Professional HOA management has a reputation for being slow to adapt. However, as innovative property management companies begin to develop and deploy smarter service solutions, industry best practices have started to evolve – and homeowners associations and property management companies are feeling the benefit.
Sometimes the most important developments aren’t part of a major industry sea change. Minor innovations that solve an important need can create a massive impact on the ease of operations involved in HOA management.
Here are four seemingly small changes that have resulted in a huge shift for HOAs.
1. Digitization of documents
Digitizing board packets and agendas has alleviated the time drain and burden of sorting through hefty files for important data. Digital documents allow board members to find specific information with a few keystrokes. Board packets often run between 100 and 150 pages, so looking for details on a particular agenda item used to require lots of digging. Information is now easy to scan and search, so board members can get up to speed more quickly.
Digital documents save time and money on distribution as well. What once required multiple sets of photocopies and incurred delivery charges can now be emailed instantly – for free.
Finally, documents can be updated quickly as changes or corrections are required. No need to re-print meeting minutes, agendas or board packets to correct a typo.
2. Real-time mobile management software
By using software that has been developed specifically for community associations and is accessible via the web, your property management company can now record and track maintenance needs and violation notices in real time while walking the grounds.
What used to be recorded via pen and paper then stored in a file cabinet is now instantly logged digitally, for access at any time. When conducting grounds inspections, community managers now have access to a wealth of information, all contained on the tablet at in their hands.
HOA management software displays address or maps that managers can select directly and add notes, initiate a violation report, or check on the status of a violation, attach a picture, and access open or closed work orders.
Putting this information directly into their hands (instead of having to head back to a desk) enables community managers to perform their jobs more quickly and efficiently. It also creates transparency and accountability by generating a real-time digital paper trail that records every action by all parties. Storing this information online enables a faster response by every member of your property management company team, who no longer have to go through your manager to answer your questions.
By streamlining administrative processes, community managers have more time to focus on the person-to-person relationships with the board and association members.
3. Community communications platforms
Strong follow-up and follow-through are the backbone of superior HOA management service. Part of the equation is ensuring that board and association members are always kept in the loop. Modern communications platforms have transformed how association members get information, pay their assessments, interact with their management company, and build relationships with their neighbors.
Online board portals enable board members to track violations, review open and closed work orders, see resolved violations, assessments and more. As mentioned above, board members can also access board packets and meeting agendas and minutes to ensure that they are well-prepared for board meetings.
Meanwhile, member portals allow all association members to pay their assessments, review violation notices, and track the status of architectural applications. Members also have the ability to opt in or out of email communications, e-Billing, or other social media blasts.
These communications platforms offer an unprecedented level of control of the types of information HOA members have access to, any time of day.
4. Community websites
All modern businesses should have a web presence and associations with assets in the multi-million-dollar range (such as HOAs) are no exception. Community websites play a vital role in shaping communities by acting as a compelling sales tool for potential residents while becoming a centralized digital resource for existing members.
Community websites enable members to obtain important information at any time. What hours is the pool open? Where do I submit a maintenance request? Where can I get an architectural application? Questions that used to require a phone call and return call from a manager are now answered easily through self-serve tools.
Community websites also feature information about getting the most out of your HOA, such as upcoming community-wide events, introduction of new amenities, and important community news. HOA websites are irreplaceable tools in making each member feel more connected to their community.
While each of the above might seem like a minor change, the impact of these innovations on modern community association management cannot be overstated. As managers work hard to provide even higher levels of service, these tech advancements provide unprecedented levels of support and ease for both management company and HOA members.
Want to know more about how Keystone supports experienced team members with innovative technologies to help you re-connect to where you live? Contact our HOA management experts today and we’ll show you how.