makes it easy to maintain continuity. Anytime there is a change on the board, the data will continue on the cloud and new members can start where their predecessors left off.

3. Time savings – When it comes to running a self-managed HOA, you likely have a lot on your plate. Logging data and chores can get tedious, but fortunately, the software has simplified many aspects of the process. With software, you’ll have the convenience of accessing all the information instantly, and often on the go with mobile apps too. As a result, tasks and requests can be processed much faster and more accurately! Plus, many software packages allow the automation of time-consuming processes so that they can be completed without your direct involvement at all.

How to use self-managed HOA software:

Many small and medium-sized associations successfully self-manage. The Community Associations Institute estimates that 40% of HOAs choose self-management. Managed homeowners’ associations can choose to go self-managed, which will have long-term benefits with the potential for cost savings in unit fees and other management costs.

The board of directors may use self managed HOA software in different ways, depending on their position.

Self-Managed HOA President

As President, an individual facilitates communication between board members and the community. The President ensures that every voice is heard as they make decisions that affect the community. They may prepare meeting agendas and ensure meetings remain focused on relevant topics. A President is also responsible for signing contracts and other legal documents for the association, which they may have to co-sign all checks.

Here are some ways that the President can use self managed HOA software to secure and efficiently complete their duties:

  • Share and manage documents, keeping HOA-related business separate from personal or professional documents.
  • Send mass emails, text messages, and automated phone calls directly to residents.
  • Use a shared HOA calendar to manage a busy schedule.

Treasurer

The treasurer is one of the most critical people on the board. The treasurer manages all financial transactions and often collects dues from homeowners. This can take a considerable amount of time if the HOAs collect dues by hand in the form of paper checks. HOA self-management software automates the process for the treasurer, finance officer, and even the homeowners who can now easily pay online. 

The Treasurer must be able to produce financial reports for board meetings, assist with the association’s annual audit, and pay vendors approved by the board.

Poor management of association funds can lead to distrust among board members and even legal action. Most HOAs use accounting software designed for the general market but not for residents’ specific needs. 

An HOA self-management software can offer an HOA several benefits. It allows HOAs to streamline their finances by creating more harmony between the board, property manager, and homeowners.

  • Automate collecting dues, late fees, and other charges
  • Making and sharing real-time accounting reports with ease
  • Building an annual budget and tracking income and expenses with custom charts and reports
  • Creating vendor profiles and paying vendors directly from the software
  • Sending professional invoices with a return envelope and perforated payment slip

Secretary

The secretary is often responsible for notifying homeowners of meetings and recording the minutes. The secretary manages important documents, such as homeowner information and maintenance history. Homeowners have the right to access these documents on demand according to covenant documents, so the secretary must maintain up-to-date records.

Secretaries can utilize Self Managed HOA Software by:

  • Consolidating and storing essential documents, tracking maintenance history, communications, and payment history
  • People who use the portal can have easy access to documents and account information, anytime, anywhere.
  • Communicating via text, email, phone, or mail

Committees

HOA committees offer advice and assistance to board members. These groups come together to take care of relevant issues in the community. Committees are typically small groups of volunteers that serve advisory roles. Still, they can be a small committee with ongoing responsibility or an ad hoc committee that deals with specific projects. Committees empower shareholders and create communities involved in decisions made at meetings.

HOA Self-Managed Software helps Committees by:

  • Send mass emails, SMS, and automatic phone calls, and view engagement communication data
  • Email custom PDFs to homeowners for special events and topics 
  • Send surveys and vote digitally with the option of anonymous voting and capturing results within the software
  • Build a custom website for the community

Choose the best HOA software for self-managed communities

Efficiency and scalability should be the primary considerations on your list during this evaluation. Factors will include the size of your organization, the scale of your operations, and the type of experience that you need. Find customizable software for your unique needs that can take over labor-intensive tasks to free up volunteer hours. Check for any errors or mishaps with automation in mind to find ways it may have mitigated a human error.

