ICYMI: ResMan Recaps the FAA Annual Conference and Trade Show with Patrick Johnson

I sat down with Elizabeth Francisco, President of ResMan, Patrick Johnson, SVP of Sales at AMS Billing and one of ResMan’s Sales Executives, Justin Hayward, to discuss what went on at the FAA 2021 Annual Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, Florida.  

If you missed the FAA Annual Conference and Trade Show, hear what Elizabeth, Patrick and Justin had to say about what was so great, what they learned about the market and what the industry’s conversations revolved around: 

So, how was FAA for you all this year? 

Patrick: I thought it was one of the best FAA trade shows I ever attended. It was busier for vendors this year since they were getting back out there for the first time in-person in years. It was even more inclusive this year because the size of the space, so the big venue made for a lot of great conversations. 

Elizabeth: I agree. I really liked that there was a lot of focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) this year. It was very relevant and necessary. People know there are issues and are willing to make changes, they just don’t know how to fix it. I was asked if we had made progress regarding DEI. We have made progress but given the amount of time it’s taken and the amount of progress, we have a long way to go. Especially when we talk about multicultural representation and people of color, specifically. I truly applaud FAA’s commitment to DEI and adding that to their sessions this year. They are committed to it and it shows and we need that to continue. 

Justin: This was my first FAA so I didn’t have a lot of expectations going into it. I, personally, thought it was cool to see all the suppliers and vendors come together to grow their networks and grow referral business. That face-to-face interaction was priceless. 

What seemed to be the theme of your conversations with other property management companies at FAA? 

Justin: A lot of the conversations we had on the trade show floor opened the door for conversations around attendees’ pain points regarding their property management software. People were like kids in a sandbox when they got to navigate ResMan’s product. 

It was also great to see some previous customers and re-engage those relationships to hear their pain points. We had a customer who made a switch from ResMan to Yardi and she essentially went through a list of areas where Yardi wasn’t currently supporting the property managers. She spoke to all the things she lost when they moved to ResMan. Hearing all of that helped me better understand the value our customers get from our product versus other competitors. 

In the end, most of my conversations were with property managers. It was helpful to learn more about their day-to-day as a property manager, from seeing how they process a work order to how they communicate with residents. When they spoke up about challenges within those day-to-day tasks, we’d point out where our software helps with those pain points. 

Patrick: I think that’s a great point to go off of, Justin. We’ve all been sitting at home for a year and a half. FAA gave us a chance to be back face-to-face and remind ourselves what property managers go through in their day-to-day. We haven’t been around each other to see it as much as we were prior to the pandemic.  

Along the same point, I think people being trapped at home and focusing on resident retention and current state of their properties has left a lot of people stuck and unable to make changes. There’s been a lot of mergers and acquisitions and most of our competitors have been bought out by bigger companies. Larger corporations are buying anyone who will let them. So that got the industry really excited for the possibilities of optimizing their operations.  

But people are still sticking with what they have in ancillary services and software. This event was a chance for them to get out and see what else is out there. They don’t always have a chance to take a phone call and don’t always want to answer emails. The tradeshow spotlighted the pain points of these decision makers because they could see where other services and softwares did things differently. I got to have conversations with people I wouldn’t have unless I was face-to-face at a trade show.  

Elizabeth: That’s very true. For business relationships, in-person trade shows allow us to break through the noise. This is providing opportunities on both sides, not just suppliers getting potential customers but property managers and executives getting to optimize their business with other products. Relationships matter in this industry. There’s only so much you can do to develop those relationships virtually. Only an in-person event can take a relationship all the way. We are human beings and face-to-face interaction creates a different warmth and strength in relationships, reminding people why they do business together to begin with. It also helps us to read body language. We can better support our customers when we have face-to-face interactions safely. 

Elizabeth, you hosted a session around DEI and what impacts it has on career growth for others moving up in the property management industry. How did that session go? 

Elizabeth: It was so great to speak with Sonya, Jimmy, and Antoinette about their experiences. We had over 300 people attend the session alone and that was really powerful to see how many people were interested in this topic.  

The whole point of our session was about the disparities in the industry around diversity and inclusion, which we can all see with our own eyes. There is a certain aspect of it that falls on us individually. We must acknowledge and deal with things in our career to succeed. The baggage we bring with us holds us back. There needs to be personal accountability when it comes to investing in yourself. If you aren’t investing in yourself, why would anyone else want to invest in you? We saw how you can use results from that very investment to overcome bias. Not 100% of the time. But in the business world, results create respect because results in business demand respect. 

