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The Best Ways to Collect HOA Fees

Learn how to alleviate friction during the payment process by choosing the best way to collect HOA fees.

Homeowner association (HOA) fees, also called dues or assessments, help fund crucial services. This keeps communities running smoothly and enhances homeowner living experiences. With this in mind, a complex fee collection process can disrupt operations. And it also discourages members from paying their dues.

Opting to collect HOA fees online helps to foster a seamless, effective payment system for your community.

What are HOA fees?

HOA fees are money payments made to an association by homeowners. As outlined by Condo Control, these funds help to maintain neighborhood features. These include lobbies, landscaping, recreational facilities, and more. HOA fees may also cover community costs including trash or snow removal, management services, security systems such as gates, plumbing and sewage, and other on-property operations. Often, the dues will also feed an insurance plan or reserve fund for emergency maintenance costs.

With homeowner expectations continuing to increase, the collection of HOA fees remains a crucial investment toward homeowner satisfaction. In fact, in a recent survey of property management companies, 75% of respondents think people’s expectations of their living experience have increased. Diving a bit deeper, 57% of respondents noted that community members appear to have higher expectations of neighborhood amenities, and 51% mention better community technology. It’s worth noting that while the survey focuses on the multifamily industry, these learnings can apply to homeowners, particularly in a condo setting.

All that said, a fully functional and funded HOA is well-equipped to uphold homeowner standards. This is especially true when it comes to amenities, services, and technology – core drivers of community satisfaction.

2023 Property management trend #2: Renter expectations have increased in the past year and this chart showcases how multifamily property managers think their resident expectations will change for 2024.

Methods of collecting HOA dues

Understanding how to pay HOA dues is the first step in building out a robust fee collection process. The HOA payment journey typically begins when a homeowner receives an invoice, statement, or notification from an association or property manager. From there, the homeowner will pay using one of the following methods.

Mail-in or in-person payments

Members may settle their dues by mailing in a personal check or money order. Alternatively, they may also pay in-person at the payment office.

Online or mobile app payments

Residents may pay digitally through an online portal or mobile app designated by the association. Typically, electronic payments for HOA dues allow the homeowner to use one of many options. These options include a credit or debit card, ACH bank transfer, or other digital payment method. The entire process can be done from their personal computer or mobile device.

Digital HOA Dues

Explore the operational and financial benefits of embracing digital HOA dues payments featuring a roadmap to enhance operations and how residents can benefit from a seamless digital payment experience.

Lockbox services

Residents may pay by sending a personal check through a secure lockbox service. A trusted third-party institution will process the payment on behalf of the association.

Establishing a reliable, well-informed approach to HOA due collection is essential. Choosing the best method to collect HOA fees gives associations a competitive edge. Even better, offering multiple options ensures timely payments, homeowner satisfaction, and operational efficiency.

Choosing the best methods to collect HOA fees

Collecting fees from any community involves challenges. Some of the top pain points include delinquent payments, inaccuracies and disputes, financial audits, security risks, and costly overhead. Taking advantage of a best-in-class HOA payment platform helps mitigate these concerns.

The best ways to collect HOA fees

It’s important to note that while each method mentioned below can function alone, we suggest embracing a complete strategy. By offering multiple payment options, associations provide homeowners the flexibility and convenience to pay how they wish. That way, the risk of delinquent payments within the community is reduced. With that in mind, the best ways to collect HOA fees include:

  1. Electronic payments for HOA
    Pairing a paperless payment solution with a trusted HOA accounting software such as Enumerate encourages a smooth transaction process, lower manual costs, and reliable tracking and reporting.
  2. Lockbox
    With a modern property management lockbox solution, homeowners can enjoy a familiar paper payment experience. Meanwhile, HOAs forego the hassle of manually processing dues.
  3. Mobile CheckScan
    By capturing a photo of their paper check through a mobile check-scan solution, homeowners’ payments are automatically converted into an electronic transaction. This helps to improve community digital adoption rates while offering homeowners a quick, easy payment process.

Waterside Monclova HOA & Zego Lockbox

Waterside Monclova HOA is an Active Lifestyle Community in Ohio. With a goal of easing the burdensome process for check handling, the HOA replaced their traditional Lockbox with the Zego Pay Lockbox resulting in substantial time savings and improved workflows.

Benefits of collecting HOA dues online

The primary source of revenue for HOAs are the funds collected from members. This is why it is crucial to include multiple effective options in your payment menu. Digital payment adoption is a vital step toward improving flexibility, convenience, and costs in your HOA collections. Plus, homeowners love the perks of paying online.

Save time
Traditional payment formats such as mail-in or in-person can delay cash flow and are proven to be more time-consuming for everyone involved. With only a few button clicks on a personal device, homeowners can quickly settle their transactions. This saves time that might have been spent filling and mailing a physical check or standing in line. And because the payment process is digitally automated, manual lift drastically decreases for staff.

Save money
Innago states that the expense associated with processing a single paper check comes in at around $3. When collecting HOA dues from hundreds of units, these paper payment costs can quickly add up. Factor in the additional expenses tied to on-site staff labor and paperwork, and your expenditures can swiftly reach out-of-hand amounts.

This chart features the total cost per month and year for property managers and HOA associations for paper checks and money orders. One of the best ways to collect HOA fees is electronically to save this money from processing these forms of payment.
Adopting a paperless payment solution lessens the manual lift for on-site staff and drives down costs associated with paper check processing.

Increase homeowner satisfaction
Implementing a digital payment system offers a level of convenience and flexibility that improves homeowner satisfaction. By giving homeowners the option to pay from anywhere at any time, associations eliminate the need for in-person visits or postal services. This way, HOAs are more likely to nurture happy homeowners.

Track and receive your funds easier and earlier
By collecting HOA dues online, associations gain real-time visibility into payment statuses. This enables easier tracking and reconciliation of accounts. By skipping the time lag associated with check clearing and mail delays, HOAs can enjoy continuous cash flow and appreciate a two-way street of transparency with homeowners.

Simplify the collection of HOA payments

The benefits of switching to digital payments from real-world case studies

Organizations can make payments significantly easier for themselves, their clients, and homeowners by embracing solutions like Zego.

  • Sunrise Bank managed the payment operations for a modest portfolio of HOAs in Florida. Seeking elbow room to scale alongside their clients, Sunrise Bank partnered with Zego. They hoped to ease manual lift by automating their fee collection process. Since adopting Zego’s digital payment and Lockbox solutions, Sunrise Bank has enjoyed streamlined operations and significant business expansion.
  • Waterside Monclova HOA, an active community in Ohio, searched for a payment solution strategy after experiencing challenges within their existing process. These pain points included inaccurate reporting and an overall cumbersome workflow. By taking advantage of Zego’s seamless integration with Enumerate, and adopting Zego Pay and Lockbox in their operations, Waterside Monclova started seeing positive change. The automation tools saved them time and improved accuracy in their payment processes.

Success stories like Sunrise Bank and Waterside Monclova HOA demonstrate the tangible benefits of streamlined fee collection. This includes business growth, smoother operations, and substantial time savings. Embracing innovative payment solutions opens the door to more effective and hassle-free community management.

Elevate your HOA fee collection

Discover how Zego’s innovative product suite can simplify your payment processes. In return, your community can enjoy enhanced homeowner satisfaction and improved financial stability. Schedule your demo today and embark on a journey towards seamless payment management.

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