Benefits of Having a Community Website
Trying to remember the date of that upcoming neighborhood block party? Wondering when your next community association assessment is due? Can’t find the minutes from the last association meeting? The answers to these questions – and more – just might be on your community website.
Community websites built with association management software can empower associations to do more with less. Here are just a few examples:
Provide a portal of information for homeowners. A community website is the 24/7, one-stop spot where owners can find just about any information that pertains to their community. Owners can manage their own personal accounts, pay their community assessments online, check the community’s social calendar, get information on community amenities, review board meeting minutes, and track the status of architectural and other requests. What’s more, the transparency and simplicity a website provides can be a selling point for potential buyers.
Save (and earn!) your association money. Disseminating your association’s mailings via email instead of snail mail saves you money on printing and postage. Even better, a website has the potential to make money for your community! By running advertisements on the site, you can turn your website into a revenue stream. And everyone benefits: residents appreciate ads that provide new travel and dining opportunities or merchant savings, and advertisers can lower their cost-per-sale by leveraging highly localized and targeted messages.
Maximize your board members’ time and effectiveness. Boards are predominantly composed of volunteers, who donate their time and effort. A community website helps community managers maximize board members’ time by making it easier to access and update community information, as well as to communicate with homeowners.
Foster a greater sense of community. Finally, community websites can help create a stronger, more interconnected community. When residents can communicate, plan activities, and become involved in the governance of their association, they tend to be more engaged and invested in community life.
A Community Website Case Study: WPM Real Estate and SenEarthCo
WPM Association Management Support Supervisor and Executive Assistant Rita Dore played an integral role in implementing SenEarthCo, an association website software platform. Thanks to her assistance, nearly half of WPM-managed communities currently use SenEarthCo; the goal is that all of WPM’s association communities will use this platform by the end of the year.
Dore can attest to the benefit of the newly instituted websites:
“It is so helpful to have all of the community information centralized in one location,” reports Dore. “Board members can keep track of their management responsibilities in real time, such as monitoring contracts, financial reports, delinquencies, work orders and repairs, architectural requests, etc. And residents appreciate the simplified account statements, their ability to pay association dues online, and creating maintenance requests virtually.”
Dore does have one additional piece of advice, “The website needs to be regularly maintained in order to be effective. If it’s not, it will quickly become out of date and residents will no longer trust it as the primary source of community information.”Filed Under: Associations, General