That’s a great point, Elizabeth. Justin and Patrick, what did you think about the session? 

Justin: One of the biggest things for me watching Elizabeth’s session and her panelists, you could just tell the topic was garnering support from the crowd. We sat at a table with property managers and people were constantly talking under their breath with “mmhmms” and “yeses.”  

Ah, so it was like church on a Thursday with all the echoing “amens.” That says a lot about the market and how they relate to the same problems Elizabeth and her panelists endured themselves. 

Justin: It really does. From time to time, the panelists would also give feedback on challenges they faced when moving up in their roles. Elizabeth did a great job of taking their responses and giving closing statements that included more insight into how leaders and property managers can take these testimonies and make changes in the industry.  

Elizabeth: I heard that a lot, too, Justin. People were so relieved to hear even executives like myself have self-doubt. No one is alone when it comes to second guessing yourself. 

Patrick: I really appreciated that the session was relevant and had useful takeaways for just about everyone. Even if you’re not trying to get to the top, it’s still things you can think about in your day-to-day life. It encouraged people to think about small investments they could make to further their career, whether that’s sitting at your desk a little longer to earn that new resident or investing in professional development. It applies to multifamily and beyond.  

I like how Elizabeth pointed out there’s a lack of women in the leadership roles within property management. When I looked around at the attendance, 90% of the audience were female. Elizabeth, I think you asked thoughtful questions to these women to get them thinking. All of it was to support people in their career growth and make them ask “What’s stopping me from getting where I want to be?” 

That’s a powerful response overall. It sounds like the topic was incredibly useful to a lot of the attendees. Since it sounds like the session was well attended, what did you all think about the attendance of the trade show overall? 

Justin: I didn’t know what to expect to have regarding engagement and attendance. Overall, it was great. I was pleased with all the conversations and leads we took away from the event. 

Patrick: The quality of the event attendance was very good. I did appreciate that there were a lot of decision makers attending. It made the conversations more productive overall. You always run into the people you need to see which is important and I think that aspect was an important reminder of why tradeshows are so useful. 

Elizabeth: I was told over 700 tickets sold for the APAC (Apartment Political Action Committee) event. That was a big attendance. 

What seemed to be the biggest takeaway from FAA’s event? 

Elizabeth: One thing I learned from being there revolved around supply chain issues. As many know already, the supply chain issues are causing delays for repairs and turning units and when that happens you have frustrated renters and staff. You’re coming off a tough 14 months. It’s important for properties to maintain quality of these units. I knew there were supply chain issues and I was thinking of it from a pricing and an expense management perspective, but I guess I lost sight of the impact on those maintenance teams I took the time to talk with several of them and it was incredibly eye-opening and something worth talking about.” 

Justin: “The biggest takeaway for me was the ability to create relationships, especially at the APAC event. As Elizabeth mentioned, there were so many people there. The EPCOT fireworks show during APAC was amazing and had a great space for conversations, with drinks and 30-minutes of great entertainment. We got there early and got to talk with other people for 2 hours before the fireworks actually started and it set up some great conversations.” 

Elizabeth: I, also, felt like I appreciated FAA and their willingness to help educate people and support their growth. Multifamily is very family oriented and the industry as a whole is a family. We rise and fall together. 

To echo that a bit more, FAA’s Political Action Committee had a vision statement that really resonated: “Providing quality rental housing for hardworking Floridians is your business. Our business is to make sure you succeed.” This is how they (FAA) view their engagement and for us to be able to provide good rental housing, we must work with governments, so they aren’t regulating us out of quality. 

Thank you, everyone, for sharing more about FAA this year. It sounds like an amazing event and I’m sad I missed, but hearing your recap makes me feel like I was there. And a special thank you to the Florida Apartment Association for a wonderful event. See you next year! 

Did you miss Elizabeth’s session at FAA? Stay tuned for her upcoming podcast as she rejoins her panelists to continue the conversation around DEI and career growth within property management. Subscribe to our podcast here

ResMan Further Enhances Executive Team With New CTO  

ResMan Further Enhances Executive Team With New CTO  

Technology veteran and original architect of ResMan’s platform, Nick Olsen, leads innovation of company’s solutions suite

PLANO, Texas, October 25th, 2021 – ResMan®, a leading property management SaaS platform provider, today announces that Nick Olsen has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer. In his new role Olsen will drive ResMan’s evolution to a full stack platform that allows multifamily and affordable housing managers to operate more efficiently. Olsen will be responsible for all technology and engineering resources that support ResMan’s software solutions, as well as research and development needed to maintain the company’s market-leading product positioning.  

