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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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.

Tell me more.

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

The Holidays are Almost Here – Is Your Community Ready?

 

Holiday decorations can be beautiful, but can also cause problems for HOAs

 


The holiday season is almost upon us, and that means homes will soon be adorned with lights, sound, and decor, driveways will be stuffed with out-of-town vehicles, and your community will be teeming with holiday cheer. But all of that seasonal joy can be dampened if your residents aren’t up-to-date on the community policies. Now is a great time for the HOA to review its guidelines and send out friendly reminders to residents.

Here are several things to consider this time of year that can help your HOA community stay in the holiday spirit:

Decorations

We all know THAT resident; the one who sees the Grizwold household as a challenge to be accepted. Does your HOA have restrictions on what sort of decorations can go up, or what time frame decorations are allowed? If so, this is a great time to send reminders about rules for inflatable lawn décor, lights, ornaments, and other holiday outdoor decorations. Is music allowed (and if so, are there time and volume restrictions)? What are the penalties for violations and do you have a system in place to quickly notify the homeowner of any violations or penalties? Letting homeowners know about current guidelines before the season is in full swing can help avoid confusion, and alleviate any future headaches.

Visitors

Whether you look forward to a full house, or want to hide from in-laws, there’s no denying ‘tis the season for out-of-town guests to visit. Does your HOA make special exceptions during this time of year to account for the extra vehicles in the community? Does your community have visitor parking, or a community area for vehicle overflow? If additional parking isn’t available, what are some solutions that your association can offer? We highly recommend touching base with your homeowners to help them know what to do with visitors’ vehicles, while following the guidelines of the community. Now may be a great time to put exceptions and provisions up to a Board vote. Ensure your board has access to 24/7 voting, communication, and results with cloud-based software designed to streamline your community management processes.

Communicate and Stay Involved

Who doesn’t love a great holiday party? Now is the perfect time to host a community get-together for neighbors to get to know each other and to learn more about the HOA and the Board. Consider using the clubhouse, park or other community area that can accommodate a large group. Games, treats and libations are always a great way to bring a community together. Giving families and residents a place to get to know each other makes for a tighter-knit community and helps harbor goodwill towards your HOA and Board.

The holidays are an ideal time to share helpful tips and reminders, too. Communication during the holiday season – be it emails, fliers, social media posts, or website updates – helps keep the community safe, respectful, and happy! However, this can be a daunting task with outdated systems that rely on manual processes. Smartwebs can help streamline and simplify communications with your community, and make sure that you have a painless way to spread holiday cheer.

Be Kind

Most of all, remember that this time of year can be stressful for everyone; residents, managers, and board members alike. Josh Hurst provides a great reminder for this time of year.

It’s important for the HOA to pick its battles wisely and keep in mind the best interest of homeowners. Everyone has their own taste and style when it comes to décor.  It is worth starting an uproar over a light display that will come down in a few weeks anyway? If homeowners are in the spirit and not causing disruptions or violating clear rules, enjoy the celebration. The HOA may ask that light displays be reviewed by the architectural committee to prevent anything that is over-the-top and will detract from the appeal of the community as a whole.

HOA’s are here to ensure the community stays safe, desirable, and happy so don’t forget to weave in some holiday happiness in this most wonderful time of year!