Modern-day technology has allowed for a myriad of advancements in the condo and HOA management sphere. One such advancement is a homeowner online portal, a tool that has made leaps and bounds in helping associations everywhere.
The Advantages of a Homeowner Online Portal
Technology has come a long way in the last 30 years and has changed our lives in a major way. In fact, the past decade alone saw progress in various fields such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.
Social media is ubiquitous, a fixed presence in the online world. Businesses rely on technology now more than ever, and community associations are no exception.
Homeowners and condominium associations have largely depended on manual processes and physical copies of documents. The advent of online portals, HOA software, and websites, though, has made a huge difference in the way these associations are managed.
Making the switch can feel daunting, especially for an association that has primarily employed a traditional system. But, a homeowner website portal does pose many benefits. If you are hesitant to transition to a homeowner online portal, consider the following:
One of the most obvious benefits of homeowner online accounts is convenience. Setting up an online portal where homeowners can access various information is useful for all parties involved — HOA management, board members, and homeowners.
By simply logging on to their accounts, homeowners can view their ledger and account balance as well as manage their contact details. No more jumping through hoops and submitting a sundry of request letters. All you need is a stable internet connection, and everything is just a few clicks away.
It is only natural for homeowners and HOA managers to feel concerned about privacy and security. There are so many horror stories about software and websites getting hacked, with personal data leaking. However, these kinds of stores are few and far between.
In truth, homeowner online portals and websites are very secure. Developers put in a lot of work to create security protocols and privacy measures, such an SSL encryption, that will safeguard user information. Servers also typically have numerous firewalls and off-site backup drives to protect end-users. Additionally, accessing such online portals will require homeowners to input a user ID and password that are unique to each user.
3. Control Information
The ability to control information is a chief concern among HOA management companies. Such companies usually have multiple clients, with every user having their own homeowner online account. The beauty of an online portal is that the HOA management company can adjust its settings and set which information to publish for all owners to see.
There is also a function that allows the company to specify which items are for managers only, board members only, or for everyone. That means, if something is confidential (like a delinquency report), the company can hide it from homeowner accounts and leave it open for managers and board members only.
4. Make Dues Payment a Breeze
How many times have associations fallen short on income because homeowners forgot to pay their dues? A homeowner’s online portal gets rid of the middleman and streamlines the assessment collection/payment process.
Homeowners can simply log on to their accounts and settle their fees with a few clicks. This will greatly lower the delinquency rate in an association and increase homeowner engagement, to boot.
5. Lighten the Load of HOA Management
Managing an association is no joke. It involves a lot of time, hard work, and patience. With the use of a homeowner online portal, though, HOA management can look forward to a lighter load.
Aside from effortless dues collection, a website can make communication easier, improving the relationship between the homeowners and management. Moreover, since homeowners now have access to everything they need, such as personal data and association documents, this equates to fewer phone calls and emails requesting for such information.
Connecting Homeowner Accounts With HOA Management Software
A homeowner online portal is beneficial for both the association and the HOA management company. However, it is not a complete package. For that, you will need an HOA management software that comes with all the bells and whistles, such as report generation, accounting, and processing of receivables and payables.
It is a good idea to connect homeowner online accounts directly to the HOA software. This way, management can streamline processes and close the gap between the two programs. You can painlessly send information from one software to the other.
Not all developers offer both programs, though. Some associations or management companies utilize an online portal from one developer and management software from another. However, there are developers that offer both programs, making it easier to integrate the two.
Educate Homeowners on the Online Account Portal
While homeowner portals do provide plenty of advantages, they are virtually useless without proper education. An association or HOA management company that opts to use a website or portal should take the necessary steps to teach all community members how to use it.
Some homeowners may be able to teach themselves, but not everyone has a sufficient understanding of the way technology works, especially the older demographic.
To make sure the investment does not go to waste, it is important to guide your homeowners to learn how to use the online portal. This means scheduling training sessions, creating an educational video, and handing out pamphlets with detailed instructions. Associations can even distribute these instructions via the community newsletter. The effort will pay off in the end.
The Bottom Line
From convenience and security to making administrative work a breeze, a homeowner online portal clearly has many benefits. Both the association’s members and HOA management companies can gain from the use of such portals. Apart from practicality, online portals and websites add to customer retention for HOA management companies and homeowner satisfaction for HOA boards.
If your association or HOA management company requires an effective and reliable homeowner online portal, Condo Manager has everything you need. Call us at 800-626-1267 to learn more about our services. Alternatively, you can fill out an online form or schedule a free demo of our product.