As a community manager, you know where the opportunities and challenges lie. Tracking dues, working with boards, reviewing architectural requests, resolving resident disputes…need we go on?
With the unique tasks on community managers’ plates, there is a distinct need for high-quality HOA software that can handle and even streamline those tasks.
In this article (and the video below), we’ll cover 9 of the best software solutions for HOA, community management, and condo management. We’ll look at what each tool has to offer and how much it costs.
What Are the Most Essential Community Association Management Software Features?
Before we dive in, let’s take a minute to talk about the features you should be looking for in a homeowner’s association management software solution.
Association Management Accounting
Property management accounting software is different from generic accounting software. It includes fields that capture the specific types of revenue and expenses community managers deal with. It should connect with your dues payment application and handle invoicing and billing. In addition, it should help you reconcile your bank accounts so that transactions in your system of record and your bank statements are consistent and in sync.
Good community management software should allow violation reporting, tracking and resolution. It should also facilitate communication between managers and residents to ensure everyone is informed on the status of violations and knows how to resolve them. And all of this should be accessible from a community manager’s dashboard within the software.
Association Maintenance Tracking
Just like violations, residents should be able to report maintenance issues through the COA and HOA software, and community managers should be able to assign and track them. Maintenance staff should also be able to update the status of maintenance issues.
Association Dues, Late Fee, and Assessment Collection
When most people pay for just about everything online, online payments for dues, late fees, and assessments are a must. In addition to recurring payments, your COA and HOA software should handle one-off charges. The association software you choose should make not only paying easy for residents, but tracking easy for managers, as well.
COA and HOA Document Storage
From bylaws to closing docs to community pool rules, there are so many documents to keep track of with each association. Using cloud-based document storage that allows managers to set sharing permissions will take yet another time-consuming task off community managers’ plates.
Resident and Board Communication Tools
Communication with homeowners and boards isn’t just about keeping everyone informed. It’s also about building relationships. The COA and HOA software you choose should give you the tools you need, through email, text, or in-app notifications to build and maintain those relationships.
What Are the Best HOA Management Software Solutions?
We’ve looked at a wide array of COA and HOA software and compared their features, pricing plans, and customer feedback. We cross-referenced them with the list of tools above and looked at overall usability and value.
With all that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of what we think are some of HOA management software solutions out there. In the upcoming sections, we’ll dive deeper into these solutions, sharing key features and benefits.
Great All-in-One Association Management Solution
Buildium® is purpose-built software for both rental property and COA and HOA management.
Its all-in-one property management solution features a host of tools that not only manage the day-to-day, but help managers grow their business and their portfolios.
Buildium offers an array of association management features. Managers can also store and control access to financial reports, by-laws, policies, and meeting minutes, any kind of association documentation.
Finally, managers can log and track and bill for violations and keep track of habitual late fee payers.
Community managers have access to a comprehensive suite of accounting tools that include fee collection, electronic payments for vendors, online bill payment, bank reconciliation, and automated late fees. All of this is tracked through a chart of accounts. When tax time comes, managers can send and e-file their 1099s.
Buildium also includes marketing, and operations tools to help you grow your portfolio and your business.
And with Buildium’s Marketplace, an ecosystem of integrated apps, if there’s a task that needs doing, it can most likely be done in Buildium.
Buildium offers three tiers of pricing. All plans include:
Resident & Board Member Communications
The three tiers are customized to meet the needs of property management businesses in different phases of growth:
Essential: Starting at $55/month, Essential includes Buildium’s core features and is geared toward property management companies who are looking for basic accounting and task management tools.
Growth: Starting at $174/month, Growth is the plan for property managers looking to grow without worrying about scaling costs. It includes unlimited incoming ACH and unlimited eSignatures.
Premium: Starting at $375/month, Premium is meant for property management firms who want to build more automation into their workflows and increase efficiencies. It includes access to Buildum’s Open API and Priority Support.
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HomeWiseDocs® is a complete documentation solution for associations that complements property management software. It simplifies the complex, time-consuming work of disclosing information for the sale or refinance of homes in your managed communities.
It allows community managers, realtors, lenders, and other professionals who work in the community management space to order and track documents related to the sale or refinance of community properties and condos.
