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.
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.
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
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
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:
- Affordability of the system
- Customization for dues collection and tracking
- Automated accounting for tracking income and expenses
- A portal for members to submit and track payments, view community calendars and alerts and submit requests
- Data storage and reporting
- Communication tools like mass texts, emails, voicemail, and physical mail
- Management of multiple properties
- Remote access for volunteers
The Best Self Managed HOA Software
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
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.
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.