“We are very fortunate to have Nick at the helm of our technology evolution,” said Michael Dunn, ResMan COO. “His skills and foresight have been instrumental in building out critical infrastructure and processes for our tech systems and teams for more than 10 years. Nick is a superior technologist with a deep understanding of real estate and property management needs.”

Olsen has been with ResMan since 2008, most recently as vice president of engineering, leading the innovation and evolution of ResMan to a leading cloud-based multi-tenant platform. During his tenure Olsen has led many strategic initiatives, building a distributed engineering organization, optimizing ResMan’s scale and performance in the cloud, developing an open API infrastructure enabling ResMan’s partner network, and integrating multiple acquired software companies.

“I’m very excited to take on the CTO role. As one of the original architects of the ResMan platform I’ve had the privilege of seeing this company grow from the beginning. I couldn’t be more proud of our teams that have developed this amazing market-leading product transforming the property management industry,” says Olsen. “Especially in light of our new partnership with Inhabit IQ, I look forward to the innovation and collaboration that will propel us into the next period of growth.” 

Olsen earned a degree in computer science from UC Irvine and resides in LeHi, Utah with his wife and kids. He replaces Michael Dunn as ResMan’s CTO, who was recently promoted to chief operating officer in September 2021.

Credit Building: What is Multifamily’s Role in Helping Residents and Tenants Achieve Upward Economic Mobility?

Credit Building: What is Multifamily’s Role in Helping Residents and Tenants Achieve Upward Economic Mobility?

The United States has a level of wealth inequality between the rich and poor that is larger than any other major developed country. While there are many reasons for this divide, one of the key contributors is unequal access to credit and other mainstream financial products and services. The last 18 months have opened many eyes to the severity and impact of this divide, leading many organizations and investors to commit to making change happen.

Elizabeth Francisco, President of ResMan, sat down with Talia Kahn-Kravis Manager of Program Innovations & Business Development at Credit Builders Alliance, Alex Buchanan, COO of Rent Dynamics, and Myles Howell, Credit Builder Account Manager at ResMan to discuss how limited access to financial resources and education is hurting both residents and property managers.

“Credit health impacts every aspect of resident’s lives,” Elizabeth starts off. “When I was in my early 20s, I was a single mom with two kids trying my best to pay my way through college. I had two jobs and like so many others in the industry, I fell into property management. And to say that my credit was less than stellar would be an understatement.”

“I had been a victim of predatory lending, having an interest rate on my car payment at 18%. Had I been able to benefit from the reporting of my on-time rent payments, I would’ve been able to secure a better credit score and a better interest rate.”

Credit Building in Multifamily

The opportunity for multifamily operators to help renters build credit is highly overlooked. At Credit Builders Alliance, Talia Kahn-Kravis has seen firsthand the impact credit has had on both property managers and tenants.

“1 in 3 are credit challenged,” Talia asserted. “There are nearly 53 million people who are un-scorable and approximately 38 million people with credit scores below 600.”

One might not realize how costly poor credit can be but the fiscal difference is staggering.

“Having a poor credit score can cost people $250,000 over their lifetime,” Talia added. “Renters are 7x more likely to be missing credit scores compared to homeowners. Renters of color are even more likely to be credit challenged. We see even senior housing in need of credit visibility. Many senior residents have never established a credit score at all.”

“The idea of going a lifetime being credit invisible is mind blowing.” Elizabeth responded in surprise. But just as homeowners pay their mortgage and get credit for on-time payments, shouldn’t tenants and residents be allowed to get credit for paying their rent on time? Whether it’s a mortgage or rent payment, housing is typically the largest monthly payment people make. Renters deserve the same opportunity to report their monthly rent payments.

Rent reporting is not a new concept, but it is a widely overlooked amenity by property managers. Talia mentioned how reporting on-time rent and utility payments to credit bureaus helps residents establish, maintain, and build their credit scores by simply paying their normal bills on time.

And it makes a massive difference. According to Credit Builders Alliance and their internal studies, 100% of residents with no score became scorable through rent reporting and those who had a score under 600 increased their scores by an average of 32 points.

