Choosing the right homeowners association software

Date Published : Mar-26-2019

Written By : Phillip Livingston

Anyone who works in a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) knows that it’s a full-time job that requires commitment, dedication, and hard work. But, there are some tools that your organization can use to simplify the process of running an HOA. Enter; HOA software.

HOA software makes it easier for property administrators and managers to stay on top of tasks such as maintenance, finances, security, communication etc. If you’re interested in finding the right HOA software for your organization, you’ve come to the right place.

Below we have a useful guide on what to look for in order to find the right HOA software for your association. In fact, this guide is not just for HOAs but anyone that can benefit from property management software. This means anyone that manages a member-based association that represents planned development properties, including Residents Associations (RA) and Community Association Managers (CAM).  

 

What is a homeowner’s association?

The HOA is a non-profit organization that’s tasked with managing the association’s assets. This organization must always act in the best interests of the association and maximize the value of the community which it serves.

In order to function optimally, an HOA must have efficient processes and systems in place that govern its activities. This is where the homeowner’s association software comes in.

 

Why use homeowner’s association software?

As the manager or administrator of a Homeowner’s Association, you’re faced with a never-ending barrage of tasks every day. This includes managing members, collecting payments, organizing events (including meetings) and more. Using out-dated software and paper methods to manage all these tasks can be time-consuming and frustrating.

That’s why you need all-encompassing HOA software that allows you to manage all aspects of your job from one place.  Ideally, this software should enable you to manage your property database and member database at once.

If you’re currently using different types of software to manage each function, you’re losing out on valuable time and convenience offered by apps that can do both.

You see, the flaw with single database software is that it won’t allow you to carry out important tasks like trying to customize the way you store historical and financial data. The software pretty much lumps all information together without separating it from users who are only “linked” to the property. Some of this software also struggles with developing proper member invoices. 

 

What to look for in homeowners association software

Here are some of the most important considerations to make when looking for the best HOA software for your organization:

 

  1. Administration:

You should be able to manage members and users collectively on the software you choose. Demographic data collection capability and permissions management are also important because they offer an easy way to administer roles.

 

  1. Communication:

 The software you choose should make it easy for the HOA to communicate with members at a moment’s notice. It should also enable members to opt-in to communication with the HOA using their preferred channel, whether it’s through phone, email, SMS text or automated voice recordings. Most importantly, your software should encompass a website development and management feature that brings all your operations full-circle and easy to access through a safe cloud interface.  

Condo Control Central is a good example of an HOA software that ticks all the boxes. Our suite of communication features include:

  • A Condo Website Builder
  • A dedicated Announcements feature that allows you to send notices via email and text notifications, text, lobby display and print paper. You may choose one, two or all of these options depending on the nature of the announcement.
  • A Discussion Forum designed as a platform for residents and owners to voice their concerns and opinions

 

  1. Event management:

This feature is a must for HOA administrators who need to organize and manage events on a regular basis. HOA software enables you to:

  • Schedule and manage events
  • Take care of all event logistics (projectors, chairs, venue etc.)
  • Manage programs
  • Generate tiered pricing for facility rentals and programs etc.
  • Create and maintain an online event calendar.

Pick a software with an online event calendar module Included, which will take care of all these concerns. The software allows you to create and track community events from one centralized location.

 

  1. Facilities and maintenance:

HOA software simplifies your maintenance and facilities management, including your ability to track facility usage. For example, our amenity booking feature allows you to track, monitor and approve amenity booking online from your smartphone. This means tenants don’t have to wait long for approval and it makes for smoother operations.

There’s also a maintenance tracking feature that you can use to schedule and track maintenance task online. The great thing about this feature is that it offers automatic maintenance reminders and an ability to attach files.

 

  1. Financials:

HOA software improves the efficiency of your accounting and bookkeeping processes by minimizing the administrative resources needed to maintain the books. In addition to providing you with AR collection tools, the software should generate invoices and create accurate financial reconciliation reports etc.

 

  1. Payment collection:

Without collecting the required fee payments from members, HOAs would not be able to function. That’s why you need software that will simplify the payment process for money coming in and going out so that every dollar is accounted for. Ideally, the software should allow you to take and make payments over-the-phone or online through a secure and encrypted connection. It should also comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards which aim to reduce credit card fraud by protecting data transactions.

 

  1. Support and training:

Choose reliable software that offers 24/7 support and training so you and your staff can get the most out of your HOA software.  Also, do your research to make sure the software provider is compliant with industry best practices. It’s important that they understand the laws related to HOAs so they can offer tailored database management solutions.

 

  1. Budget and scalability:

It doesn’t help to have the best software in the world if it’s eating away at your organizational budget. Look for a software provider that offers customized solutions to suit different budgets. It’s cost-effective and flexible HOA management software that enables you to control all aspects of your operations from one integrated center. They have an understanding of how HOAs work from the inside, based on experience and extensive research.

 

Extra tips:

The following is a checklist of important factors that HOAs tend to overlook when choosing management software. You’ll do well to take heed of these because they’ll determine your ability to use and enjoy the software.

  • Ease of use: Choose HOA software that’s straightforward and easy to set up and manage for your staff and your members.
  • Security: Make sure the software provider is PCI compliant and has tight data security and privacy measures in place.
  • Reliability and availability: Does the provider guarantee 99% availability of your cloud-based system? Do they have a backup plan for power supply emergencies that keep their users online in times of crisis?
  • Security: Is your software provider compliant with the CASL anti-spam regulations? What about their data privacy and security policies? Are they robust enough to protect you from online security threats and data hacks? These security components are vital prerequisites in your software vetting process.

 

The verdict

Homeowner’s association management software is the best thing since sliced bread for HOA managers and administrators. With the right HOA software, your organization can save a considerable amount of time and resources while making life easier for you and your members.

Once you’ve found the right HOA software for your organization, you’ll need to have a rollout plan in place so that the transition is as smooth as possible. At least now you know what to look for to find the right HOA software.

 

More useful tips:

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