They can also use HomeWiseDocs’s analytics dashboard to help managers analyze financial performance and real estate volume across their properties. And with a large customer base, they can offer insights to managers on topics ranging from compliance to growing your portfolio.
According to their site, fees come at no cost to community managers (nor the communities themselves), but are added to what they decide to charge for the additional services.
Ideal for Managing Invoices
CondoWorks® is a solution for residential, commercial, condo, and association managers to automate accounts payable processes. CondoWorks’ specific focus on invoice management makes it a viable tool to receive, organize and pay invoices within a single platform.
CondoWorks eliminates the need to enter and sort invoice data manually. It can also connect to the vendor management tools you use, so you can automatically store invoices in one place for easier bookkeeping and payments.
CondoWorks also includes a tool that lets you send payment digitally, and there’s an option to send physical payments to vendors if that’s their preferred method.
CondoWorks claims that, taken together, these features have saved customers up to 90% of their time spent on invoice processing.
CondoWorks doesn’t feature pricing details on their site, but they do provide contact information and the option to schedule a demo meeting with a member of their team
4. Condo Control Central
Great for Managing Board Meetings
Condo Control® offers solutions not only for property managers, but for boards, residents, developers, and security staff, as well.
Their community association software features include status certificate management, as well as asset management. Community managers can also track violations and maintenance tickets (as well as vendors through the vendor portal), and set up online payments and amenity bookings.
For meetings, boards and managers can set up and track proxy voting as well as e-voting, if their associations’ bylaws allow it.
Condo Control has a tiered pricing plan in which features are grouped into Core, Standard, and Premium packages. While they don’t list prices on their site, they do give a breakdown of what each plan includes.
Both the Core and Standard plans include enough to get any association manager up and running. But there are some features that are included only in the premium plan. Those include assigning work orders, invoice management, payments, violation tracking, and architectural requests.
5. RealManage HOA Software
Excellent for Master-Planned and Mixed-Use Communities
RealManage HOA® offers solutions for HOAs, master-planned communities, and mixed-use properties. What’s unique about RealManage is their on-site services, as well as their solutions for developers and builders.
Their on-site offerings include staffing, HR and payrolls, training and staff oversight, and equipment procurement, on top of their standard offerings.
Developers can use RealManage for budget and financial planning, certificate formation, tax IDs, site plan review, vendors, and pricing. Basically, they support developers in the entire planning process.
For community managers, they offer a full suite of services that include billing; accounting; website hosting; community forums; board, vendor, lawyer, and resident portals; violation tracking; and project planning.
While RealManage offers a number of attractive services, they have only a one-star rating with the Better Business Bureau, the majority of complaints seemingly focused on billing. RealManage has answered each one with an explanation, but it’s worth looking through customers’ reviews.
RealManage doesn’t publish pricing information on their site. Rather, they provide a form for prospective customers to fill out and request a proposal.
Good for Small Businesses
PayHOA® is a full-service, cloud-based community association management software solution for smaller businesses. Let’s take a look at their features.
With the PayHOA dashboard, managers can keep track of everything from online payments to violations to maintenance requests. There are accounting tools, as well, to help manage bills and invoices, collect dues, keep track of income and expenses, and keep an eye on HOA budgets. Managers can also communicate with boards and residents.
Finally, reporting features help managers recognize trends to keep their communities and businesses growing.
If you have a larger HOA management business, however, PayHOA may not be the right fit. Their pricing, as you’ll see below, only covers community managers with 500 doors or less.
PayHoa plans are priced by number of units. Under 50 units start at $49/month, 51–150 units start at $99/month, 151–300 units start at $179/month, and 300–500 units start at 199/month. We say “starts at” because there are charges to process credit card transactions (2.9% plus 30 cents) and eChecks ($1 per check).
7. Property Meld
Great for HOA and COA Maintenance
Property Meld® is a property management software solution that focuses solely on maintenance.
Property Meld features include direct messaging to vendors and residents, automated alerts, and maintenance scheduling. Maintenance staff and vendors get an alert when a work order is assigned and they can update the status of those work orders in real time.
With their Projects feature, HOA managers can assign and keep track of multiple work orders for the same project and keep track of them all at once. Vendors can submit invoices through the platform, as well.
