A home owner’s association is an entity that governs how subdivision residents conduct themselves. You have to pay dues, usually every quarter or year, which gives you a lot of security. You can be certain no one will move in next door and paint their home a gaudy color and start blasting music at three in the morning.
There are different HOA management methods that exist. You can certainly hire an outside agency to do it, which is appealing in some ways, but it’s expensive. You can save money by utilizing HOA management software instead.
There are some different ones on the market you can peruse. However, there are certain features you should be sure the software you choose has, and we’ll talk about five of those right now.
If you want to talk about HOA management software useful features, you might start with maintenance management capabilities. That is because:
- HOA maintenance can encounter many complications
- You want to be capable of fixing any pressing issues that arise quickly
For example, if you have a dues-paying HOA member, and they have a pipe burst during the night, you want to have a plumbing company standing by that’s ready to assist them. If it’s the middle of the summer, and someone’s AC breaks down, you need an HVAC company standing by.
You need HOA management software through which you can contact such companies quickly. You should be able to locate the right person to speak to and handle the situation expediently. That is part of why your neighbors pay into the HOA: they require that quick service.
You also want your HOA management software to feature excellent accounting tools. You need these tools:
- To be simple enough that a layperson can use them
- To be transparent enough that you won’t ever encounter any IRS problems
You must be able to utilize the software to keep track of all expenses and revenue. Your dues-paying members will expect no less, as will the IRS or any other governing bodies to whom you must report at the end of the year. You don’t want there to ever be any impropriety appearance.
You should be able to quickly update accounts and check any receipts if someone has a question or concern. Automated accounting generally means transparency, and you don’t ever want there to be any secrecy about the way the HOA does its business.
You should also have HOA management software that you can safely and easily access from anywhere. If you have administrative staff working to better provide HOA services, they should be able to log in from remote locations with no issues. During the pandemic, this functionality is more critical than ever before.
You should have cloud computing in place. This allows for easier file sharing and access. You can ask your staff for project collaboration, and they should have no problems doing it.
You should also have a system where a homeowner can log on if they ever have a question or concern. They may want to check some bylaws if they’re going to make a property alteration, etc.
It Needs to be Affordable
You also must concern yourself with the price if you want HOA management software. There are suites with various options. If you have a total of fifteen subdivision houses, you’ll probably want different software and features than if you have a hundred and fifty.
You will need to talk to the HOA members about the software price to see if they’re okay with it. Presumably, you’re using part of their dues to buy that software, and if it’s extremely expensive, they may want you to find something more affordable.
Violation Tracking Methodology
HOAs exist because you have a community of individuals who want to live by a specific rule set. They probably emphasize community. You wouldn’t bother living in an HOA-governed neighborhood if you never wanted to get together for BBQs or to watch football with your neighbors on Sundays.
Because of this, you want HOA management software that carefully tracks violations. If you have someone who consistently does not follow the rules, you want a record of that.
If the board elects to get together at some point to decide whether they want to kick someone out for repeated violations, you want there to be meticulous documentation of the incidents. That’s how you can ensure the offender won’t see this as an arbitrary decision.