There's no denying that a homeowners association is characterized by numerous moving parts that need to be made to work together for the good of all involved. Much of this responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the HOA board, but that's why they were elected.

The best they can do is to find appropriate solutions to the challenges that may emerge. When you have concerns such as complaint handling, maintenance requests, fostering communication, processing payments, etc., the possibility of having a website for the HOA may come to mind.

Today, we dive into that idea a bit to see why one may be necessary, what kinds of features you may need, and what options you have to secure one.

The Basic Function of HOA Websites

Technically speaking, a homeowners association website is meant to be informational before it is anything else. Why? Well, one of the biggest challenges that these associations face is the ability to provide information efficiently.

Sometimes, when a property management company is contracted, one of the reasons behind such a decision is to streamline the information management and provision side of things.

It can be difficult enough when community associations are smaller, so you can imagine just how out of hand things can get when you start talking about HOA communities that have hundreds of members. At that point, the door-to-door style clearly won't cut it.

With an HOA website in the mix, it becomes possible to provide essential information at scale. For example, there can be a community calendar section, which will provide event details and help owners keep track of important dates.

Benefits That Homeowners Association Websites Come with

Once you have the right website features in place, you will find that it brings a lot of benefits to your community. Here's a quick look at what some of these are to set your expectations correctly.

Time and Money Savings

HOA board members will typically be on the hunt for software and other solutions that can contribute to the effective running of the community. Doing so may create a situation where there are multiple subscriptions active or multiple programs being used where some of the functionality could be consolidated.

Going this unifying route means that there wouldn't be a need to pay for so many different things. Additionally, the learning curve becomes much easier to adjust to when the numbers are reduced.

It turns out that a custom website can encompass many of the functions such solutions would provide, which makes it a more desirable option.

Improving Communication

The importance of solid communication between the HOA management team and HOA members cannot be emphasized enough. In fact, it's essential that communication within these groups of people is handled well.

Sometimes, a lack of proper communication boils down to a lack of appropriate channels to do so. This could be because those that currently exist are insufficient or the fact that people can't keep track because they are so decentralized.

Given the function of neighborhood websites, it becomes pretty easy for everyone to agree on them as the communication standard.

What makes this great is the extent to which the current state of the world sees people logging into websites every day. Therefore, they are already acquainted with browsers and some of the other basic elements that would make the experience pretty streamlined and straightforward.

It also helps that segmenting the communication is as helpful as it is. For example, there may be a news section, an area that prospective owners can use to view properties, a "contact us" section, etc.

Better Organization

This one goes without saying and is probably on the minds of the leadership teams of all homeowners associations that are even considering having a custom website become a part of their workflow.

The more organized life is in the community and the ranks of management, the better. That's why property managers are often engaged by HOAs.

As indicated before, many moving parts feed into the running of an HOA, and it's easy for things to get out of control.

From board meetings to maintenance requests to parking to guest access to assessments, a good website helps to keep HOA business in check.

Meeting the Mandatory Website Requirements of Certain States

Here's something you may not have been aware of. Some states mandate HOA websites, especially in cases where the communities have reached a certain size. Take Florida, for example. If the HOA has at least 150 units, then it must have a website. Bear in mind too that there is a set of requirements that the said website must meet to remain within compliance with the standards.

Texas is another good example, though its rule came into effect much later. Here, if there are at least 60 lots or if there is a contract established with a property management company, then a website must be in place.

Even if your state does not have such a requirement, consider how much more convenient it is to manage HOA affairs with a website.

Key Attributes Board Members Should Make Sure Are Present

Now that you're more acquainted with the benefits, you probably have a mental HOA website template that you're considering. While that's an excellent start, you might want to ensure that the attributes below are covered.

Easy to Use

As we indicated before, the whole reason for all of this is to make the experience of the community as a whole more streamlined, straightforward, and organized. The addition of the website should by no means create an inconvenience for the community.

Therefore, you'll want to ensure that it is as intuitive as possible. Remember that you're trying to flatten the learning curve and not make it steeper.

Menu option placement, colors, feature availability, etc., are all elements that will go into the usability of the site and how prohibitive the experience of using it may feel.

Essential Information

Remember how we mentioned that the purpose of an HOA website is to inform? That wasn't just hot air. Sure, there's a lot more that the web pages can do, but even so, you don't want to lose sight of the core functionality that you should be trying to have present.

Alongside having the kind of interface that allows for a smooth experience, the information that is present needs to be relevant. What does the community need to know? What kinds of informational gaps are there as is? These are some of the questions you need to answer.

Note that this means that there needs to be a dedicated function to keep things updated. It doesn't help when your calendar of events has been showing the same old information for the past five years, now does it?

Proper Dedicated Functionality

A custom website is supposed to address a set of challenges that the HOA may have. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution that you can slap onto any HOA and have it work for them.

Keeping homeowners informed can mean different things in different associations, for example. Beyond that, what else are you looking to do with the site? Perhaps it's essential to have a payment gateway to facilitate the collection of different payment types.