As we mentioned, this software is strictly for maintenance, but it does integrate with other more holistic property management software tools, such as Buildium and Propertyware.
Property Meld charges just one price: $1.60 per unit per month, with a $160-per-month minimum. According to their pricing page, Property Meld reserves the right to audit each customer’s use of their tools and limit them to prevent overuse
Ideal for Associations and Office Buildings
EasyHOA® provides solutions for HOA and condo associations as well as office buildings. As their name suggests, their goal is to simplify community association management.
EasyHOA features include emails and text messaging to and from owners and boards, document management, an events calendar, and the ability to send out surveys. It also includes document management and architectural request creation by owners.
To manage boards, community managers can set up electronic voting, set up groups and assign tasks.
Automation tools allow managers to set up online payments, recurring billing and billing notifications, and an integrated phone system that sends and receives text messages and tracks voicemails.
What isn’t included on their feature page is a full-service association management accounting tool that would include a chart of accounts, taxes, and banking integration.
EasyHOA doesn’t include pricing on their site, but they do let prospective customers know that they don’t charge for upgrades, add-ons, or messages (emails or texts). Based on their pricing page, all of their services seem to be included in one plan.
Excellent for Day-to-Day Tasks
ManageCasa® serves a host of different properties, from student housing to single-family homes. That includes HOA and COA management.
With ManageCasa, HOA and COA management companies can
Track and resolve violations
Review architectural requests
Automate bookkeeping and reconcile with their bank
Upload and share community documents
Create and share association reports
Report, collaborate, and resolve maintenance issues
One interesting feature is their global search functionality, which allows managers to search across all of their contacts. Managers can create filters, custom fields, and relationships to focus search results.
Essentially, ManageCasa costs $100 for the first 100 units managed. This is their Base plan, which increases $1 per unit per month after that. The Base plan covers much of what we discussed in the features section.
Beyond the Base plan, managers have to add other features a la carte. Those features include unlimited bank accounts and no fee to connect, ePay with ACH, text and push notifications, and inspections.
Choosing the Best HOA Management Software for Your Business
For community boards looking for the best HOA software solution for their needs, there are plenty of options available on the market today.
From accounting and billing systems to community communication tools and document storage solutions, each software comes to the table with different features and pricing plans, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that best fits your community’s needs.
If you manage associations—or a mixed portfolio—check out Buildium’s personalized demo or 14-day free trial. Buildium’s tools and features are built with managers in mind at every step. And if it doesn’t have a feature, chances are one of its Marketplace partners does, which are fully integrated with Buildium.
With the right COA and HOA software, community associations can run more efficiently and effectively, saving time, money and effort for homeowners, board members, vendors, and property management teams alike.
Frequently Asked Questions about HOA Software
Why Use HOA Management Software?
HOA management software includes any tool that helps automate of an association manager’s job. That could mean simply using an association management accounting tool to keep track of payments and balance the books, or an entire suite of tools that span maintenance, accounting, communications, and other aspects of running an HOA, community association, or condo association.
How Do You Define the Best HOA Software?
The best HOA software becomes a silent partner in an association manager’s day-to-day. HOA and community management software automates tasks such as maintenance requests and tracking, violation tracking, architectural requests, and payments. These are the tasks that not only cost your staff time, but cost your company money, as well. HOA management software will help you keep the lines of communication open between you and your residents and board, and help keep their documents safely stored and organized in one place.
What Key Features Should I Look for in HOA Management Software?
The best HOA software will include tools that help community associations, HOAs, and condo associations streamline tasks and processes while enhancing the resident experience. A good community association software should include features for
Association Management Accounting
Association Maintenance Tracking
Dues, Late Fee, and Assessment Collection
HOA Document Storage
Resident and Board Communication Tools
What Is the Cost of the Top HOA Management Software Solutions?
Pricing for HOA management software varies depending on the size of your company and the features you’re looking for. Because of that, many HOA software companies either offer varying plans, or encourage you to reach out to a sales representative to get a customized package and pricing that fits your needs.
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Laurie Mega has planned, written, and edited content on a variety of subjects. Her work has been published by HomeandGarden.com, The Economist, Philips Lifeline, and FamilyEducation, among others. She lives in the Greater Boston Area with her husband and two boys.