When selecting self-managed HOA software, consider: 

The Best Self Managed HOA Software 

Smartwebs 

Best HOA Software for Self-Managed Communities

Smartwebs HOA Software can save Self Managed Communities time and Money. HOA software tailored to Self-Managed community needs takes care of many standard services, as well as gives staff the freedom to focus on other jobs. This leads to less stress and a more complete feeling of satisfaction.

Self-managed systems can help with continuity as well. Intuitive documents and resident information make it easier to prepare for changes, such as board turnover.

Advantages of Smartwebs for Your Self-Managed HOA

Cloud-based

Choosing a cloud-based HOA software solution can lead to considerable savings for a variety of reasons. Smartwebs cloud-based software removes the startup costs that an HOA has to pay for purchase and installation. No more installation of several devices, freeing up space on your hard drive and removing the hassle of manual regular system updates. Rather than investing massive amounts of money in hardware and software resources, cloud-based HOA software is easy to use, maintenance-free from a customer end, and allows you to work remotely from any device, anywhere.

Monthly subscription based

Smartwebs saves self-managed communities time and money by offering a monthly subscription software solution. Our software is priced at a per-door rate making it an extremely affordable option for self-managed communities. From a full-platform product (recommended) to a-la-carte software solutions, Smartwebs allows you to spend your money only on the applications you are utilizing and not waste your resources on features you don’t need.

Ease of use

Smartwebs is the leading HOA software solution for ease of use and scalability. Just ask our customers! You don’t have to be a computer scientist to start implementing our software for your communities. Designed with the average user in mind, Smartwebs was made for HOAs, it’s in our DNA. Smartwebs can quickly adapt to your usage plan. As your community grows, so do your software needs. With our cloud-based software, you can easily scale your solution usage with little to no downtime. Moreover, you can access our solution anywhere on the planet where you have internet access.

Increased Security

In many circumstances, a cloud-based solution can keep your HOA’s information more secure and often more readily available than traditional software programs can. For instance, at Smartwebs, we perform regular and automated scans of our network to identify weaknesses and bolster security. We take your data seriously. This also significantly decreases the risk of downtime with our product offerings. 

Use Our Self Managed HOA Software Solution

Running a self-managed HOA can be very difficult, and it’s daunting when you don’t have the right software. With the right HOA solution, you can get more done. Get started with Smartwebs today to reduce your workload. Book a demo.

Guide for better HOA Management & Growth

Set the stage for success and streamline your HOA Growth and Management.

This guide helps You STOP Juggling HOA Accounting, Work-Orders, and everything else your community associations manage.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Top Violations for Communities and How to Minimize Them
  • How to Welcome New Residents
  • How to Become A Top HOA Community in Your City
  • How to Streamline HOA Growth and Management.
  • The Importance of HOA Management Software in Your Community
  • How to Choose the Right Community Association Management Software

Top Violations for Communities and How to Minimize Them

Garbage Cans 

Residents leaving their garbage cans out for too long after trash day is a common violation in HOA communities. Most property managers probably know this violation all too well and have written up several violation letters because of it. Remembering to bring in those cans can be hard, especially when working from home!

How to Help Minimize This Violation

Reminding your homeowners that trash day is over and they can put away their cans is a great
way to minimize this violation. If you have a system like SmartCommunications, you can send out a weekly reoccurring text or email reminding residents to remove their trash bins from the road.

Landscaping

We all know it can be challenging to find the time to mow your lawn, but alas, it has to be done! This is a common violation HOA managers face and are crucial to making your community look its best. As the property manager, you want to maintain the beauty of your HOA association and make sure everyone in the community is proud of their neighborhood!

How to Help Minimize This Violation

Making sure your HOA rules are clear and easy to understand can help your residents know precisely what is and isn’t a violation. Once a quarter, you should send out communication that lists the common landscaping issues your community sees and the landscaping rules. This way, everyone is informed and can help fix problems before they even start!

