In the past few decades, communities across America have changed the ways that they govern themselves in order to better meet the needs of residents. Where one used to think of their neighborhood as urban, rural, or suburban, the lexicon has expanded to include many different models for living spaces that best serve the needs of each community. Homeowners’ associations are the most prevalent example of self-managed communities outside of the urban-rural-suburban norm, but there are many different groups and associations today that work to beautify, improve, and foster a stronger civic sense of community than ever before.
A community association is a common structure that plays a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life for multiple types of communities. These associations include well-known organizations like homeowner’s associations (HOAs) but can take the form of other organized entities such as:
- a condominium association
- a civic association
- a property owner’s association
An overarching purpose and shared objectives lie at the heart of any community association, despite the structural form it may take.
Each association, bounded by a common purpose, works together to meet their shared goals. While the respective titles, legal descriptions, and jurisdictional regulations may vary across different types of associations, their primary objectives often resonate with similar core principles. HOA Management can look very different than civic association management, for example, but all associations share common objectives such as:
- electing association leaders
- protecting community members’ rights
- providing services to residents, such as landscaping, snow removal, etc.
- maintaining harmony among community members
- managing finances collected by the association
Challenges in Community Association Governance
For all community associations, the management system is internal, meaning it is formed of people who are part of the community and invested in its welfare. However, while this brings its advantages, the management team, being volunteers with possibly different background experiences and outside commitments, might find the task of running the association overwhelming.
While communication associations play a key role in maintaining residential communities, each type of community association may experience its unique set of challenges based on its specific structure, legal regulations, community components, and objectives. For instance:
- A condo association might encounter problems linked to shared amenities or high-rise building maintenance, requiring differential fee structures.
- A self managed HOA might struggle with enforcing aesthetic regulations or handling neighborhood disputes about property lines.
- Civic associations may be challenged by mobilizing members for local political involvement or fostering community engagement.
- Property owner’s associations could run into issues with remote owners or managing vast land resources.
In order to facilitate effective, resilient community leadership, volunteers must be able to utilize the right tools to set them up for success. Luckily, HOA management software is able to assist in all of these solutions with innovative and responsive solutions created to assist with all forms of challenges a community association might face, regardless of type.
HOA Management Software as a Tool Governance
The benefit of being a community association is that management comes from within the community and truly cares for the community’s best interest. Unlike an outside management company or an HOA or property management company, board volunteers for an HOA are a part of the community and care deeply about their neighbors. But, as volunteers, the tasks of running a community association can be overwhelming. From managing finances to handling disputes and tracking payments, it can be a lot for anyone to manage.
That’s where HOA management software comes in. This software automates the tasks that bog down community association management, such as:
- collecting dues online and reconciling the bank account
- storing essential documents, maintenance history, communications, and payment history
- generating real-time accounting reports
- sending mass emails, text messages, phone calls, and physical mailers
- surveying community members
Not only does HOA management software make life easier for board volunteers, it can also help your association recruit and retain a more diverse board by making serving as a board volunteer more accessible to people with various backgrounds and outside commitments.
HOA management software also brings residents together with:
- shared community calendars displaying events
- private messaging boards for community members to use
- survey options for polling the community for inclusive decision making
Improving Communication and Collaboration
Communication is critical for a community association to achieve common goals. HOA management software, like PayHOA, has tools that promote and foster healthy communication among residents and between residents and board members.
For example, PayHOA allows board members to easily send mass emails, text messages, physical mailers, and phone calls to residents to share important updates and invitations. Residents can update their communication preferences so that they are contacted in the way that fits their lifestyle best.
In addition, board members can use targeted lists to send communications to avoid inundating residents with non-applicable messages. This can be especially helpful in a community association. If you have a community with both single-family homes and apartments, a message about mowing lawns or raking leaves might only apply to your homeowners. PayHOA’s software allows you to target that list easily.
PayHOA’s software allows for easy collaboration between board members and residents and among residents. Users can generate surveys with multiple-choice or essay-format questions and send them to all – or to a selection – of homeowners. Results can be anonymous or logged for each homeowner, allowing for honest feedback. Users can view the results individually or as percentages to make ultimate decisions.
Community members can use tools within the software to connect with each other. Private message boards can be created and given specific audiences, allowing neighbors to meet each other online and create groups based on their interests. Community calendars also keep residents updated about upcoming events within the area, providing opportunities for neighborhood camaraderie and bonding.
PayHOA: the Software for Community Associations
Community associations inherently exist to serve their members. They strive to build a more inclusive environment, not just formally but also in their day-to-day operations. PayHOA’s software was created to help them every step of the way. Our software includes members every step of the way – from gathering their feedback during planning stages to ensuring transparency by making crucial documents readily accessible.
PayHOA’s software supports a more inclusive community, equally engaging all residents by:
- allowing residents to easily pay dues, including an auto-pay feature, and request maintenance
- storing payment, maintenance, and communication history in one place for easy access from board members and residents
- providing better visibility to residents to the inner workings of their association
PayHOA aims to serve the best interests of all associations. Our all-in-one software benefits board members by saving time, reducing manual errors, and creating an efficient, automated system. Above all, PayHOA ensures a more inclusive community, engaging all residents equitably.
Utilizing HOA management software is more than just technological sophistication – it’s about embracing inclusivity, improving your community, and promoting transparent governance. Book a 15-minute introductory call with a PayHOA specialist; whether you’re a small residential community or a large-scale association, let’s explore how our software is the right fit for your community association.