As an HOA grows and emerges, so will the age of the community. As HOAs continue to advance in technology, there is still room for improvement — especially for those that are reluctant to jump on board. Some HOAs that are not as technology-driven and prefer a traditional approach find it challenging to shift to a digital way of living. These types of HOAs are often stuck in the dark ages of hard copies and check payments. They also tend to have high overhead costs and expenses because more hands and supplies are needed to execute tasks frequently.
To create greater efficiencies and convenience, we must consider three facets: technology, convenience, and automation.
Technology - Technology comes in many forms, beneficial to HOAs and their communities. The ability to monitor and keep track of all aspects of an HOA is due to technology: collecting dues, sending notices, notifications, community updates, and virtual security. In addition, communities are also utilizing intelligent home technologies such as automatic locks, package lockers, and at-home phone applications.
Convenience - Cloud platforms make collaborative work more accessible and cost-effective than maintaining in-house databases and storage devices. With a cloud platform, important information can be accessed anywhere, and less concern is put on losing important hardcopy files.
Automation - When we think of automation, we think “automate.” Automating means converting an apparatus into a systematic process to reduce human intervention.
Automation increases productivity by reducing human intervention — HOAs benefit from automation by running multiple groups and functions simultaneously.
Examples include global announcements, automatic payments, automatic messaging, wait-list, reoccurring payments, customer support, auto-deposits, and software updates.
5 reasons to bring technology to your HOA
A community website for your HOA is beneficial to current residents and prospective residents considering moving to your community.
Communication - An HOA website is the key to increasing communication on several levels — from social media, advertising, marketing, finance, and advances in technology such as HOA software.
Online features - A community website allows residents to stay connected about community events.
Decrease labor cost - A website can help decrease costs and increase profitability. With TownSq, the website builder offers little to no knowledge of web design to easily build a website for your community within minutes, saving you time and money on having to hire a professional or do it on a third-party platform.
A website is an excellent resource for keeping the community informed about monthly meetings, upcoming events, and scheduled maintenance.
Additional benefits include a professional looking site to attract new homeowners, and to easily comply with state laws.
Customization: Customize photos, layout, logos, fonts, and color schemes, to create an inviting website for your community in as littles as 15 minutes.
Documents: Upload community documents such as CC&Rs and other important information to keep your communities informed.
Easy login: A single login on your community website for residents, boards, and managers to easily access the TownSq platform.
Community events: Provide updates to events and general HOA meetings.
Technology = efficiency and automation.
Efficiency - A significant benefit of technology is efficiency. Technology allows a goal or a source of communication to be executed with little to no effort. For example, sending a message through HOA software is twice as fast as sending a letter.
Automation - Automatic features are a large part of making technology efficient and valuable to HOA communities.
Examples include; automatic payments, global announcements, and software updates.
Innovative home features
Smart home devices are another technological aspect that HOAs can benefit from. For example, key fobs, package lockers, or automated alarms are all great sources of innovative home features. These devices not only add convenience but also improve security within the community.
Key Fobs - Can be programmed to integrate with community outlets such as gates, doors, or garages. Key fobs are also safer than keys because of the inability to make hard key copies.
Automated alarms - Technology has advanced alarm systems to alert users of motion detection for areas that may be locked or hold valuable assets. Other technological safety alarms include smoke detectors and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Cameras - Technology also allows communities to utilize digital doorbells that include cameras. Property cameras are also an excellent source for monitoring activity around neighborhoods and private gated areas.
Finding software that encompasses strong communication is vital to an HOA.
Mobile applications - Mobile applications are an easy way for communities to communicate and obtain information. Users can receive push notifications, send direct messages, utilize community chats, receive updates regarding service requests, and much more.
Email communication - A considerable benefit to email communication comes with the ability to communicate virtually. Email allows communities to create agendas, record all communication, schedule important meetings, send newsletters and stay up-to-date about community events.
Auto-text messages - Similar to push notifications, automated texts are an efficient way to send out important and emergency information to all residents of the community. This can be used for tornado warnings or to inform members of unexpected road closures and maintenance.
HOA Software - Software platforms allow for everything in a community to be done in one platform from a computer or smart phone. Residents can send requests to board members and managers, or communicate with each other through forums. Managers also find this software important as it allows them one place to access all their information and save time.
Online payments options
Another significant benefit of utilizing technology is the ability to provide communities with automatic payment options. Payment options are considered one of the most critical features that HOAs find resourceful.