Pets

We love our pets like family because they are! But residents not picking up after their furry friends is something that HOAs face all the time. This can be a problem that you hear a lot from other residents, and they might ask the property manager to help minimize this violation.

How to Help Minimize This Violation

This can be a tough violation because it’s hard to catch residents in the act of not picking up after their pets, so you need to be proactive about a solution. Making sure you have enough waste stations around the neighborhood is key to helping eliminate this problem. Sometimes residents forget to bring bags with them, so providing plenty of spots where they can grab a bag and remove the waste is crucial for your community!

How to Welcome New Residents to your HOA

Are new residents moving into the neighborhood? That’s great! New homeowners moving into the community provides an opportunity for you to welcome them to the area, make sure they are set up for success and deliver essential documents they need to enjoy their new home.

Send a Welcome Packet

Welcome packets are a great way to help new residents feel excited about where they are
moving to. So what should be in a welcome packet?

Governing Documents

One of the most important items to include in your governing documents, as this is what they will need to make sure they have a positive experience in the community. Many rules are violated not out of intent but because they are unaware, so having a well-written document outlining the rules and regulations of your community is crucial!

Welcome Letter

In your packet, including a welcome letter. Let them know you’re glad they are here and make them feel special! Noting who the board members are and their roles in the community are excellent information for any newbie. Also, if your community has a Facebook group or Nextdoor neighborhood, they could join. This is a great addition!

Community Map and Info

Your community probably has fantastic amenities and can be the main reason why residents
chose your neighborhood, so point them out. Providing a neighborhood map pointing out where the pool, fitness center, playground, and any/all amenities are will help your newcomers navigate the community. You should also include access information like your pool code or how to get a key card to use the amenities to their fullest.

Resident Portal Information

Do you have HOA software? We hope so! If you do, make sure your new residents know how to access it, their login info, and what information they can find. Suppose you have a resident portal like the one at Smartwebs. In that case, residents can submit architectural requests, communicate with the property manager directly, and find governing documents with a couple of clicks. This will be key for your residents to make sure they are continuously updated with new info and easily communicate with their property manager.

Welcome Committee

Establishing a welcome committee for your neighborhood can help new residents feel at home. By already having a contact in the community to ask questions about things like schools, favorite restaurants, and where to get their hair done. A welcome committee can also put together gift baskets for new homeowners that include your welcome packet, local businesses to check out, and how to meet others in the neighborhood. Greeting newcomers to your community will help set you apart and keep your residents happy for the long term!

How to Become A Top HOA Community in Your City

You want your HOA community to be somewhere people desire to live and are proud to
participate in. So, how do you become a top HOA community? Here are some tips we think can help you do just that!

Community Events

Community events are a great way to get residents involved and meet their neighbors. Throwing cookouts for the fourth of July or having a neighborhood block party every quarter can boost morale and get your community talking about their HOA. Is anyone in the community a part of a band? Ask them to perform at the neighborhood park and invite everyone to come out and enjoy it! Any event you throw can be a great way to get your community together and more involved.

Amenities

Having great amenities is a huge selling point for any HOA community, so maintaining them is crucial. Is your playground equipment rusting and old? Maybe it’s time to replace it. Getting ahead of requests/complaints about older equipment will make your HOA look proactive and prepared. If your budget allows it, look for more amenities you can add to your community as well. Maybe even small ones like having free fitness in the park days or adding soccer nets to open spaces.

Community Involvement

Getting people involved in their community helps them feel a part of something like they can impact their local neighborhood. Starting Facebook groups or a social committee is a great way to get your neighbors involved. This also helps alleviate your responsibilities and helps others feel important to their community.

How to Streamline HOA Growth and Management.

Growing a property management company is exciting and rewarding, but how do you get more
HOA communities to sign on with you? This can be challenging, but we think you can grow your business with ease with these steps.

