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.