Homeowners Associates (HOAs) got their start in the 1960’s, when more and more large suburban developments were being built and needed to be managed. They’ve become almost the norm in the United States, particularly in new-build neighborhoods. Ever since these neighborhood organizations got their start, they’ve been passing out paper letters door-to-door in order to spread the latest neighborhood news, events, and important rules. Unfortunately, even back then this wasn’t a very effective system. Papers are easily lost, misplaced, and ignored. In today’s digital society, a paper neighborhood newsletter is proving to be less effective than ever. It’s why more and more communities are starting to use HOA software to bring their neighborhood together. Discover why paper newsletters are a thing of the past and how HOA websites are the way of the future!
Why Paper Newsletters are a Thing of the Past
They are easy to misplace.
Papers get lost all the time. How many of your neighbors say that they never saw a newsletter even though one was taped to their front door? Papers blow away, get carried off, and could even be stolen. It’s even easier for them to get lost in the shuffle of paperwork that accumulates in the home. By the time an HOA newsletter surfaces again, the information could be months or even years out of date.
HOA software does it differently. When you are running your HOA through a website, you and your members will be able to access the information whenever and wherever you have internet access. There are no more excuses about not getting the information because a piece of paper was never received; it’s all on the website and readily available to anyone who needs it.
The information isn’t easy to recall.
A lot of your HOA members may stop and take time to read the newsletter, but once they’ve read it, chances are good that they either throw it away or file it somewhere that they’ll never look at it again. And when they do need the information, it can be tough to find. Important numbers, contact information, and dates may have been read when the information first came to their door, but if they need it a few weeks later, they may be out of luck until the next newsletter arrives.
When you move your HOA information onto the web, though, it’s always right where they can get to it. Your HOA information is available through any internet-connected device, so all of that important information is easy to find and use when they need it.
You can’t share any media.
Do you have a bunch of great photos you’d love to share from the last neighborhood holiday event? Have a cute video promoting the next one? It’s going to be difficult to share those through a paper newsletter. Sure, you can insert a couple photos in the newsletter, but the quality is likely to be poor and a few grainy photos probably aren’t going to generate a lot of excitement about this year’s events. This is where HOA software and websites have an advantage; when your information is online, the media possibilities are virtually endless! You can share all of the videos and photos that you want with other members and even encourage them to upload their own. It can help bring your neighbors together and get them excited about participating in more events together.
Keeping a calendar up-to-date is a nightmare.
How quickly do things change in your neighborhood? Probably more than a monthly newsletter can keep up with, and once it’s published in there, it’s going to be hard to move. A paper newsletter will make it hard to keep up with changes in the schedule, and if something does need to change, you’ll need to print more flyers and distribute them throughout the neighborhood again. It’s a waste of your time and a drain on your resources.
Maintaining the HOA calendar online means that with a few clicks, you can change dates and keep everyone informed about the changes. This is especially useful for things like reserving the community room, letting neighbors know about new meeting dates, or even keeping the community pool hours up-to-date. Digital calendars give you much more flexibility for changes and you can update them in seconds, not days or weeks.
It doesn’t do anything to create a sense of community.
Handing out pieces of paper to the neighbors probably doesn’t do much to get them talking to each other. One of the best things about an HOA is how it can help build a sense of community; but what is a paper newsletter doing to promote that? Probably not much. HOA software can be so much more interactive! Your residents will be able to message each other, post their own news, share photos of the neighborhood, and so much more. The online community can spill over into your real life community, giving people a chance to get to know each other better and encouraging them to participate in more HOA-sponsored events. This can help make your neighborhood an even better place to live!
It’s Time to Start Using HOA Software Instead
There was a time and a place for HOA newsletters, but that time has passed. Those newsletters used to be the most efficient means possible to spread the news in the neighborhood. But the truth is this method is outdated today; there are faster, more eco-friendly, and more cost-effective ways to share the neighborhood news. HOA software is the perfect answer, and it could even help lower your operating costs.
If you’ve been looking for HOA software or a website that can help you keep your neighborhood on the same page, come check out Condo News Center. Your HOA can have its own private website that’s fast, secure, and filled with the information that your residents really need. Ready to get started for as little as $25 a month? Head over to our website to learn more!