Rule number one of Major Robert Rogers’ 28 standing orders, from his 1757 manual titled Rules of Ranging (now known by American soldiers as the Ranger Handbook), states simply,
“Don’t forget nothing.”
Double negatives aside, that’s easy for a legendary 18th-century war hero to say, but what about us modern civilians? Regular people forget things every day, and no amount of caffeine or good intentions is going to stop that.
But when you’re serving on the board of directors for a self managed HOA, forgetfulness can be inconvenient, to say the least. You need systems in place to safeguard against…yourself. Software can not only be the consistent reminder for you, but can also keep your entire HOA management team in the loop with mission-critical documents and events.
Documents and resources for communicating within your HOA are valuable when it comes to staying on top of reminders, notifications, and communications. When a self managed HOA board member picks up a pen or types an email to communicate with a homeowner, personalities can come into play; conflicting egos may sometimes clash. As an HOA board member, you’re dealing with people’s personal property. In all the messy human interaction, how can you possibly remember the right things to say, avoid the wrong words, and come up with the appropriate questions to ask—the details? The answer? Tried and true HOA document templates.
Templates can’t make us foolproof, but they can come pretty close by simply including, often in checklist format, all of the things we need to remember to include in any communication between a self managed HOA board and one of its homeowner households. Beyond that, they save time and simply make your job easier.
PayHOA software offers a comprehensive selection of templates to existing customers, and their library of useful tools is always expanding. Why do I need templates, you may ask? You need templates for the same reason a chef uses recipes—no matter how good you are at what you do, human error is always waiting to trip you up. A quick check of a dish’s recipe can prevent rookie mistakes like leaving out a “minor” ingredient. Likewise, using communication templates leaves nothing to chance when a self managed HOA representative creates a message to a homeowner. Getting it right the first time is so much better than having to send a second communication after remembering a key point you forgot to mention. This is especially true during some of the unpleasant but inevitable situations a self managed HOA has to face, such as compliance issues. Nobody wants to be making up a warning letter to a resident on the fly. Not only may your word choice be incorrect in your haste, your tone and message could be poorly received if it misses the mark. And if it comes to fining a resident for some sort of non-compliance, you definitely want to have your proverbial ducks in a nice, neat row.
So, what sorts of things might a self managed HOA find useful in a communication toolbox full of templates? Each situation is unique, but they do fall into common categories, and that’s where templates can be incredibly useful.
The three most common letters sent by a self managed HOA:
- Violation – how to send a warning and possible consequences
- Lien – when someone not paying their fair share needs a nudge
- Estoppel – a necessity before a member can sell an association home
Each of these is a serious matter that can produce outcomes ranging from a quick fix to a confrontation, or even litigation. So why worry about what should be included in each, each time one is needed? Templates are key to avoiding slipping into forgetfulness pitfalls.
PayHOA offers template documents for pretty much every imaginable scenario—so many that a complete list isn’t practical to show here. But here are a few of the most commonly used tools to provide a glimpse of what’s available.
Board of Director Form Templates such as:
- Candidate Nomination
- Various Checklists
- Background/Reference Verification
- Vendor Contracts & Proposal Requests
- Meeting Agenda & Minutes
HOA Member Interaction Forms:
- Prospective Owner Questionnaire
- Welcome Email & Letter (available both as an email and a printable letter)
- Decision on Member Discipline
- Meeting Notices
- Preventive Maintenance Checklist
- Voting Ballots & Proxy Forms
Using communication templates is a far superior standard operating procedure than starting from scratch every time direct communication is necessary. They can be drafted in advance of an anticipated situation so they’re on hand when the appropriate moment arises. Another advantage to having access to a trove of template documents is that your self managed HOA’s trusted partners can share their own template documents. This can significantly speed up everyday tasks like managing maintenance requests or reporting damaged equipment in common areas.
Best of all, with PayHOA, the templates reside in the software, so your self managed HOA can access, fill out, and send them directly from your PayHOA account. And, by the way, all templates are editable—you can customize titles, headers and footers, and even logos and color schemes. Your association can truly make these templates its own and adapt them for just about any purpose or situation.
Your Self Managed HOA Treasurer’s Secret Weapon
When your self managed HOA partners with PayHOA, it can benefit from more than our tried-and-true communications toolbox. PayHOA can help in every area of HOA management. We offer a helping hand for essential facets of your association such as:
- Dues collection – Stop dealing with paper checks, house calls, and manual accounting.
- Organization – Consolidate accounting systems into one system designed specifically for self managed HOAs.
- Cost reduction – Why hire a third-party management company for thousands of dollars when PayHOA starts at only $49 per month for its base product?
- Budget building – Easily build a budget, customizable account charts, and copy data from one period to the next.
Every Essential Resource in a One-Stop Shop
If your self managed HOA has a massive file cabinet full of aging paper records, imagine gaining the ability to digitize, organize, and modernize your filing system and maintain a digital paper trail.
By putting PayHOA’s time-tested software solution in place, your self managed HOA can improve operating efficiency, virtually eliminate the risk of clerical errors, and save time. You can upload your own documents as well, and make them accessible to your community’s homeowners around the clock, seven days per week.
Volunteering can be a fun and rewarding opportunity within your HOA. Improving the work by simplifying processes and streamlining tasks can make it better not just for yourself, but for all of the volunteers on your HOA Board. By considering HOA management software, you can reduce the stress of bookkeeping as well as the occasional unpleasant aspects of dealing with unpaid dues, violations, vendors, maintenance, and a host of other responsibilities.
PayHOA offers a range of self managed HOA management software solutions to fit any size association. You can try our software free for a month. Check us out, risk-free.