Managing an HOA can be highly stressful and sometimes increasingly complicated for board members and community managers. Many HOAs across the United States still operate by non-technological means, meaning that most operations are built on the backbone of in-person meetings or paper and pen.
Perhaps one of the most stressful operations that HOA board members and community managers have to conduct is the process of HOA elections or votes that can tackle a wide range of topics.
When HOAs adopt a digital strategy for the operations in their community, processes become much more streamlined and straightforward. As we’ve seen over the last few years, more HOAs are beginning to use technology to help ensure their HOA is running like a well-oiled machine.
With technology such as community management software, strenuous factors such as HOA elections or votes can be conducted via a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, removing many of the complications of in-person voting.
As more HOAs have switched to digital operations, board members and community managers have had to decide what software works best for their community, especially when it comes to the voting process.
Today, we showcase five tips that make online voting a little easier in your HOA.
5 Tips to Simplify Online Voting in Your HOA
1. Real-Time Results
With the prospect of conducting an in-person vote, board members often have to do much leg work. From printing or purchasing materials to creating, customizing, or organizing ballots to uploading physical copies of votes into an online system, in-person votes are incredibly taxing for board members and community managers.
Once a community adopts the digital voting process, many of the issues listed above become wholly diminished. Administrators can create customizable ballots within the software, meaning that the vote can be conducted from anywhere on any device, and data is captured and organized in real-time.
Being able to view organized results in real-time from a smartphone can be immensely useful and save time for HOA members. Instead of waiting until a vote is complete, board members get to see actionable results as they filter in via the software.
Because a board member has access to this data in real-time, they can determine whether or not this vote is proving to be successful or not.
For example, a board member is hosting a vote via community software. The topic is the dress code for an upcoming event that the HOA will host for homeowners in the clubhouse. The “voting period” (when the vote is accessible for users online) is three days. Once the voting period opens, administrators may see that one option is much more popular than others, so they can begin to prepare for the event ahead of time while the vote continues.
2. Allow for open feedback and questions
When conducting an online vote, it’s easy for things to become misinterpreted by voters, questions or feedback may arise, and some voters may not agree with the topic whatsoever. Lack of knowledge or confusion from your voter pool proves troublesome.
With an online voting system for an HOA, voters can access the ability to post feedback or ask questions about specific topics that may appear on a ballot. Allowing questions or feedback during the voting process allows for greater collaboration between managers, boards, and homeowners. Managers can now elaborate on any potential feedback from voters so that everyone involved in the online voting process remains on the same page.
Allowing for voter feedback or questions can significantly increase the morale and willingness to participate within the HOA community. When a voter poses a question or gives feedback, the potential to kickstart open dialogue skyrockets, helping the HOA to make better decisions built upon the backbone of community opinion. Online voting is perhaps the most effective way to ensure everyone in the community feels heard.
3. Customization of online voting
Customization is key when hosting an HOA voting session digitally. The ballot is an essential part of the voting process. The way questions are worded, the formatting of options within each question, the weight of a person’s vote; all of these factors are essential when building out a ballot.
Crafting an intelligent ballot can create many more benefits for everyone involved in the vote than people may realize. If appropriately done, administrators can enjoy efficient responses that give them access to the exact data they seek. If the questions and potential options within the ballot accurately reflect the community’s voice, voters will feel important and involved in how their community operates.
Some of the customization options that may be accessible within your voting software include:
- Questions that allow voters to choose more than one selection;
- Accept votes from delinquent homeowners;
- Completely customized ballot fields;
- Multiple question formats (dropdown, multi-select, open answer);
- And many more.
When crafting an online vote, ballot customization is an administrator’s number one tool. It creates the best possible experience for voters. It helps the administrator collect data efficiently and collaboratively, creating a better experience for everyone involved in the HOA community.
4. Mobile Voting
The ability to create a ballot or vote in an online election from any device, anytime, is perhaps what makes online voting so much easier.
For some voting software, voters must access the vote via a desktop computer. With these limitations, there is a high probability that fewer people will participate in the voting session. It would be regrettable if a homeowner had to miss a vote in their HOA simply because they didn’t have access to a desktop computer. When using community management software that has a digital voting feature, users can vote from anywhere as long as they have some form of internet access.
Not only do voters greatly benefit from mobile voting, but board members and managers benefit too. Administrators utilizing a mobile voting system can have the ability to view real-time results from their smartphone, answer questions or feedback from voters, and even export data to their smartphone for analysis.
When using community management software with online voting capabilities, the entire voting process becomes mobile, not just the vote itself.
5. Finding an all-in-one software
There are many online voting software available across the market for HOAs to adopt a more digital process in terms of elections. But, most of them aren’t created explicitly for voting within an HOA community; they are built as a “one size fits all” software that can work for any type of vote being held online. This means minor customization, significant barriers to devices, and, most importantly, more time spent uploading voter profiles or organizing data.
To help understand the limitless capabilities of an all-in-one community management software, let’s take a look at TownSq.
TownSq is a software company created for the association management industry. Its solutions are purpose-built for HOA homeowners, board members, and community managers to communicate, collaborate, and streamline their communities overnight.
TownSq comes packed to the brim with helpful features that have been crafted for HOAs, such as:
- A simple and successful digital voting platform;
- Violations/inspections module;
- Digital architectural review;
- Custom HOA website builder;
- Online environment to speak with neighbors or board members;
- Digital documents;
- And much more.
TownSq is not only the perfect solution for crafting the easiest and most effective online voting experience; it’s the ideal solution for creating the best overall HOA community experience. Homeowners, board members, and managers can save time, easily communicate, and improve the quality of the community in the most efficient way possible.
To learn more about TownSq, its digital voting capabilities, or any other features listed above, click below to sign up for a free demo with one of our friendly team members.