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Alabama Law for You

  • Writer's pictureGregory Stanley

Software is Now a Necessity for Communities - Part Four

Updated: Apr 21


  1. More HOAs and COAs nationally, but especially in coastal and resort areas

  2. Owners expecting better communication from their boards

  3. Expenses and dues going up

  4. Automation is a necessity

  5. Disputes on the rise


Remember the board that only had one paper copy of their bylaws?  That organization was still paying their management company to manually collect and deposit the monthly association dues.  I honestly don’t know how that worked, but within a month after I met with them they got an owners portal and dues can be paid by draft or online with ease.  I think they pay 50 cents per owner per month.  So, we brought them into the 20th Century, next task, allowing people to vote remotely.


Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.


There is a new property owners association on Smith Lake and the association board looked at setting up a resident portal for dues payments and required documents.  Their dues are annual, so they only collect once a year.  The board treasurer decided to collect dues herself and use a spreadsheet to keep all the information in one place.  And that seems to make sense given the scale of the collections.  They also leverage their free Facebook page with almost every owner being a member.  They publish documents there as well.  Easy peasy.  Not as cool as an owners portal, but effective.  The idea is to let your needs and processes drive the technology, don’t let the availability of technology drive your processes. 


HOA management software can handle everything from scheduling to guest management.


Trend Number 4 connects to Trend Number 2. Software is being used to simplify and automate tasks and actions that create headaches for communities or slow down productivity for staff. In addition to communication challenges, HOA management software addresses accounting, guest management, access control, maintenance and repair management, asset management, amenity bookings, and so much more.  In a sense, there is software to do almost all the management tasks that boards or small association managers have done in the past.   Some software even comes with a phone app for staff and residents, meaning they can send or receive gate code changes, notices about hazards or events easily.


The right software or subscription service can reduce time spent, ink, paper, and even help when the docks get overbooked.


HOA management software can also help reduce operation and labor costs at a time when HOAs are paying more for materials and services. Associations can save thousands of dollars when they use a management platform since it reduces ink and paper costs, and eliminates the need for staff to enter data manually, recreate email lists, manually update amenity bookings or violations, etc.


The right software can receive and assign complaints and owner requests, and create reports that help Associations keep up with issues like maintenance before they become a problem. If you have boat docks or limited parking spaces, or other limited amenities, these programs can create reports that associations can use to reduce reservation troubles, and even help decide if it would be worthwhile to charge a fee for certain things.


Rule of thumb:  Let your needs and processes drive the technology, don’t let the availability of technology drive your processes.


Always use a reputable Alabama Lawyer when you are dealing with real property, whether it has an association or not.


(205) 451-4196

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