“The FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) is considering and in the process of adding on new types of scoring models for credit,” Alex Buchanan of Rent Dynamics chimed in. “And Fannie Mae just announced they are going to take bank statements as proof of rent payments for credit reporting. It’s really cool to see how this has evolved already. People are recognizing how important that reporting is considering it is most people’s largest monthly payment.”

Why Rent Reporting is a Win-Win-Win

Rent reporting isn’t just beneficial to the resident. While the resident is building credit without acquiring anymore debt, properties that offer it have a competitive advantage over others in the area. Rent reporting not only helps attract and retain residents, but it also incentivizes residents to pay their rent on-time.

Elizabeth chimed in to add some compelling statistics from Credit Builders Alliance around the benefits of rent reporting and credit scores:

· On-time rent payments increased 25% in one year since implementing credit reporting.

· 79% of residents saw an increase in their credit score, increasing by 23 points on average.

· The number of renters with a credit score above 620 increased 65%.

“The question is not why should you be doing this for your residents, the question is why not?” Elizabeth argued. “If you and your residents are both benefitting from rent reporting, it’s a no-brainer.”

Alex piped in to bring up how the market is changing as new generations come through multifamily. He mentioned how Gen Z is forcing property managers to step up their game when it comes to resident support.

“Gen Z is driving Corporate America to be more responsible,” Alex said. “They are voting with their dollars on which corporations they choose to support and they want to know they’re interacting with a brand that is doing something positive.”

Alex introduced some used cases, where property management companies saw resident retention increase by 1.28 months. Along with that, the property’s residents doubled their average credit score. The property teams and residents are both winning with this simple add-on.

Even better, property owners are benefitting massively from this, too.

“We always wondered what property owners were seeing on the other side in benefits,” Alex said. “It turns out, some of our properties reported $13k a year in ancillary income and sold at a 3.5% cap rate while also creating $386k in additional value at time of sale.”

“So, when we’re talking about this virtuous circle of everyone winning, it’s not just residents. Credit building is so impactful and boosts revenue for operators yet, adding a credit building feature doesn’t have to take any work to implement or manage as an operator.”

“For those working at an executive level, ask your property managers how often they are talking about credit scores,” Alex added. “I promise you it will surprise you. Property managers are thanking us because their residents are constantly asking about how they can build their credit.”

Trends and Legislative Activity

A focus on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is absolutely critical to capital raising in this day in age. Those who don’t prioritize ESG programs, initiatives, and goals will not be able to keep up with investor demands and expectations.

“You can have a real material impact on the social side with your resident population,” Alex mentioned. “I was out at an event with some friends and they said this was so important. Their cost of capital was cut in half when they could show their ESG initiatives were having a positive impact. This trend is only accelerating.”

“Rent reporting is a socially responsible initiative that makes building credit simple for residents while still avoiding additional debt.”

Along with the capital market, legislation is beginning to spark around rent reporting. Today, we are seeing states intervene on behalf of rent reporting. Senate Bill 1157 in California went into effect in July. Multifamily portfolios with affordable communities are now required to offer rent reporting to their residents and must do so in writing. Colorado and D.C. are also following in California’s footsteps.

“Multifamily and affordable properties need to start getting ahead of this,” Alex said. “The impact is powerful, and it’s so much easier to get ahead and start offering this now instead of worrying about fire drills or adding something to your system later.”

“This should’ve been done decades ago,” Elizabeth remarked. “I’m glad to see this happening.”

Already a ResMan customer and interested in our Credit Builder feature? Email your Account Executive to learn more.

Not a ResMan customer and interested in our software with Credit Builder? Book a demo with us here.

In-Person Networking: Why Face-to-Face Still Matters in Remote Work, ft. Alison Johnson & Marcie Williams from RKW Residential

Elizabeth Francisco sits down with Alison Johnson, Associate VP of Content and Program Strategy, and Marcie Williams, President of RKW Residential, to discuss in-person events in the workplace. Together they will give insight into the importance of peer-to-peer interactions, the changing climate in multifamily events, and NMHC’s role in bringing operators together again.

To listen to more episodes of PropTalk, visit https://learn.myresman.com/proptalk/.