Provide Great Service

The most important thing a business can do for itself provides excellent service. While this may be a no-brainer, we think it’s the most important as this is what will set you apart. If your company is known for always treating your clients right, going above and beyond, and getting the job done, you will, in turn, create advocates for your brand, making it easy to refer you.

Create a Referral Program

Referrals are a great way to grow your business as people enjoy talking about things they love.
Once you’ve created a brand worth talking about, make a referral program to incentivize clients to refer others to your business. Offering things like a free month of service or even gift cards are a great way to help gain referral business.

Attend Networking Events

Nothing beats meeting clients in person, so attending local or national networking events can
help your business get in front of key decision-makers. This can also help you build relationships with other vendors and services that could benefit you.

Increase Your Online Visibility

Are you visible to your potential clients on the internet? Make sure you’re updating your website and social channels frequently, as this is how people will find you. Here are some ideas to help increase your visibility:

  • Regularly post on social media – Facebook and LinkedIn are essential channels.
  • Start a blog that is updated consistently with important topics to your industry.
  • Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups related to your industry to connect with others.
  • Start a podcast or YouTube channel answering some of the important topics in your industry.

Partner With Other Vendors

If there are prominent vendors in your area that you can partner with, this could be great exposure. Make sure your core values are aligned before committing. Then you can leverage that other brand to help you grow yours and vice versa!

If you enjoyed this guide to help streamline HOA Growth and Management, check out the tools Smartwebs offers to help streamline and automate that growth.

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Top 3 HOA Management Software Companies

What goes into identifying the Top 3 HOA Management Software Companies?

Running an HOA is a difficult task. Your hands are constantly full with managing architectural reviews, service requests, enforcing CC&R regulations, scheduling board meetings, taking online payments, making sure that accounts are in order, managing the community website and residents’ databases, communicating with those people, and dozens of other tasks.

HOA management software aims to help board members and property managers work smarter by automating repetitive processes and creating systems that work together. If designed correctly, HOA management software can help streamline HOA management and can save you time and money.

With a wide range of options available, it’s essential to find the system that is best for you. Some software specializes in accounting, while others have a solution for almost everything.

If your HOA regularly does the following, you may want to look for property management software:

  • Mailing community announcements/updates/notices to homeowners.
  • You create financial records on Excel or a similar program that limits you to the same computer.
  • Work Orders and Architectural requests that take weeks to process.
  • Tracking homeowner violations that you struggle to keep organized and with zero automation. 

According to the 2022 State of the Property Management Industry Report, 46% of property managers considered residents their top priority in 2021. 41% stated growth was the main focus. 25% expressed a desire to improve efficiency.

Industry leaders: Top 3 HOA management software Companies

We have looked into many software options, and have identified the Top 3 HOA Management Software Companies. 

Smartwebs 

Smartwebs best community association management software

Smartwebs All-In-One Platform + Mobile allows you to say goodbye to time-consuming manual work and outdated software, allowing you to make the most of every minute.

Rated the Best HOA Management Software for ease of use, Smartwebs makes accounting, violations, work-orders, communications, architectural requests, and more not only simpler but SMARTER. 

Smartwebs pricing remains competitive in the market and is as simple to understand as the software. Smartwebs offers an a la carte option for services such as Management and accounting, or access to their full, all-in-one platform for HOA Community Association Management. 

Appfolio

Top 3 HOA Management Software Companies Appfolio

AppFolio is an easy-to-use solution with a mobile experience. It offers cloud-based software for property managers of HOAs as well as those who have mixed portfolios. AppFolio was founded in 2006 and acquired MyCase in 2012.

AppFolio is a multifunctional property management platform that includes a suite of tools that can help managers take care of their building maintenance, track payments, and stay competitive on the price of rent.

Some clients noted that the accounting feature is not very user-friendly, but those with some accounting knowledge should be fine using the system.

