- September 17, 2019
- Posted by: Scott Setterlund
- Category: associations, Business plans, communities, Community, Economics, Finance & accounting, Funding trends, HOA, Innovation
Privacy still rules when it comes to an Idaho homeowner’s castle and many feel HOAs are intrusive enough. This doesn’t mean that homeowners de-value the importance of communication. Most homeowners want to know the decisions that are made about their association.
However, there exists a perception that HOAs are run by Board members who would rather push their power at the expense of others. This perception results in disengaged homeowners and further widens the distrust with their HOA. As a result, homeowners are less likely to attend meetings, to participate in community events or even to engage with their neighbors.
There is no better service to facilitate the exchange of HOA-relevant information than the Internet. Online programs that are modeled specifically for HOAs have shown a significant increase in homeowner engagement. The primary driver of this exchange appears to be the ability to pay their bills online and the process to announce collections. This process is similar to what your electric, trash and water service providers have been doing for the past two decades. Surprisingly, homeowners are more trusting that their data trail is recorded, and more importantly, tracked, compared to outdated systems usually because of an unpaid Board member serving as the HOA’s bookkeeper.
Modernizing Your HOA Accounting Processes Increases Homeowner Confidence
MGM Association Management is a third party financial administrator who handles and administers all the accounting services required for an HOA. MGM’s online program is HOA-specific, but is managed by each HOA’s Board of Directors. This partnership allows the Board to determine what level or depth of online communication they choose to facilitate. The program is completely transparent and accessible 24/7 as long as there is an Internet connection.
Among the features used by MGM are that homeowners can log into their secured account, review the HOA’s financial records, make changes to their account profile, opt to receive emails, read about upcoming events or news about their association, pay dues online or receive payment confirmation or immediately email their Board about a concern.
Access to an HOA’s financial records is the legal right for every homeowner and Boards are obligated by law to provide transparent reporting; unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Any sharing of financial records is withheld until the annual meeting. This approach doesn’t allow members to be regularly informed on key decisions affecting the association nor access to the HOA’s financial well-being. By withholding this information, a Board protects their decisions as a form of control, but this results in less transparency and disenfranchises those they serve. It is not surprising that online HOA financial processes appears to shift control back to the homeowner.
What are Benefits for the HOA?
- Transfers the financial accountability away from the Board
- Saves a significant amount on expenses and enhances transparency
- Facilitates immediate communication and informs in real time
- Password encrypted
- Results in a more compliant community, financial solvency and greater engagement.
Among the features used by MGM are that homeowners can log into their secured account, review the HOA’s financial records, make changes to their personal account, opt to receive emails, read about upcoming events or news about their association, as well as to pay their dues online or receive payment confirmation.
With MGM, a homeowner has access to their association as it happens. Across the country, this level of transparency has shown a higher correlation to homeowner satisfaction.
MGM offers this online service to every HOA, and is especially intended for those HOAs who don’t want to hire a management service, but seek to remain independent. The cost is affordable and less than hiring a bookkeeper; yet the peace of mind and the benefits to an HOA are invaluable.
MGM is a member of the Community Association Institute and their mission is to help HOAs remain solvent. For more information, call MGM at (208) 846-9189 or www.gomgm.com.