While communication is the main thing, there's no reason other convenient elements can't be included.

Use Case Separation

Not everyone who will use the new HOA website will need the same set of functionality from it. For example, imagine that the site allows for the making and management of maintenance requests. Of course, both those things would not be handled by the same party.

It's the owners that would make the requests with the HOA management team being the ones that are meant to handle the other element.

The website should be able to separate these concerns. Therefore, if an owner logs in, they should be able to make requests and see the status of those made while the board, for example, would be able to see the requests, handle the assignment and work orders, etc.

What Are The Options to Get a Community Website?

So, what can you do to get your community website taken care of when you're ready for one? Here are the most likely options that you can consider.

Hire a Developer

Web developers are pretty common. The idea here would be to either contract an individual or a company. The latter would likely offer more guarantees but the cost is likely to be more considering that there would be a team at play.

This wouldn't be a free website for obvious reasons, but you wouldn't need to worry about lifting a finger where the design is concerned. You would simply pay, wait, and have your website handed over to you thereafter.

Yes, we may be oversimplifying the process a bit but the point is that you wouldn't need to concern yourself with code, hosting, etc.

Note, however, that you need to ensure that your requirements are communicated well. One of the biggest reasons these projects fail is mismatched requirement understanding.

Do It Yourself

As you can imagine, this is the cheapest option you have. The only things you would really be paying for are your domain name and hosting. In fact, if you decide to go the HOA website builder route, many of the sites that facilitate this will give you a free domain name and free hosting up to a point.

While learning languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can be especially rewarding, gone are the days when you have to if you want to build a website. Be that as it may, site builders do still have a learning curve.

Additionally, learning these skills doesn't automatically translate to an understanding of design principles and optimized user experiences, which means the likelihood of creating a site that just isn't engaging is pretty high.

Lean on DoorLooop to Get a Free HOA Website and More

This is a free HOA website in every sense and it's so much more than that. When you have concerns such as HOA board member certification for HOA, condo, co-op, etc., HOA dues, or community homeowners association insurance guidelines to deal with, it helps to have a platform that can make things less exhausting to deal with.

What DoorLoop is offering you here is a lot more than a website. It's a full-suite software solution for HOA management that happens to include one. Here are the perks:

  1. A free HOA website per community or property that includes a free resident portal page as well.
  2. Payment automation helps you stay on top of homeowners association fees, rent, fines, maintenance, and amenities.
  3. A comprehensive accounting solution that takes care of your record-keeping concerns. You'll also be able to easily manage your AR/AP reports and share them with the relevant parties.
  4. The number of management users you need is the only limitation as there is no imposed restriction on how many you are allowed. This makes the delegation side of things much easier to deal with
  5. Managing maintenance, architecture (ARC), and other requests has never been easier. This is complemented by the fact that the resident portal allows for the submission of the forms and associated documentation.
  6. Communicate effectively thanks to the inclusion of different options such as email, phone, text, and portal messages.

Why Use the DoorLoop HOA Website Option?

All that was said above was more than enough reason to go the DoorLoop route, but just in case you want a clearer outline of how such a move can be beneficial, here you go.

No Need for Tech Skills

While having tech skills can be useful, there's a specialized skill set that would be needed when you talk about building a website. It's one of the reasons most businesses will just hire out the task. Of course, going with DoorLoop gives you the best of both worlds.

You don't need to know how to code or design websites, which is what you likely wanted to hear. However, now that doesn't mean you need to pay someone to do it.

Once you have our convenient HOA management solution, your website is a part of the package and will cost you nothing extra.

Bundled Functionality

This feeds into what we were just alluding to. What you'd be getting is a full solution. It's not just the website that's about to make things easier. Remember all of those worries about managing the moving parts? Now you may not necessarily need to hire a firm to take on the property manager role.

After all, you have a software system that can do it all now, so why would you?

Automation Is a Plus

The less you need to worry about doing manually, the better. Collecting payments can be especially taxing when everything is manual. Now, you don't need to deal with all of that anymore. HOA members can set and forget their payments, with everything being handled automatically thereafter.

Consolidating Solutions

Your free HOA website, communication solution, accounting solution, management platform, and more are all now accessible from one convenient interface. What more could you ask for?

Responsive Customer Support

We value our clients incredibly highly, which is why we make ourselves available to assist with any questions or concerns that may come up before and during your time using our comprehensive solution.

Security Is Built-in

Security cannot be an afterthought and that's why we ensure that all the bases such as encryption, secure socket layer use, and more are designed into the platform from the ground up. Note, however, that the onus is still on you to use strong passwords and not to share your login details with anyone.

The Bottom Line

A free HOA website can go a long way in ensuring that information is provided to members as needed. However, we don't think you should settle for just the website when you can get a full solution instead. Take advantage of our HOA software, which includes the free site alongside a host of useful features.

Do you want to see how it all works? Schedule your demo today and let us walk you through it!

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.