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Association Times Article

 
 

   

Website Technology and Homeowners Associations

Four to five years ago, conventional wisdom still derided the World Wide Web (www) as an amusing toy with little practical application. It's not that way today for many consumers and those seeking an easier way to obtain information. Business will never be the same as it was in the past. As a result, businesses need to know how to run a business using a website.

For a homeowner association, as with any business operation, capturing the website advantage can mean closing the communication gap and apathy trends of the past decade. By making information readily and easily available to homeowners and residents, who would otherwise choose to ignore those resources available by other means, the business of running a homeowner association can be more effectively accomplished.

The success of a common housing community is often dependent upon the manner in which the board and management communicate with the owners.

Establishment of a website for either property management companies and/or homeowner associations can enhance the creation of a community sense. Websites allow residents to stay informed, to keep in touch with board activities, and to more effectively communicate with the management company. It allows communities to solicit and receive various forms of input and feedback from residents. Residents can participate in ongoing forums covering any subject from lawn care tips and cooking recipes, to local school issues, and to opinions on sports teams. They can get together in the virtual chat room and talk interactively. Websites enable residents to place their own advertisements ranging from finding someone to mow the lawn or baby-sit the children to advertising garage sales or a home for sale.

What can websites do for your association? Today, as in the past, websites provide an opportunity for improved customer service, easier access to information, and the ability to process information faster. The website is perhaps the best way to provide fast answers using information that is inclusive, organized, customized, and constantly updated. Answering questions from customers, via the website, can free up management time on the phone. The website can be the ultimate convenience store. It is always open. The website gives the association a unique capacity to tailor services to fit the needs of the membership. Some associations are satisfied with email only - it's extremely cheap and opens a new form of communication with the members. Other associations prefer to provide more information, which can make a website the equivalent of a single page or a thick magazine. Whatever your preference, having an online presence is becoming more and more important. It's no longer just highly computer literate, well-educated, high-income people who access websites. Home computers have gotten cheaper, and millions upon millions of people are gaining access to the Web.

 

   


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