ResMan Streamlines Average Income Test Set Aside for Tax Credit Properties  

New Capabilities Make it Easier Than Ever for Affordable Housing Providers to Stay in Compliance While Meeting the Needs of A Broader Range of Low-Income Renters

PLANO, Texas, October 14th, 2021 – ResMan®, a leading property management SaaS platform provider, today announced the addition of Average Income Test capabilities, making it easier than ever before for tax credit properties to ensure they stay compliant as they take advantage of this complex but impactful set aside.  

ResMan’s new and enhanced Average Income Test capabilities eliminate the complexity and worry about program compliance by calculating everything automatically within the platform and displaying program metrics right within the Compliance Center dashboard. The robust new capabilities handle all situations – including fixed and floating units as well as layered programs that use the set aside while helping properties minimizing potential compliance risks.  

Under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) Average Income Test set aside, properties may lease their rent-restricted units to tenants with up to 80 percent of the median gross income for the area, as long as the average income of tenants in rent-restricted units doesn’t exceed 60 percent of the area’s median gross income. This set aside provides greater flexibility for properties to serve individuals and families with very low-income levels, as well as those with income levels below the area average but above other LIHTC set-aside limits. While the Average Income Test set aside is a win-win for developers, owners, properties and applicants from a housing standpoint, these programs are more challenging to manage, requiring many property management companies and compliance departments to maintain complex spreadsheets to track required data. 

“As part of our commitment to the affordable housing industry, ResMan has taken action to implement best-in-class compliance tracking and management for this set aside because it offers such impactful benefits for residents, owners, investors and property management companies,” said ResMan’s SVP of Product, Janel Ganim. “Our involvement in the industry uniquely positions us to stay on top of any technology changes that may be necessary as the final regulations are handed down, so our customers can be confident that our solution will allow them to stay compliant with the Average Income Test set aside, as well as all other LIHTC regulation changes that may come in the future.”  

The ResMan team will participate in the NAHMA Biannual Top Issues in Affordable Housing Conference to be held virtually October 19-22, and will showcase the new Average Income Test capabilities in the Fall Affordable Housing Update Webinar scheduled for November 2 at 1 p.m. CT. 

Marketing for Property Managers – Importance of Effective Marketing, Featuring Tahlor DiCicco

Elizabeth Colina, VP of Marketing Solutions at ResMan & Co-Founder of Razz Interactive, sits down with Tahlor DiCicco, SVP of Marketing at ResMan, to discuss the impact that marketing has on the multifamily industry. This includes the importance of brand equity, marketing budget restriction, internet listing services, and much more!

To listen to more episodes of PropTalk, visit https://learn.myresman.com/proptalk/.

ResMan’s Elizabeth Francisco to Moderate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel at Upcoming FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show

ResMan’s Elizabeth Francisco to Moderate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel at Upcoming FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show  

Plano, TX, October 6, 2021 – ResMan®, a leading property management SaaS platform provider, today announced that ResMan President, Elizabeth Francisco, will be moderating a panel presentation at the Florida Apartment Association’s 2021 Annual Conference & Trade Show. Titled “Trailblazing Your Way to the Table with Confidence,” the session is scheduled for Thursday, October 14th at 3:15 p.m.  

Panelists include Sonya Rosenbach, CFO of Allied Orion Group; Antoinette Williams, Regional Vice President for Carroll Management Group; and Jimmy Chestnut, Vice President for Incore Residential.  Francisco’s focus will be to bring all perspectives to the table to share challenges faced, mistakes made, and ultimately how individuals successfully navigated obstacles to become senior leaders in their organizations. Attendees will gain helpful insights into how the panelists prepared for senior leadership differently as well as what may be holding them back in their own career growth.  

“The annual FAA conference is one of my favorite events. I’m excited to see everyone in person again, and am looking forward to moderating a discussion on a topic that often does not receive enough attention, given how critical it is to our industry,” says Francisco. “The number of women and minorities represented in leadership roles in multifamily and commercial real estate is well below 20% for women and single digits for minorities. The goal of this session is to share what we have learned to help guide and inspire the next generation of industry professionals so we can begin to see progress towards more equitable representation.”     

In addition to moderating a session, ResMan team members will also be showcasing their industry-leading property management platform in booth #307. Highlights include ResMan Websites; new budgeting and payments capabilities; an Investor Management solution; as well as expanded Affordable Housing capabilities including electronic signatures, rural development compliance and support for the average income test set-aside. Those interested in seeing the platform in action, can pre-register for a demo. Visitors to the booth can also enter to win a $1,000 ultimate travel gift card.