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Homeowner Association Apps

Mobile devices are increasingly the preferred way for most people to communicate. Whether at work or in personal life, people turn to smartphone apps as the most convenient way to learn, send messages, and much more. 

An association management company that offers a homeowner mobile app can empower residents to complete common tasks such as maintenance requests, assessments, and amenity reservations without emailing or calling the management office. This saves time and effort for the company’s employees while helping residents get more from their community experience. 

HOA boards appreciate the ease that comes along with an HOA mobile app, and are increasingly selective about the technology offered by potential management companies. Surprisingly, few association management software providers offer apps for homeowners, giving a decisive advantage to the management companies that have one available. 

Before determining exactly how an HOA app could benefit your business or community association, it’s worth going back to the basics: what is a homeowner association app and what can it do? 

What Are Homeowner Association Apps?

A homeowner association app puts common tasks, communications, and documents available at a moment’s notice via a homeowner’s smartphone or tablet. (Most such apps are available on Apple and Android devices). These apps allow community members, management company employees, and HOA board members to access community information, send messages, make reservations, submit or track a maintenance request, perform work order management, and more. 

 While homeowner association apps have similar functionality to online community portals, they have one major difference: they have been specifically developed for mobile devices. This means apps can deliver smoother performance on mobile devices than if users were accessing websites through their smartphones’ web browsers, even in cases when those sites are mobile responsive. 

With a homeowner association app, users can perform key actions such as:

 

  • Viewing calendars, both for facility and amenity reservations and community events.
  • Reserving facilities and amenities for resident or guest use.
  • Checking directories of resident and business contact information.
  • Accessing and downloading community documents.
  • Submitting information about architectural change requests and work orders.
  • Keeping track of updates to any submitted requests, without contacting the office.
  • Making payments on any outstanding balances.

 

App features and permissions often vary by the user’s role within the community. While homeowners use the app to file a maintenance request or a facility reservation, an HOA board member can review and approve requests and check important documents such as monthly financials.

What’s the Value of Homeowner Association Apps?

Mobile apps are often the simplest way to keep all parties in a community association connected, from community managers to board members to the homeowners they serve.  

 Every party benefits when information is relayed more quickly through a digital communication tool. Management company employees gain hours back in their days that would be spent responding to emails and voicemails from residents about questions that those residents can now get answered through the app. 

 Homeowners and residents gain a convenient, intuitive way to handle numerous tasks, and – crucially – to remain informed about the status of their requests. Board members build trust with their residents by demonstrating that they have selected a strong management company partner which provides the efficiency, transparency, and service levels the homeowners expect.  

Breaking down apps’ advantages by group illustrates their potential impact on homeowner satisfaction and operational efficiency: 

Benefits for Management Companies 

Homeowner apps can introduce powerful automation into an association management company’s workflows. When residents can use the app to view documents, reserve facilities, file work orders and maintenance requests, and communicate directly, this keeps all communications centrally located and reduces the flurry of emails and phone calls that often represent the number one threat to a community manager’s time. 

Homeowner-focused technology can also help management companies secure new contracts and grow their business. Online portals are an expectation for management companies, and must at minimum provide homeowners with web access to documents and requests. However, few management companies provide access on the go with mobile apps built specifically for homeowners. That type of convenience can stand out in a market where more than 8 in 10 management companies say homeowners have heightened demands.  

Benefits for Homeowners and Community Residents 

Everything from documents to payment histories is accessible at a moment’s notice with an HOA app, which provides convenience as well as peace of mind. In a time when everything from banking to restaurant reservations is a few taps away, an HOA app is a simple addition to residents’ lives. 

Benefits for Board Members 

Board members gain an unmatched level of visibility into the requests submitted by their homeowners, helping them serve as effective advocates and address their residents’ needs. Additionally, they can post messages through the app to update homeowners of timely information, from weather closures and facility repairs to upcoming community events, to reduce the back-and-forth that often accompanies email chains and other less sophisticated approaches. 

 

FRONTSTEPS Homeowner App Features & Benefits 

The FRONTSTEPS homeowner app is extremely popular because it provides an unmatched level of connection between three crucial parties – community managers, board members, and homeowners. Additionally, by removing friction from communications, it directly addresses the top source of burnout among community managers: the growing volume and variety of homeowner requests. 

Document Management  

  • Give homeowners 24-hour mobile access to important community rules and governing documents. 
  • Store vehicle information for residents, such as car make, and vehicle color license plate number. 
  • Present documentation about residents’ assigned storage space. 

 

Requests and Reservations  

  • Simplify facility reservation requests, such as for popular amenities. 
  • Automate the approval of amenity reservations, based on specific criteria. 
  • Set rules such as a maximum capacity for specific facilities. 
  • Submit work orders and track approvals and updates. 
  • Generate guest passes for visitor management. 
  • Submit and receive updates on architectural requests. 

Communication Features  

  • Populate a community calendar with dates and times for common area events and amenities. 
  • Generate a directory of contact information for emergency services, everyday assistance, and local businesses. 
  • Send short bulletins to users via in-app message or SMS, targeting specific groups or roles. 
  • Host a community discussion forum, with custom rules about who can post. 
  • Set up inboxes that allow each HOA manager, property owner, and community member to exchange direct messages. 
  • Give residents a space to post and respond to classified ads. 
  • Oversee package receipt and let users provide passcodes for delivery. 

 

Payments 

  • Empower residents to make single payments or scheduled recurring payments without ever leaving the app. 
  • Present a complete record of payment history. 
  • Let residents sort payments by date, check number, amount, and more. 
  • Offer downloadable financial statements, for homeowner records. 

Financials 

Available via integration with HOA accounting software. 

  • Offer each HOA board member mobile access to invoices, delinquency records, and more. 
  • View important financial documents directly from your phone. 

One Seamless Experience 

All features in the FRONTSTEPS HOA mobile app are completed within the app, for maximum convenience. Homeowners can even submit payments directly from their phone, without remembering a second password or user account.  The app can be co-branded with a management company’s logo and colors to create a cohesive experience. Residents know exactly who they are dealing with, building further trust in the brand. 

The homeowner association app is one facet of FRONTSTEPS’ HOA software suite for management companies and self-managed associations.  

The FRONTSTEPS suite enables management companies to differentiate in the market by offering premium service to homeowners and boards with fewer demands on their teams’ time.  

If you’re ready to grow faster, connect with a FRONTSTEPS representative and discover the difference our technology can make.