Being an effective management company in the homeowners association space means finding better ways to handle the everyday issues that come up between residents and HOA board members. The more streamlining and automation you can introduce into systems, the better the everyday resident experience will become — and the more effective you’ll become as a partner for HOA boards.
One of these everyday experiences ripe for revision is HOA violation management. Every element of the violation process, from listing HOA rules and making governing documents to actually collecting payment, can be made more streamlined and effective with the addition of digital community management technology.
If you can offer a digitized and automated HOA violation management system, you can build your own brand as a community management company, all while creating a better experience for your office staff.
HOA Violations: An Overview
Any given community with a homeowners association will have rules in its books — along with a list of related HOA fines. The exact nature of common HOA violations will change with the times, with Realtor.com noting that some of the top issues penalized in recent months include the presence of unauthorized pets, unapproved architectural changes to homes and the illegal use of properties as rental units.
If homeowners keep inadvertently triggering HOA violations and incurring the resulting HOA fines, they aren’t likely to be very happy with the way the community is being managed. That means it’s up to HOA boards and their chosen management companies to provide a simple, easily comprehensible list of violations and potential penalties.
When a community has a clear set of HOA rules and bylaws that help each homeowner stay out of trouble, the benefit of resident happiness will outweigh any money the HOA board collects through fines over the long run. As a management company, you can offer an effective way to manage and organize HOA violations, provided you’re using a capable community management software platform.
How Management Companies Manage HOA Violations
The process of managing HOA violations will differ depending on how much technology a management company brings to the table. If an HOA board is not working with an organization equipped with digital community management tools, it might keep its rule and regulation community documents on an outdated website or mostly maintain paper records.
Systems in which this data isn’t easily accessible don’t really benefit homeowners, who may end up wasting time trying to see if a planned architectural change is against the rules, for instance. When data is hard to find, they could also end up unaware of the bylaws, stumbling into violations.
Methods of paying violations will also differ based on how much technological integration an HOA board and its management company have. Requiring residents to pay in person via check or on a less sophisticated system can add difficulty and worsen the experience.
It’s ideal to find a way to process payments that’s as quick, effective and seamless as possible. If your management company can offer a simplified online payment portal, that is a definite advantage. Consumers today are used to easy, user-friendly billing processes, and they may become unhappy if the homeowners association and its management company partner can’t offer such an experience.
At its best, HOA violation management is one more part of a management company’s full suite of offerings for HOA boards and residents. When HOA fines, residents’ codes and community bylaws are managed through the same portals, websites and apps that handle other functions such as facility reservations and work orders, all the processes become part of a simple, contiguous suite.
Benefits of Effective HOA Violation Management
Using a more streamlined and technologically sophisticated HOA violation management approach isn’t just progress for its own sake. The presence of this seemingly innocuous new process can provide a positive experience for every group involved in the community management process, from your company to each HOA board member and the residents themselves.
The following are a few of the advantages that each of these parties can expect to experience:
- Residents: When residents have an easier way to read up on potential violations, and to pay HOA fines in case they slip up, this potentially irritating part of everyday life becomes easier to handle. No property owner wants to receive an HOA violation notice, which makes it essential to have access to every rule and restriction.
A centrally accessible knowledge base listing code violations is an indispensable resource that improves the resident experience by helping individuals avoid fines in the first place. Furthermore, a simplified payment experience that allows mobile access and doesn’t require use of a third-party site builds confidence and makes paying an HOA violation as painless as possible.
- HOA board members: The members of a given homeowners association are looking for ways to make the resident experience as pleasant and convenient as possible while not giving themselves excess work. Easy, digitally enabled ways to look up and pay violations deliver on these goals.
When an HOA board works with a management company that offers easy HOA violation payments, the whole process becomes more secure and hands-off. The digital system simply works, giving residents a positive, self-service experience and reducing issues that could cause dissatisfaction.
- Your management company: Every digital convenience you offer to residents in communities that you manage makes life easier for your employees. When bylaws and violation information are easy to access, residents will make fewer calls seeking information, which helps them get on with their day — and lets your employees get more done. A simple, automated payment processing method can have a similar effect.
Being able to offer this smooth, seamless and digitized experience is also a good selling point that can help your management company win contracts with more homeowners associations. HOA board members are aware that their residents want convenient and tech-enabled amenities, and are interested in simplified, highly professional processes.
While day-to-day systems like HOA violation management can seem like small elements of the overall community management experience, getting them right is one way to secure your position in the management company landscape.
Technology and HOA Violation Management
There are numerous benefits to providing a digitally enabled HOA violation catalog and payment system, but what does such a setup look like in practice? When your community management company has HOA violation management tools as part of its overall technology platform, you can access features such as:
- A connected knowledgebase: A comprehensive community rule, regulation and bylaw knowledge base and essential digital resource for residents. By setting up automatic connections between regulations and violation items, management companies can make it absolutely clear what residents need to do to comply, and what the penalties are for noncompliance.
- Mobile access to information: Offering access to the knowledge base and other related systems through a community mobile app ensures that the facts about code items and HOA violations are easy to find. Many homeowners today reach for their smart devices first when looking up information on the internet, so a good mobile interface is an essential consideration for convenience.
- Easy, mobile violation issuance: Residents aren’t the only ones who benefit from mobile access to community management technology. Inspectors looking for unauthorized, noncompliant architectural changes or other HOA violation items can log these issues from a mobile interface, connected by Wi-Fi. This ability to enter data from the field saves time and reduces the chance that information will be lost in the shuffle.
- Integrated payments: Paying an HOA violation is not a happy occasion for a homeowner, but at least it can be quick and efficient. By using a digital technology platform that has an integrated, mobile-friendly payment portal, management companies can give residents the ability to make quick online payments on the go, without ever leaving the website or app. This increases confidence and convenience and saves time for everyone.
One of the most exciting parts of adding these capabilities is that you don’t have to purchase an HOA violation management system as a separate piece of software. If you select the right community management software platform, these tools will be included, integrated with the rest of the solution.
Transforming Your Management Company’s HOA Violation Approach
By using the FRONTSTEPS platform as your community management platform, you gain access to a suite of digital capabilities with benefits for your own employees, HOA board members and residents alike. These convenience-building options include HOA violation capabilities.
Best of all, the FRONTSTEPS platform features connectivity between every essential module, from a bespoke digital app and branded community website to accounting features, work order management, governing document access, community security oversight and more.
When you integrate HOA violation management smoothly into a suite of digital options, you build out your management company’s capabilities in a way that will impress potential community partners and streamline processes for everyone. Schedule a demo now to see just what this could mean for your business or reach out to get started.