Employing an outside property manager for an HOA is a considerable investment with a significant impact on an association’s annual budget, costing upwards of $10,000 a year in fees. A self managed HOA not only saves the association money, which means lower dues for homeowners and more capital that can be reinvested into the community, but it also allows for a greater sense of ownership from volunteers, like those who serve on the Board of Directors.
Given the opportunity, the right board members will always find the best and most innovative solutions while keeping in mind the community’s best interests. They have the type of personal investment in the self managed HOA that an outside property manager just doesn’t have. But, the most passionate and dedicated volunteers may not always have an extensive background in finance or HOA laws. The right HOA self management software will support board members in their roles by streamlining operations and making financial and legal processes accessible and intuitive, allowing board members to spend their time and energy on big-picture ways to improve the community they care so deeply about.
Here are some ways an HOA self management software can be used by each position on the board of directors.
Self Managed HOA President
As the leader of the Board of Directors, the President facilitates communication between other board and community members. A good President makes sure every voice is heard and valued as the board makes decisions that affect the community. The President may be responsible for preparing meeting agendas and guaranteeing meetings stay focused on the matters at hand. The President signs contracts and other legal documents for the association and may be required to co-sign all checks.
Here are some ways that the President can use HOA self management software to securely and efficiently complete their duties:
- Share and manage documents, keeping HOA-related business separate from personal or professional documents
- Send mass emails, text messages, and automated phone calls directly to residents
- Use a shared HOA calendar to manage a busy schedule
The Treasurer, a crucial member of the Board of Directors, manages all of the association’s financial transactions. Often, self managed HOAs collect dues by hand in the form of paper checks, which is incredibly time-consuming for a volunteer. Then, they must package them for the bank, enter them into their accounting software, and issue late fees. HOA self management software takes the legwork out of dues collection, automating the process for the Treasurer and/or finance officer, as well as the homeowners, who can pay easily online and even set up autopay.
Treasurers must be able to produce financial reports for board meetings and assist with an audit of the association annually. The Treasurer is also responsible for paying vendors as needed and approved by the board.
Proper management of association funds is critical to a successful HOA. Misappropriation or careless mistakes could breed suspicion among board members, and even result in legal action. Most self managed HOAs perform accounting in QuickBooks, spreadsheets, or, sometimes, on paper. Even when using software like QuickBooks, the process is difficult and at risk of human error since general accounting software is poorly designed to serve HOAs.
HOA self management software is designed with the finances of an HOA in mind. HOA self management software streamlines finances by:
- Collecting dues online and automatically applying late fees and other charges
- Generating real-time accounting reports and easily sharing them
- Building an annual budget and tracking income and expenses with custom charts and reports
- Creating vendor profiles and paying vendors directly from the software
- Sending professional invoices with a return envelope and perforated payment slip
The Secretary is typically responsible for delivering notice of meetings to association members and recording the minutes. Secretaries manage important association paperwork, including homeowner information and maintenance history. Homeowners have the right to access these documents on demand according to the covenant documents, so the Secretary must maintain up-to-date records.
HOA self management software supports the Secretary by:
- Consolidating and storing important documents, tracking maintenance history, communications, and payment history
- Providing owner access to account history and important docs, 24/7, via the online portal
- Communicating via text, email, phone, or mail
HOA committees assist board members by undertaking specific neighborhood issues and projects. A committee can be a small group of knowledgeable volunteers that serves in an advisory role for the benefit of the community. They gather information, gauge the scope of issues, and propose solutions to the board. These small groups can be a standing committee, which has ongoing responsibilities and roles, or an ad hoc committee created with a focus on a specific project or issue. The formation of committees means more shareholders making decisions, resulting in a more empowered and involved community.
HOA self management software supports committee contributions to the board and community at large by helping them:
- Send mass emails, SMS, and automatic phone calls, and view engagement communication data
- Email custom PDFs to homeowners for special events and topics
- Send surveys and vote digitally with the option of anonymous voting and capturing results within the software
- Build a custom website for the community
Choosing the right HOA Self Management Software
HOA self management software should be a good fit for the size and scope of the association and customizable for each unique association’s needs. Take the time to evaluate what elements of the current self managed system consume most of the board members’ time, and look for software that can automate these processes and free up the time of your dedicated volunteers. Also, look at errors that have occurred over the years and how automation might have prevented a human error to occur.
When selecting HOA self management software, consider:
- Affordability of the system
- Customization for dues collection and tracking
- Automated accounting for tracking income and expenses
- A portal for members to submit and track payments, view community calendars and alerts, and submit requests
- Data storage and reporting
- Communication tools like mass texts, email, voicemail, and physical mail
- Management for multiple properties
- Remote access for volunteers
PayHOA provides comprehensive HOA self management software for associations. The software helps HOAs streamline dues collections, store and organize accounting information, manage vendors, and issue violations and maintenance requests through one central hub. Homeowners have access to an individual user portal where they can see their account status, pay dues, submit and track maintenance requests, and communicate with the board and other homeowners.
PayHOA offers a self managed HOA management software solution for HOAs of any size or managerial priorities. To find out if PayHOA fits all your HOA management needs, try our software free for 30 days.