/ Community Tips

7 reasons why an online presence is essential to a thriving community

Finding local businesses, exploring places to live, and connecting with others is mostly done on the web these days. With a wealth of information and endless possibilities available online, a website for your community definitely has its advantages.

Here are the top 7 reasons why making the move to an online presence is worth the effort!

1. Accessibility and convenience

Accessibility

Posting information online makes it available to residents around the clock. With schedules booked full and life moving in so many directions, 24/7 accessibility is monumental.

Additionally, this means that residents on the go can communicate and access the website straight from any mobile device.

Convenience

Creating a website is like giving residents a one-stop shop. Post important documents, photos, and upcoming events to one central place. Residents can also read and refer to any section of the website as needed.

Relying only on printed mailings to communicate misses this mark by a long shot. Say a homeowner misplaces the printed document or they toss it not realizing they may need to refer back to it later? Without information readily available, some may not bother keeping up with the latest.

Ensure information is available to residents by posting it on a community website. Update the information often and make it immediately available for residents with an online presence.

Lastly, administrators can view a history of any changes made to their website. Similarly, when communicating via email, the content is recorded and can be archived for future reference.

2. Communication

Contacting others has never been so easy. Doing so via a website is easy, fast, and more affordable! It’s for these reasons that you are able to communicate more frequently than you would with only print mailings.

Announce upcoming events and collect RSVPs all on the web. Get the word out on concerns and other urgent matters swiftly with resident alerts, news articles, or blast emails.

There are many tools available on platforms such as ours that have been designed for tailoring communication. This includes a variety of ways to target your audience. Reach out to specific classifications, groups of people, or other categories of residents.

With an arsenal of tools available, here are just a few ways you can reach out to the masses instantaneously:

  • Blast emails
  • Community-branded email accounts
  • Text messages
  • News articles
  • Events posted to a calendar
  • Resident alerts
  • Contact forms
  • Forum page

Communicating via the web is essential these days and with it being so simple, why not?

3. Exposure

If there’s anything to be said about the internet, it’s the exposure a community, business, or individual can gain. So, how can gaining popularity help your community?

Most people want to get a sense of what a community is all about before actually committing and making the move. Whereas in the past, people would interview neighbors and drive by at different hours of the day, they can now get a feel for the community by searching and reviewing them online!

To improve your community's chances of getting noticed on search engines such as Google, one tip is to create a website with a platform designed to be search engine friendly. This makes it easier for people to find and explore what you have to offer.

Represent your community well for the newbies checking you out. To start, make a stunning and welcoming homepage. Doing so will make a great first impression on potential new residents. By checking out your website, those looking can gauge community involvement and better decide if they would be a good fit.

Also, imagine the exposure you’ll have when it comes to your current residents! The possibilities are endless. Residents love to know that with any question they have, there’s a resource available to them online. If the answer is not found on your website, they can connect with the right person by reviewing a posted directory or contact page.

4. Affordability

Keeping in touch without a website is not always easy and can become costly over time. With a website, there are endless ways to collaborate with fellow residents, connect on your own time, bring people together, and reach out quickly, frequently, and securely.

While printing and distributing mailings can be effective, doing so regularly can be costly.

A website offers a variety of platforms and not just one-way communication. Residents can communicate both with you and with each other. There's also no additional expense or limitations to the frequency, number of residents you can correspond with or ways to customize content.

When communicating, especially on a budget, doing so online is clearly the right choice.

5. Resident interaction

Websites provide an exciting and fun way to connect with one another. There are several page types that provide options for residents to interact. Pages such as a forum page to discuss hot topics, a recipe page to share recipes with neighbors, a page for upcoming garage sales, photo galleries to reminisce on past events, or even a classifieds page all have something unique to offer.

You can also add social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to a website. With these options, it’s a cakewalk getting residents involved.

6. Reliability and security

Often times, correspondence contains private information that only residents should get ahold of. With a website, communication is sent through a reliable and secure channel and done so much faster than any form of printed distribution.

Lock down content on your website to only residents with approved accounts. Restrict pages to specific committees, board members, groups, or certain individuals.

Controlling who gains access to the content of each page is something you’ll only find on a community website.

7. Facts

Know the facts and get the statistics about what’s working in your community. Since residents are required to create accounts to access the website, gaining analytics is possible. With this information, you can check out which pages are piquing residents’ interest and how much activity you’ve drummed up with your website.

Knowledge is power, so steer your website in the direction your residents are taking it.

Wrapping up

Having a community website for posting information and communicating is reliable, affordable, and simple. It is for these reasons that more and more communities are making the move to an online presence and is why we'd recommend that you consider creating a website for your community!

If you’re looking for a way to create a website for your HOA, condo, or community, we offer a feature rich and user friendly platform for doing just that! Learn more about our service here: https://www.hoa-express.com/.

Also, be sure to follow us on social media! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Best,
Your friends @ HOA Express