Should Your Self-Managed HOA Use HOA Self-Management Software?

In a word, yes! But don’t stop reading just yet. Let’s discuss how self-management software helps to boost the abilities and efficiency of the HOA board.

Anyone who has hired a property management company for their homeowners’ association knows what a substantial investment it can be—often $10,000 per year or more. A self-managed HOA can save an association quite a bit of money, which translates to lower dues for homeowners, more available capital for investment into the local community, and a feeling of ownership among people who volunteer to serve on the board.

Experienced board members know how to find solutions to problems that jibe with the interests of the communities they serve. They care about their community and feel invested personally in its wellbeing. Outside property managers simply don’t have that sort of connection to the community they’re hired to serve. They may be slow to respond, or even worse, not respond at all.

When it comes to dues management and financial tracking, it’s often true that even board members may lack an extensive background in finance and HOA law required to effectively manage the community’s affairs. HOA self-management software fills the gaps between the expertise of the people involved and the needs of the community. It can streamline operations and make financial and legal processes more intuitive, and make the whole process more accessible to homeowners and board members alike. Freeing up board members’ time by allowing HOA self-management software to carry some of the load can yield overall improvements in the way a community is managed and the satisfaction of its homeowners.

Every board of directors’ position is different, and HOA self-management software can lighten the administrative load for each. From communication to dues management, the right software can handle all aspects of a self-managed HOA.

Self-managed HOA President

As the president leads the board of directors, they take on the burden of facilitating interactions between homeowners and the other members of the board. Presidents ensure that each person’s voice is heard and that their opinions are treated with respect, valued by the board, and reflected in their decisions.

The president is usually the person who puts together meeting agendas and keeps board meetings on track and focused on the issues most important to homeowners. They sign legal documents and co-sign checks written by the association. HOA software can bear much of this burden and relieve an overworked president of certain tedious responsibilities:

  • Sharing and managing documents
  • Separating HOA business from personal documents
  • Issuing mass emails, texts, and automated calls to residents
  • Managing a busy schedule with a shared HOA calendar

Self-managed HOA Treasurer

No position on the board of directors is more critical than that of the treasurer. The treasurer’s care of all things financial spells success or failure for the association. A treasurer’s duties range from collecting dues—sometimes in the form of paper checks—to data processing, record keeping, and issuing late fees. Reporting, taxes, and communication with members also fall under the treasurer’s umbrella. This is all time-consuming work, and a lot of the legwork involved can be automated by employing HOA self-management software.

The right software can simplify many aspects of a treasurer’s duties. This means homeowners can easily pay online. They can even use a convenient autopay feature for optimal convenience—and no more late fees. Producing financial reports, paying board-approved vendors, and assisting in annual association audits are all functions that HOA self-management software can streamline and simplify.

Let’s talk about the dark side of HOA finances: mismanagement, mistakes, and misappropriation. Whether a financial mistake is a careless one or deliberate, it detracts from the success of the HOA. Negative financial incidents sow mistrust in an association among homeowners as well as on the board itself. In the worst cases, legal action is likely. HOA software can allow better management and oversight of all that a treasurer’s duties entail than non-specialized financial software such as QuickBooks or spreadsheet applications that leave a lot of margin for human error. If you’re managing an HOA’s finances, why not choose software specifically designed and optimized for HOA self-management? Specialized software can:

  • Collect dues online.
  • Automatically apply charges and late fees with no interpersonal friction.
  • Create real-time financial reports and share them.
  • Generate charts and reports reflecting annual budget, income, and expenses.
  • Profile vendors at a glance, within the software.
  • Post professional-quality invoices with a perforated payment slip and return envelope.

Self-managed HOA Secretary

Responsible for delivering announcements of and minutes from board meetings, the secretary’s duties, though often behind the scenes, are crucial to an association’s vital functions. All association paperwork is managed by the secretary, and much of it must be made accessible to homeowners on demand in the case of things like maintenance history. A secretary must know the covenant documents intimately and keep all the association’s records current.

How does self-managed HOA software assist the secretary?

  • Document consolidation and storage
  • On-demand online homeowner access to account history and documents
  • Email, phone, postal, and text communications

Self-managed HOA Committees

The HOA committee supports the board in specific aspects of the neighborhood and any projects planned or ongoing. The committee is often made up of a group of experienced volunteers who advise and provide general guidance for the community they serve. They serve to gather data, determine the reach and scope of neighborhood issues, and produce suggested courses of action for the board to consider. Whether ad hoc or a permanent group, committees help homeowners make sound decisions and help keep them more involved in what’s happening in the community. They also have essential information to distribute to members, and software makes communication a breeze.

HOA self-management software helps communities:

  • Distribute mass emails, texts, and automated phone calls.
  • View metrics and other data regarding communications.
  • Send digital surveys and other anonymous voting opportunities.
  • Capture community opinion results.
  • Create custom community websites.

How to Choose HOA Self-Management Software

If HOA self-management software isn’t the right fit for a community and its association, it may fail to meet that community’s needs. That’s why taking time to research features and elements of the different software options available is key to picking the right product. Look for software that either has the desired features baked in or that is customizable enough to tailor to a community’s needs. 

Once you’ve evaluated the processes that need to be automated, it’s easier to find the right piece of software. What tasks take up the majority of board members’ time? Which software features can best automate those tasks? Look at records of mistakes made over previous years (and thank your secretary for good record-keeping), and think about how automating processes might have helped avoid mistakes.

A few selection considerations:

  • Affordability
  • Customizability
  • Accounting automation
  • Portal capabilities
  • Communication features
  • Multiple-property management
  • Remote access for homeowners and volunteers

The right HOA self-management software for your association will provide comprehensive solutions to your needs, automate tedious chores, and help you avoid preventable disasters.


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