Buildium

Top 3 HOA Management Software Companies Buildium

Buildium provides property managers with efficient software that is easy to use, even for people who aren’t confident with new technology. It focuses on streamlining tasks so that you spend less time on them. It was founded in 2004 and has quickly attracted the eye of property managers.

Buildium allows you to perform many different property management tasks, like accounting, rental applications, tenant screening, document storage, 

Buildium is free to try, and while pricing may not be ideal for all communities, it has plenty of options for those of different sizes. There are small things that could be improved on this software such as accounting functions; however, it is still a good product overall.

What features should you be looking for in HOA Software?

If you are shopping for HOA management software, don’t only consider the price. Consider how expandable the software is and its total value to you. Pricing for this type of product varies on the features and support available.

Once they find the right software, property managers have no regrets and only look back on why they didn’t invest in HOA management software sooner. Online software comes with many benefits and can help property managers overcome challenges more efficiently than ever before.

Simplified Community Association Accounting  

Whether you have an accounting background or not, online accounting software is a great option. It minimizes human error and makes it possible to manage the finances of multiple properties from one place.

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.

Overall Community Management

Your software should make HOA Management smarter, not harder. Why search for multiple solutions that don’t integrate or work seamlessly? Why have multiple tabs opened on your computer if you can do it all on one platform?

Seamless Integrations

Each software can offer different strengths, so it’s important to find the one that is most compatible with your needs and the current programs you love. Most companies provide the option for integration and some have a more diverse array of options. This can help you experience the best from two platforms without switching back and forth between them.

Conclusion

HOA management software is an excellent tool that streamlines the operations of HOAs by providing a way to reach your goals while strengthening communication and organizing tasks. These programs provide different qualities, but they all have the same objective: to help people succeed in managing their properties efficiently. Before purchasing HOA management software, make certain that it offers the features necessary for helping you reach your goals.

These programs may seem overwhelming but most are surprisingly easy to handle. Most people don’t find them too challenging – and there is typically a support team if you do. Your entire community can benefit from great Community Association Management software.

Smartwebs expands its Marketing and Customer Accounts team ahead of continued growth

Smartwebs Press Release

Austin, TX, August 16, 2022/ — Smartwebs, an industry-leading all-in-one software solution company for HOA Community Association management, expands its Marketing and Customer Accounts team.

Shawn Fielding, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smartwebs stated, “As our software offerings continue to grow and expand, one thing remains the same: the mission of Smartwebs is to provide robust, time-saving solutions for the HOA market. With our new team members, Kristen, Shay, Matthew, and Yeriel, we are confident Smartwebs will continue to scale towards our overall goal of Customer satisfaction and success. “

Kristen Andrews Senior Marketing Manager. Smartwebs expands its Marketing and Customer Accounts teamKristen Andrews joins Smartwebs as Senior Marketing Manager, reporting to Robert Holte; Vice President, and is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for both growth and retention. Kristen comes to Smartwebs with a strong background in SaaS demand generation, driving acceleration across an organization’s markets. 

Holte shares, “I am thrilled that Kristen is leading Marketing Operations at Smartwebs. Kristen’s diverse marketing and business-building experience positions her to add tremendous value as Smartwebs’s team continues to grow. Her ability to strategically position Smartwebs and gain Market share is second to none.”

 

Shay Currie Customer Success Specialist Shay Currie comes to the Smartwebs team as the newest Customer Success Specialist. Shay has over 10 years of experience in customer service and an extensive Customer Success background in the Software industry. 

“What excites me most about joining the Smartwebs team is assisting customers in navigating the software and taking full advantage of our cloud-based solutions. I look forward to building empathy-based relationships with our customers and guiding them through support along their journey with Smartwebs.”

“Shay Currie brings an extensive background of expertise to the Smartwebs team,” said Fielding. “She possesses a strong customer-first mindset and wants to see client success using the Smartwebs solutions.”

