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

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 is 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, include 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. 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?

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.

Why your HOA needs cloud technology

What is HOA Cloud Technology? We all know about the clouds that shade the sun and carry rain. Now it’s time to get to know the other cloud—the one that delivers computing power, handy applications, and the ability to share information with others wherever and whenever you need. Like the atmospheric mass that provides its name, the technological phenomenon impacts our daily lives.

Cloud computing sounds mysterious and untrustworthy, but chances are you’re already working, playing and surfing in the cloud. If you’ve purchased an iPhone, Kindle, or any smartphone, tablet or computer recently, you’re probably taking advantage of its benefits. If you’ve downloaded a song from the Internet, chatted on Skype or purchased something from Amazon.com, you’ve used the cloud.

So, what does the cloud mean to you, and how can you harness its power?

It means you can pay your assessments online. You can access association documents and board meeting minutes from wherever you are. It might also mean, for the owners of second homes, that you can tune in to board meetings from the other side of the country.

It means you can work from a remote office without losing a beat. You can collaborate with others on a document without having to e-mail the file back and forth. You can store photos, music and files online without taking up precious space on your computer.

The cloud offers cheaper, stress-free alternatives to expensive hardware and maintenance. All you really need to take advantage of the cloud is reliable Internet access, but you should carefully consider security, privacy, the provider’s reliability and contract terms first.

How secure is your data and information on the cloud? What privacy rules are you subject to? Some cloud services include clauses that allow providers to access and use a customer’s data —often for marketing purposes—and can retain that data long after you’re done using the service.

What if the company providing the cloud service goes out of business? What happens to all your information? Do contact terms lock you into one program or application?

These are important questions to ask. And though the cloud is relatively new, it’s here to stay and will become even more prevalent over time.

How have you been able to determine which cloud-technology software to use for your own HOA? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Source: Copyright-Free Articles for Community Association Newsletters and Websites Volume 2.  Cloudy with a Chance of Technology.