Homeowner association websites are no longer a nice-to-have, bonus feature. In this digital age, it’s a must-have for any HOA community. If your association has yet to take the plunge, here’s why you need an HOA website — as well as how to design one that works for your community.
Why Do You Need an HOA Website?
A homeowners association website has many benefits for both management and the members of the community. Here are key reasons that underscore the importance of having an HOA website.
1. Increase Online Visibility
HOA websites are an important marketing tool, especially since over 90% of home buyers use the Internet for their homebuying process. Apart from increasing online visibility, you can also use your website to showcase your community. It can attract potential homebuyers and provide them with the information that they need when choosing a home to purchase.
2. Provide Convenience to Homeowners
An HOA website serves as a one-stop communication hub for your homeowners. They can simply visit your website to learn about upcoming events, read the latest community news, obtain copies of HOA documents, or submit requests to HOA management. With integrated software features, homeowners can even use the website to pay for their monthly association dues. This makes it very convenient for homeowners to stay involved and participate in HOA matters.
3. More Efficient HOA Operations
Going digital can lead to more efficient HOA operations. A website can save the HOA board, management, and employees a lot of time. For instance, instead of rummaging through cabinets to find a single document, you’ll be able to find what you need in mere seconds. You’ll also have fewer phone calls and emails from homeowners since they can access the online portal instead. Thus, you’ll have more time to focus on more important community matters.
Running a website is not cheap; however, it’s also not as expensive as some may think. You don’t need to hire an entire HOA website design team. There are many HOA software and tools that can provide the features that your website needs. Some options even have HOA website templates that are easy to use and customizable. Considering the other benefits, an HOA website is a worthwhile investment. Also, you can offset the costs of the website with the money you save from fewer office supplies and overtime fees,
How to Design an HOA Website
Now that you know the importance of having an HOA website, it’s time to create one. If you’re looking for HOA website ideas, here are important elements to consider.
Skill Level of Homeowners
Having an advanced and intricate website is useless if your homeowners do not know how to use it. When designing an HOA website, make sure to consider the skill level of homeowners. For instance, it’s better to have a simple and easy-to-use website if you are catering to an older audience.
Features Based on the Needs of the Community
There is no perfect HOA website. The best HOA websites are those that cater to their members. If you want to identify crucial website features, think about the needs of your community. Here are some features that you might want to include:
- Community Calendar to keep homeowners updated on upcoming social events, seminars, board meetings, and so on.
- Bulletin Board to post important announcements, board meeting schedules and agendas, the latest community news, etc.
- Photo Gallery to show potential homebuyers what it’s like to live in your HOA. It also encourages homeowners to visit your website after social events.
- Blog and Newsletters to provide homeowners with valuable information that can increase their quality of life, such as tips for saving electricity or how to prepare for a storm.
- Suggestion Box is an easy way for homeowners to send their comments, questions, complaints, and recommendations to the board or management.
- Online Portal where homeowners can log in to see their account details, overdue details, and HOA documents.
Modern and Responsive Design
Regardless of what aesthetic design you choose, there are modern design elements that must be present in your HOA website. For instance, since most people browse the Internet using their mobile devices, it’s important to have mobile compatibility. Thus, a responsive design is a crucial website element to have. It ensures that your website displays properly regardless if it is viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Some HOAs decline to have a website because they want to avoid potential security breaches or leaked information. That shouldn’t stop you from creating a website, though. There are many ways to make your HOA website secure. An important tip would be to choose a reputable host that offers security features like secure sockets layer (SSL), denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, web application firewall (WAF), or structured query language (SQL) server security. These can ensure that governing documents, homeowner directory, and other sensitive files are kept safe.
A well-maintained website is just as important as one that is well-designed — or maybe even more. If your website is clunky and outdated, it will send the wrong message to potential homebuyers. It will also prevent homeowners from finding the information that they need. As such, HOAs must update their website regularly to keep it running smoothly and properly. Regular updates will also keep your website secure and protected from potential breaches.
Getting Started on Your HOA Website
An HOA website can help your association meet its many goals and responsibilities. Though it will require some capital, the benefits you get in return make it a worthwhile investment. When getting started on your HOA website, you can look for HOA website examples for inspiration. However, with every website design decision, make sure to consider the specific needs of your community. Choose features that make HOA life easier for both the board and the members.
Need help with your HOA website? The Condo Manager team has the website features you need to make it attractive and fully functional. Feel free to call us at (800) 626-1267 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our HOA software solutions.
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