 

Matthew Donaldson Account Success SpecialistMatthew Donaldson joins the Smartwebs team as the newest Account Success Specialist, with over 5 years of experience in Marketing, Account Management, and Sales.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the Smartwebs team. I am looking forward to  assisting in bridging gaps between the accounts team, sales, and marketing to aid in promoting growth and customer experience.” 

Donaldson will spearhead the development of long-term business relationships by serving as an internal advocate and client liaison for Smartwebs. 

“Matthew Donaldson has made an immediate impact on the Accounts team’s processes,” said Fielding. “He possesses a special blend of management and customer-facing experience.”

 

Yeriel Velazquez Customer Success Specialist Yeriel Velazquez has been hired on as a Customer Success Specialist for Smartwebs. Velazquez comes to Smartwebs with an extensive tech support specialist background. Previously, Yeriel has spent time in technical support and implementation for school districts. 

“I look forward to my role here at Smartwebs and growing with The amazing team. With my background, I am confident in my ability to help our customers understand our full platform of offerings and release updates so they can fully take advantage of what Smartwebs has to offer.”

“Yeriel’s tech support background and experience in customer service and training are of tremendous value to our clients as Smartwebs continues to grow in size and capabilities. His compassion and knowledge are so welcomed by our customers and organization,” shared Fielding.

 

For more press information:

Kristen Andrews, Senior Marketing Manager

kandrews@smartwebs.net

For more information about Smartwebs services:

www.Smartwebs.com 

Industry survey reveals why boards are unhappy with their Community Management Companies

According to a new survey, the majority of boards are not satisfied with their management companies. The survey, conducted by the Community Association Institute, found that only 30% of respondents reported that they were satisfied with their management company.

The survey asked respondents to rate their management company on a variety of factors, including communication, financial management, and overall performance. On each of these factors, the vast majority of respondents gave their management company a rating of “fair” or “poor.”

Here are a few ways you can impress and keep your board ‘on board.’

Board Members say Community Management technology is a MUST

Today, board members in associations are looking for high-tech services and access from anywhere. In fact, more than half of all respondents said it’s important for their association management company to be technologically advanced and use modern digital tools. Respondents put online portals, email, and online payments as the top three most valuable digital topics.

How do you find the best community management software for your company?

HOA Management Software is made to be easy to understand and visually pleasing. The user experience is important because it will determine how simple it is to use for your team.

Does the community management software have all of the features you need to maximize your productivity? Like, accounting, violations, online portals, work orders, mobile applications, architectural requests, communications, etc.

Best technology for community management

 

Accounting

Is your management company meeting board expectations when it comes to accounting?

In the survey conducted, financial management was also rated poorly, with only 16% of respondents giving their management company a positive review.

Your current accounting software may not be up to the task if it wasn’t designed specifically for community management. Monthly financial reports, balance sheets, income, and expense statements, and cash flow statements can quickly become overwhelming.

Out of the respondents polled, most reported that their management company used an outdated method or outdated software for their account management. 

Having the right accounting software means:

  • No more tabbing back and forth
  • Seamless integration
  • Real-time balances and reporting 
  • Online access for management teams and homeowners from anywhere

The majority of HOA boards are not satisfied with their management

Responsiveness

It’s no secret that boards are expecting more from their management companies these days. One of the key areas where they’re looking for improvement is responsiveness.

The majority of boards are not satisfied with their management companies and switched companies when they found that they didn’t proactively respond, or were not accurately completing projects.

Boards want their calls and emails answered promptly, and they want their requests for information fulfilled quickly and completely. Keeping them up-to-date on important issues. The right community management software should help you do just that. 

Organization

With online portals being one of the top 3 most valuable tools among board-surveyed respondents, it’s important for your HOA to prioritize software to help manage and stay organized with your portal. 

An online portal is a great way for board members to stay informed about what’s going on with the association. It should be easy to find and use, and it should contain important information like financial reports and contact information for board members and association staff.

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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.

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. 

Conclusion

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!