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Why Your HOA Needs A Website + 10 Examples to Inspire You

Artie Shlykov 15 October 2019 0 comments

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“Don’t tell anyone, but I think I’m leaving the board at the end of the year,” David told Sahar, after a particularly overwhelming meeting of their condo’s homeowner’s association. 

Sahar didn’t blame him. She was the newest board member at their HOA, and she was already getting tired. 

When she was elected secretary, she knew she’d be giving up some free time. 

She’d anticipated attending meetings, discussing building issues, and making decisions. 

But in reality, meetings were the least time-consuming part of her commitment. 

What was taking up all her time?

Communicating with residents and trying to keep track of all the paper forms and complicated spreadsheets her predecessors had set up — two things she hadn’t realized would be such a hassle.

Despite all Sahar’s efforts, it seemed like someone was always upset about something. Even though she posted flyers and called residents on the phone every time something was happening in the building, somehow someone always missed the message. The building’s community room kept getting double-booked, sparking disputes.

Meanwhile, David, the treasurer, had been on the HOA board much longer, and tracking down residents’ quarterly dues had started to feel like his part-time job. Neighbors who were late on their payments avoided him in the hallway. “Gotta love something that is a pain in the neck and makes everyone hate you,” he joked.

Six months into her first term, Sahar already understood why David wanted to leave the board. Who had time for this?

After she got home from yet another unproductive meeting, Sahar called her sister to vent. 

“You don’t do any of that online?” her sister asked incredulously. “My HOA does everything through a website.” 

A website, Sahar thought. That could change everything... 

In this post, you’ll learn:

 

And if you'd like some tips, join our webinar on November 19th with nonprofit design expert Sarah Henry from Elevation Web to see how you can design the website of your dreams.

Why Your HOA Needs A Website

Good communication is arguably the most important factor in whether or not an HOA will be successful. That’s because without the proper tools, it quickly becomes a burden. 

Many HOAs continue to use outdated tools that are time-consuming, and don’t really mesh with residents’ modern lives. Consequently, a lot of HOA board members are in the same position as Sahar and David were — overwhelmed and about to burn out, spending all their time on thankless admin tasks. An HOA website can streamline most of that work, making it easier for residents to stay in the loop, and for board members to automate many of their routine tasks. 


A website that is easy to build and update can host news, announcements, notices, resources, member directories, an event calendar, and more. Secure payment processing and online maintenance requests eliminate even more of the day-to-day administrative work of running an HOA. 


Sahar talked to David, and they agreed that an HOA website could eliminate the majority of the things they didn’t like about being on the condo board — so they decided to investigate how complicated it would be to get one. 

Why Hundreds of HOAs Choose Wild Apricot 

Sahar and David reviewed several options for their HOA website, but ultimately recommended Wild Apricot to the rest of the board. They found that while Wild Apricot was the best-rated membership management software, it wasn’t the most expensive — in fact, it cost the least of all their options, while still offering the most functionality. With the Wild Apricot Website-Builder, they could do everything they wanted to. 


They started a free trial to demonstrate how it could work for the board and were surprised how quick and simple it was to build a site. Despite being a confirmed “non-techie,” Sahar set it up herself in an afternoon. Their HOA suddenly had a website that could house information and updates, and collect and process payments, without any long “development phase” to speak of. 

 

hoa website

hoa website

7 Essential Features For Homeowners Association Websites

Don’t worry — you don’t need to build an HOA website from scratch. Regardless of the platform you choose, just remember these seven features are essential. 

 

1. You Don’t Need To Be A Tech Whiz

Look for something that doesn’t require a lot of technical skill to build or use. Since the whole point of an HOA website is to save you time and stress, make sure you can get up and running quickly without an IT person. You’ll also want to avoid a situation where only one person knows how to update the website, so look for easy online tools. Wild Apricot’s Website Builder uses a familiar interface that’s reminiscent of Microsoft Word — no complicated tech skills needed. 

 

2. It’s Do-It-Yourself

When residents can use a self-service portal to sign themselves up for meetings or events, update their own contact information, and manage their own payments, you can cross those tasks off your to-do list forever. 

 

3. Take Advantage of Automation

You’ll want to maintain a contact database that integrates with email, invoices, and newsletters. This is what will allow you to stop going door-to-door and spending all your time on the phone. Instead, you’ll write one email that is automatically sent to everyone, or the groups you specify. 

 

4. Keep it In Your Schedule

Give your residents a community calendar that they can access from anywhere, with the ability to sign up for volunteer jobs or even note what they’re bringing to your annual potluck.

 

5. Move Past Cheque Payments

Being able to collect fees, dues, or rent of shared facilities online will save treasurers like David a lot of time — just make sure any tools you use protect your residents’ data. 

 

6. Build a Sense of Community 

When it comes to social events, your HOA board shouldn’t have to do everything. Message boards or discussion forums allow residents to get to know each other, share tools or equipment, or organize their own events. 

 

8. What Happens in the Building, Stays in the Building

You may not want to broadcast your meeting minutes or your reviews of vendor bids to the whole world — choose a website that gives you the option of restricting access to members or board only. 


10 Great HOA Website Examples to Inspire You

Here are 10 examples of HOAs that have built their websites using Wild Apricot's website builder. This will give you a good idea of how the sites work for residents. If you’d like to learn more about back-end operations, our coaches would glad to show you.

Some highlights to look for when you explore each site include:

  • Online payment processing

  • Event calendars

  • HOA rules and information pages

  • Membership directories

1. Village Green HOA


hoa website

2. Springbrook Hills


hoa website

3. River Chase Neighbourhood Association


hoa website


4. Weatherstone


hoa website


5. The Gramercy Residences


hoa website

6. Huntington Pointe Homeowners Association

 

hoa website

7. Hawkes Bay Homeowners Association


hoa website

8. Church Ranches Homeowners Association


hoa website

9. Loho Homeowners Association

 

hoa website loho

 

10. Wexford Hills Homeowners Association

 

hoa website

 

Start Building Your HOA Website Today

 

After a month with their new website, Sahar and David were feeling very differently about their board service. They’d stopped chasing paper and payments, and things were running much more smoothly.

Instead of calling and flyering for every announcement, Sahar posted updates on the website, sent automatically to all residents by email--enormously reducing the time she spent communicating. David had set up automatic invoices and reminders, allowing him to be more hands-off on dues collection.  

The new HOA website improved things for the whole community, not just the board. Residents were more aware of events and changes, frequently accessed the building calendar, and used online booking to reserve the community room. People swapped petsitting and houseplant-watering through the community message board, and a few even started attending general membership meetings more regularly.  


“So are you still quitting?” Sahar asked David at their next meeting. 


“I think I might run for another term,” he said. 

The admin work of an HOA can be overwhelming, but Wild Apricot can get you out of Excel hell and reduce the time and energy you spend on your website! Try it free for 30 days, no credit card required.

 

Artie Shlykov

Posted by Artie Shlykov

Published Tuesday, 15 October 2019 at 4:33 PM

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