New year, new costs. 2023 is looking expensive, and HOA communities are going to have to make some tough decisions in order to keep up. The combination of labor shortages, supply chain issues, and inflation has created instability for individuals and entire community associations. Experts are…
The combination of labor shortages, supply chain issues, and [inflation](https://abcnews.go.com/Business/high-inflation-pushes-half-american-workers-jobs/story?id=91686187) has created instability for individuals and entire community associations. Experts are advising communities to raise their total budgets for the new calendar year by 10% to 15%, which means board members may have to levy special assessments, consider taking out a loan, or raise annual fees by more than they had originally intended.
To suggest that HOAs should budget for software for 2023 sounds counterintuitive, careless, and perhaps even silly. But just hear us out. Effective HOA management software will save your community valuable time and money. We would argue that many governed communities can’t afford not to invest in HOA software.
## REASONS WHY YOUR HOA MIGHT NEED SOFTWARE
HOA management software is designed to alleviate the problems that create headaches and extra costs for associations. Effective HOA management software can assist with communication, operations, and record-keeping. Many platforms will also provide accounting and security solutions for an additional cost.
Almost every community will benefit from HOA management software, but it tends to make more of an impact for mid-sized and large HOAs. Since there are more people to care for, there’s generally more work to do. Implementing and enforcing processes for 5,000 people is also more difficult than doing the same things for 500 people.
HOA association managers who care for multiple properties will also appreciate a good cloud-based platform because they can access every one of their communities from one portfolio. This allows them to check in with each HOA without having to remember different logins or use entirely different programs.
Here are some of the other top reasons why HOAs decide to invest in software:
– It takes too long to notify board members or residents because the HOA uses letters to deliver messages
– Residents complain about the lack of communication
– Community engagement is low
– Payments are still made using [checks](https://www.condocontrol.com/template/how-to-streamline-your-associations-accounts-payable-process/)
– The HOA uses email, but staff cannot keep track of everything
– Service requests/architectural change requests get lost
– Violation records have not formally been updated in weeks
– Payments are logged manually on a spreadsheet or on paper
– The HOA struggles to reach quorum
– Owners must see staff in person during their office hours to book an amenity
– Owners must see staff in person during their office hours to get forms or HOA documents
If your team is struggling with any of these problems, effective HOA software can provide you with practical, sustainable solutions.
## 4 WAYS SOFTWARE HELPS HOA COMMUNITIES
The benefits of having a simple, user-friendly platform are numerous, but these 4 points are the ones that current HOA software users mention the most.
### **SOFTWARE ALLOWS COMMUNITIES TO DO MORE WITH THE SAME RESOURCES**
If HOAs could afford to hire more help, they would. But associations don’t have a surplus of money to spend. HOA software gives staff and board members the ability to accomplish more with the same number of resources.
Software reduces workloads and increases efficiencies by automating or streamlining processes. For example, when a board needs to approve architectural [requests](https://www.condocontrol.com/blog/hoa-architectural-committee/), instead of having to schedule a meeting and approve or deny each request as a group, the forms can be reviewed online when it’s most convenient for each individual. Each member has the ability to approve or deny requests, and leave comments if approval was not granted.
Similarly, property managers can take care of maintenance requests online instead of trying to organize verbal, written and digital requests. When updates are made to the request, the resident who submitted the form is automatically notified of the changes.
In both cases, parties reduce the time it takes for them to complete important but repetitive tasks. They are left with more time to devote to high-level projects and issues.
### **SOFTWARE MINIMIZES COSTLY MISTAKES**
Good software leads to more seamless HOA operations, but there’s more to it than that. By supporting better communication and data management, costs that can be attributed to human error or miscommunication are drastically reduced.
If associations were using multiple databases to log the same information, then there is a chance that they may make a small mistake when entering information for the second or third time. The same is true of financial information. To find the error, a staff member would have to spend time reviewing each database until the mistake was found.
If the error was made on an invoice or receipt, the staff member may need to reach out to another party so that they are aware of the mistake as well.
Poor communication can also lead to unnecessary expenses. Voting is a great example. If owners don’t have the information they need to cast their ballot on time, or forget about the election, then the HOA may not reach quorum on the first try. It then must spend time and money rescheduling and reorganizing the election.
With HOA software, events, resident data, invoices and messages remain accurate, organized and easy to find. Plus there’s never a need to enter data or information in multiple places. Automated notifications ensure that parties never forget to follow up on a time-sensitive task or attend an important event.
### **SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS PAY FOR THEMSELVES**
At this point you might be thinking, this sounds great, but we just do not have the money for a management platform. A high-value software system does come with an annual fee, but in many cases, it will also pay for itself.
When HOA software is able to resolve problems and reduce workloads for communities, it ends up saving communities hundreds of hours each year. Even if your team saved just 200 collective work hours in 2023, and each hour is valued at about $30, that’s $6,000 saved. In reality, your team will likely save thousands more.
Then there is the money saved on paper, ink and mailing expenses. By digitizing notices, forms, requests, reports and more, the association is left with a little bit more cash to combat inflation.
### **SOFTWARE HELPS TO ALLEVIATE HEADACHES**
If you think you’re managing your association just fine right now, wait until you’ve got a program to take care of repetitive and tedious manual tasks for you. What people like most about
HOA software is that it handles the things that make their lives harder.
This doesn’t just apply to boards and property managers; residents appreciate that HOA software gives them the ability to enjoy their association to the fullest. From booking amenities from their phone instead of having to travel to the office at an inconvenient time, to setting up autopayments for monthly fees instead of writing checks, residents can do more for themselves with HOA management software.
It’s truly a win-win situation because resident satisfaction increases, and staff end up having to do less work on behalf of residents.
Even though HOAs are being pressed with higher fees and costs to maintain the association, they are still strongly encouraged to invest in HOA management software in the new year. Not only can an effective platform reduce costs, but it greatly improves efficiencies, processes, and communication for everyone.
Written by HOA Management | Shared from HOA Management