Bring your homeowners or condominium association into the modern age.
Here are some must-have features for your new HOA website.
At American Home Team Realty, we’re in the business of helping HOAs and condo associations just like yours maximize their efforts to get more things done in less time (and with less stress). And one thing we’ve realized over the years is that websites make this process a lot easier.
Perhaps you’re new to the idea of building and maintaining an HOA website. Or maybe you’ve been relying on the same page for the last decade.
Either way, if you’re ready for an upgrade, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. In this article, we’ll give our list of the top features you should include in your HOA website.
Why You Need an HOA Website
If your HOA or condo association has managed this long without a website, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the point?”
While HOA websites might not be necessary to operate, that doesn’t mean they’re of no use at all. Here are just five examples of ways that a website can benefit residents and board members alike.
- Modernize Your HOA – The more that HOAs start adopting websites, the more your residents will come to expect them. Taking that information digital will help bring your community into the modern age.
- Better Communication – When you can quickly communicate with every moment of your community, information is spread much more efficiently.
- Improved Sense of Community – Similarly, when residents can communicate with the HOA board (and each other), it fosters a sense of community. Just being aware of the latest news and events goes a long way!
- Relieve Your Board Members – Your fellow board members expend a lot of energy to keep the community running. An HOA website can take much of this burden off their shoulders.
- Save Money – Digitizing your Bylaws, allowing for online payments, and replacing printed flyers with an email blast can save you a lot of money in postage and bank fees.
In short, an HOA website helps you eliminate many of the issues you may be having with your community.
This doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. While you can have a professional custom build and market your HOA website, templates are also great (and much cheaper). There are even website templates specifically designed for HOAs.
Features To Include
Whether you’re building your first HOA website or revamping an existing one, make sure you’re using this time effectively.
By including all the necessary features right from the start, you’ll ensure that your HOA website is a success right off the bat, making it more likely that residents will love and continue to use it.
Of course, not all of these features are required for every community, but they will have a huge impact on user experience.
1. Dedicated Domain
Your website’s domain is, to put it simply, what users will type into the address bar to access the site.
If your domain is something straightforward (www.yourHOAname.com), it will be much easier for people to remember than if you piggybacked onto an existing domain (i.e. www.HOAsfordays.com/yourHOAname).
2. Mobile Friendly
Nowadays, nearly 50% of internet searches are performed on phones and tablets as opposed to desktops and laptops. Ensuring your HOA website is mobile friendly makes it easier to see your site on a smaller screen.
3. Easy to Use
Whether you’re updating your website internally or trusting a professional to do that for you, you want to make sure the website is user-friendly (on the backend as well as for its users).
If residents can’t figure out how to pay their dues or where to find the ARB forms, they’ll just start emailing you, defeating the whole purpose of having an HOA website in the first place.
4. Email Blast Capability
A super handy feature in more ways than one, the ability to automatically send emails takes your customer service to a whole new level.
Imagine being able to tell the entire community about a new amenity or sending an auto-response thanking them for a recent payment.
5. Neighborhood Perks
What makes your community special? List all of the amazing things that make your neighborhood a great place to live.
Prospective residents can learn about your annual block parties, close proximity to shopping and restaurants, or the great sense of camaraderie shared by your neighbors.
A photo gallery that showcases the playground, pool, tennis courts, and lush landscaping at the front entrance will give prospective residents a sense of familiarity when they finally visit in person. It’s one step closer to picturing themselves living there.
7. Online Portal
An online portal creates a separation between residents and the general public by giving members of your community a place to view the information that’s relevant to them.
With an online portal, you can restrict certain sections of the website (billing, bylaws, event calendar, etc.) to only those people who currently own homes in your community.
8. Community Info
Give new and existing residents one location to reference the most important “need-to-know” info.
- Where you’re located
- Contact info
- Management company
- Utility companies
- Trash pickup schedule
- Pool hours
- Parking rules
If you’ve been having trouble with rule enforcement, that could be because residents aren’t aware of all of the rules. If residents lose their initial copy of the bylaws, this is an easy way to access them.
10. Online Dues Payment
Allowing residents to pay their HOA dues online not only saves you in bank fees, it makes late payments that much less common. Plus, you can integrate this with your email system to prompt residents when they’re in danger of skipping a payment.
11. Board Info
Introduce residents to the board members, upload meeting minutes, and post info on upcoming board meetings. When the community feels included on how the neighborhood is run, they’ll feel more welcome.
12. ARB Forms
Architectural changes become a lot easier with the addition of an HOA website.
Include copies of ARB forms, as well as approved paint colors, vendors, and other info residents may need to update their homes while complying with the rules.
The longer your HOA is in operation, the more you’ll have to share.
Let your website be the first place residents go to find out about the happenings in their neighborhood.
14. Message Board
Message boards and forums allow your residents to get to know each other and share important information about the neighborhood.
If you have someone who is willing to moderate discussions, this can be a great way to foster a sense of community.
15. Event Calendar
Have you scheduled events in the past and had no attendants? Everything from board meetings and garage sales to holiday parties and chili cook-offs should be recorded in one place.
From voting for new board members to deciding on new amenities, polls let you take the “temperature” of the neighborhood. For voting, make sure to restrict each account to one vote.
17. Amenity Reservations
If you have a clubhouse or common rooms that can be reserved, streamline the process by bringing the reservation system online. Residents can view the schedule, submit their request, and start planning their event in no time.
Expert HOA Guidance
We love seeing the dedication, generosity, and patience that HOA board members bring to their communities every day. But while running an HOA can be a lot of work, having an HOA website can make your job a lot easier.
At American Home Team Realty, we’ve been in the property management business for nearly 20 years. Every day, our team of professionals uses that experience to make HOAs run more smoothly.
If you’re curious about how we can help you, give us a call today.