How to Improve HOA Resident Portal Adoption

Date Published : Jul-05-2024

Written By : Abigail Guevara

Is there anything more intimidating than new software? For many learning and engaging with new software is a challenge. This is why HOAs need to improve HOA resident portal adoption so that residents can have their best community living experience possible.


Table of contents


Technology experts say new software adoption behavior typically follows this flow:

Software Adoption Behavior

Early AdoptersThey love technology, and jump in headfirst  
Early MajorityThey are curious and listen to what others are saying about it. They want to know how exactly they will benefit.  
Late MajorityThey are in no rush and really need coaxing. They will adopt new technology when other options are no longer available
LaggardsCriticize new technology as unnecessary and claim the old way is best. They may have a look at the new technology but may never willingly adopt it.

Now that you have an idea of where residents may fall according to this technology adoption chart, let’s explore what happens when homeowners don’t use the software available to them and ways HOAs can help residents feel at ease with portal adoption.


Why resident portal adoption is important  

Resident portal adoption is important because it builds trust and transparency between the HOA and community members.


When homeowners use the HOA software provided for them, it’s a way for them to:

  • Stay current with happenings in their community
  • Feel connected to the HOA learning about new and upcoming developments
  • Exercise use of their shared spaces  
  • Get visibility into events and meetings taking place  
  • Take the opportunity to participate in meetings online
  • And so much more

The reality is that in today’s HOA modern living, community management software connects the  homeowner, their HOA and their community so more trust and transparency is built.


What happens when HOA portal adoption is neglected

New technologies are flooding every aspect of life for HOA members, from electric vehicles to software for shared community living, those who don’t familiarize themselves with new developments reduce their engagement in the community and understanding of the world around them.

In the case of HOA members, they may feel that their HOA is not communicating enough with them or left out of events and meetings because so much of the information they need is shared through community management software. Important things like paying their fees or looking up rules and regulations, requesting service can all be done through an app, giving them 24/7 access to what they need.

 Additionally, others will be talking about upcoming dates and events shared in the software that those who are not using the software will not be aware of—leaving them feeling out of the loop.

Homeowners who don’t take advantage of their HOA resident portal will miss out and have a different and limiting experience living in the community compared to those who do.

So, it’s important that HOAs support HOA resident portal adoption.


Six ways HOAs can improve portal adoption  

If you’re an HOA that has invested in software that homeowners aren’t using or not fully using, it means you see the value in the software, but residents have yet to see it.

If you want to improve HOA resident portal adoption, introducing it to members in an intentional and orderly way will guarantee increased engagement and use.

Here’s a useful outline you can use to make it happen:


1. Communicate your intention

    If you’re bringing on new community management software in the near future, inform members with an advance announcement indicating:

    • The name of the community software company
    • Why you, as the HOA, chose it
    • How it will serve members for the better
    • List the benefits

    For example, your announcement could read something like this:


    Dear [Homeowner]

    We have wonderful news to share with you that will make living at [Community Name] even more enjoyable and convenient.

    Soon, your HOA will engage Condo Control, a premier community management software company to help us run [Community Name] with increased efficiency. We chose Condo Control as our community management software provider as they have the highest industry ratings and have demonstrated excellent customer service. Additionally, as members, their software will provide you with increased and quicker access to:

    • Booking community amenities
    • Maintenance requests
    • Visitor parking
    • Important forms
    • HOA events, meetings, social activities and more.

    We believe you’ll experience and enjoy this new access to make community living better and easier as you use Condo Control’s community management software through the app.

    More details to come. We’ll keep you posted.  

    Thank you,
    Your friendly HOA   


    You can send out an announcement like this in emails, newsletters and post it to your website.

    By sending out this initial announcement, you are setting the stage for success! You are giving members a heads-up and time to anticipate the software’s arrival.


    2. Training and info-sessions

    Your member portal should already be easy to use and intuitive. Still, offering a bit of training both in-person and via self-guided videos will be welcomed by member users.

    Training gives them a chance to ask questions and test out various features and they can learn with others.

    Start by showing them the most common features members will be using.  Popular member features include self-serve options:

    • Booking amenities
    • Submitting service requests
    • Securing visitor parking
    • Paying fees online
    • Checking the community calendar

    This training shouldn’t take more than an hour, but it will give members the confidence to try the app and it various features from the beginning.

    3. Keep the conversation going

      Too often the expectation is that if you show someone something once, they understand it completely. Members may remember most of the things, but they’ll have ongoing questions. So, make sure they can ask questions through the HOA resident portal, and someone will answer them. There might be quite a few questions at first, but then they will get less and less.

      Because members are consistent users and there are so many of them, they may have some good ideas how their member portal experience can be improved. So, providing a space for them to leave suggestions/comments will be beneficial for any improvements and members will feel heard.


      4. Members helping each other

      Once members/residents start leaving comments, suggestions and tips of their own, other members can learn from them, so make it a discussion forum through the software. Members can ask each other questions and there are always people who have already figured something out.


      5. Promote the mobile app

      Almost everyone uses their cell phone daily. People are so used to carrying it with them everywhere. So, really promote the ease of use of the member portal through the community management mobile app.  Residents can literally do everything from the palm of their hand:

      • Access their personal, secure account
      • Receive community announcements
      • Access unit file information
      • Communicate with their HOA barrier free


      6. A prize for early adopters

      Rewarding those who jump in early to use the resident portal is a good idea. Maybe offer a gift card or restaurant vouchers. It will encourage residents to log in early. It will also create buzz around using the software, which is ultimately your goal.


      Create a better community with resident portal adoption  

      As an HOA investing in a resident portal, it makes sense that you help ensure residents use it to maximize its benefits.

      If you help residents engage with the software, the board and property managers will be less overwhelmed with resident requests because they’ll access information themselves and use the self-serve options. This saves you time and energy that you can direct to important management decisions.

      From the residents’ standpoint, they gain increased trust, communication and control living in their planned community.

      So, use this six-step outline to get your residents familiar and engaged with your resident portal:   

      • Communicate your HOA’s intention to use a resident portal
      • Proactively provide training and info-sessions
      • Give residents a way to continue to ask questions  
      • Residents who become experts can lead online discussion groups
      • Promote easy, 24/7 access through the mobile app
      • Incentivize with a small gift

      Everybody benefits!   

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