Your HOA Website Can Save Money, Increase Communication
Communication and budgetary issues are two of the biggest challenges facing an HOA. An effective website can facilitate communication and also save an HOA money!
Leverage the Power of the Internet
The Internet has revolutionized how homeowner associations can operate. If good communication and active participation are the two biggest challenges to managing and building a strong homeowner association, then an effective website might be the solution. For homeowner associations, a good website can decrease costs, increase communication, and enhance participation.
Basic Website Features You Will Need
How can a website do all these things? An effective website for a homeowner association would include basic features such as: document storage for new and archival information, management/board contact information and/or a more extensive member directory, an online newsletter, an online calendar, a discussion forum, a map, and the ability to post links to other sites. Enhanced features might include the creation of private or password protected areas, the ability to create surveys, classified ads, and the ability to sell advertising on the site.
How would these features actually decrease costs, increase effectiveness, and enhance participation in an HOA?
7 Ways to Save Money and Increase Communication and Participation:
- Community feedback is easily enhanced with either email links or topic postings in the discussion forums.
- Document storage and the ability to create extra pages is a feature the HOA can utilize to post information (and photos) regarding architectural compliance, safety issues, social groups, common areas, community events, ongoing projects, safety concerns, official documents, and anything else you believe to be relevant to the community. This can be accomplished by either uploading a PDF and/or using the website's document creating tools.
- A significant cost savings for the HOA would be the ability to publish, distribute, and continuously update its newsletter - at no cost! The newsletter can be created and continuously updated by either uploading a PDF and/or using the website's document creation tools.
- An online calendar would enable the HOA to post dates, times and information about meetings, events, birthdays, road closings, etc. The calendar can be open for anyone in the HOA to post information, or can be restricted to selected editors.
- A discussion forum would enable everyone in the HOA to voice their ideas and opinions about issues related to their community - whenever it is convenient for them! It is a place where the entire community can dialogue, share ideas, and build relationships.
- The addition of a map on the website, with HOA borders clearly delineated, can help new members and prospective HOA members locate the HOA within the context of the surrounding area.
- And lastly, the ability to post links to other sites would enable other community-related groups with websites to become easily accessible to HOA members. Groups such as local schools, the PTA, Mom's Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts, etc.
All of these website features help to build a homeowner association that becomes easier to manage and more informed because everyone can access information when they need it, and participate when they have time.
Ready to see what an HOA website can do for you and your association? Great, Terra West Management Services provides free websites to HOAs. If you are one of many communities managed by Terra West, your HOA's free website is fully programmed and designed. Besides being free, they are also easy to personalize, simple to use, and ready to go!
For more information, talk to your Terra West Community Manager or give us a call.