Websites are an indispensable part of your HOA or Condo community operations. It’s essentially your online real estate – a central place for your residents to get all the latest updates in the community. It’s all the more reason to invest in a website product that fits your community’s needs. A website product that enables smoother operations and more informed, connected, and happier residents are essential. With many options available, choosing the one product that will benefit your community, in the long run, can be difficult. For HOAs and Condos, a community-specific website can bring that long-term value. In this post, we highlight the differences between a community-specific website and a generic content management site.
A community-specific website is one that is built from the ground up for a residential community – HOA, Condo associations, and Co-Ops. Generic content management sites (CMS) are website builders that can be created for businesses that span many industries. Examples include the big names that you may already be aware of: Wix.com, WordPress, Square Space, etc. Although many generic CMS offer mobile-friendly designs and customization of web pages, they aren’t built specifically for managing communities.
Why community-specific websites?
1) Residents can update their profile information themselves
A critical part of community management operations is effective communication with the homeowners. The task of ensuring that each resident’s contact information is correct in the database can be overwhelming. What if you have a community website where residents can update their own information, and that information is synced back to your manager portal and accounting system? That would undoubtedly offload the amount of time that it takes to manually update your resident’s information, as it changes, in two different places. The flow of data between the accounting system and the website, and back is perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of a community-specific website. In Pilera’s Easysite, a community website provider, residents can update their communication preferences, which will feed back to your accounting provider.
2) Residents can check their financial balances & make payments online
A community-specific website that is specially designed for residents will enable them with the tools to stay on top of their association dues. Residents will be able to keep track of the dues they are paying through a balance and ledger. They can also log in to pay their community dues on time. In Pilera’s Easysite, residents will be able to pay their dues on the website through the bank of your choice.
3) Managers can create pages with permissions based on user role
With generic website builders, you can create private pages that only your residents and board members can access although they won’t be role-specific. A community-specific website builder will allow you to create pages that restrict certain users from accessing the content. Pilera’s Easysites, a community-specific website builder, gives managers or website administrators the ability to restrict access of a specific page by board members or residents. Managers can also restrict page access depending on whether the user is logged in or not. Restricting certain pages makes your website more secure, providing access to information only to the people who need it.
4) An easier flow of information from the management web portal to the website
One of the most vital goals of an HOA or Condo community website is to inform residents. To that goal, a community website should provide information about who to contact for different inquiries, when the next board meeting or community gathering is, and what a resident’s responsibility is in maintaining their property. This information may be more time-consuming to manage in a generic CMS. However, a community-specific website can easily bring in all this information from your management portal. Through Pilera’s management portal and Easysites, the need to manage data in two different places is reduced. Content from the web portal that can be brought over easily to the website includes documents, events, marketplace items, and contact information.
A content management system that is built from the ground up for an HOA or Condo association is a prominent investment into your community’s future in so many ways. You can offer a personalized community experience to your residents that makes association living more enjoyable and informative. When residents are adequately informed of community information, compliant with association rules (because they know where to find the CC&Rs), and pay on time, you’ll have better chances of reducing calls to the office or fielding repetitive emails. What ensues is a more organized, efficient customer service operation for your community.
Pilera Software is the premier community and property management suite that has helped thousands of community managers and back-office personnel enhance communications, improve customer service, and manage compliance and operations. Additionally, we provide community and company websites that are mobile-friendly, have sleek designs, and can be customized for your residents. May we help your community achieve these success stories?