Cocktails and Compliance: Episode 3

ResMan’s Affordable Compliance experts, Rue Fox and Janel Ganim, are back with a delicious drink and PropTalk’s latest episode of Cocktails and Compliance! Grab a drink with Rue and Janel as you get all of the Fall updates on the Affordable housing industry. From emergency rental assistance plans and the Average Income Test to supply chain disruption and staffing shortages, you can hear it all right here on PropTalk.

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

Want to make a great cocktail using Skrewball’s Peanut Butter Whiskey?

Here’s one of our favorite Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Whiskey recipes. You’ll need:

  • Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
  • Bitters
  • Soda water
  • Large ice cube

Be sure to subscribe for more yummy cocktails and all things on Affordable housing! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Technology Adoption Doesn’t Have To Leave Disengaged Employees || Rental Housing Journal

Elizabeth Francisco, President of ResMan, was asked to contribute to the Rental Housing Journal this month. As she discusses the all-too-common problem of not only adopting the technology for a business, she highlights how you can also gain the support and adoption from employees to make that technology worthwhile.

She argues having a human-centric approach to technology will be the game-changer and will be essential to getting buy-in from your employees. You can read the full article here.

PropTalk: Trailblazing Your Way to the Table with Confidence Part 2

PropTalk invites Elizabeth Francisco, President of ResMan, with Jimmy Chestnut, VP of Incore Residential, Antoinette Williams, Regional Vice President at CARROLL, and Sonya Rosenbach, CFO of Allied Orion Group to continue their conversation from FAA. Together, they share helpful insights on how they prepared for senior leadership differently and identify what may be holding you back in your career growth.

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

ResMan Recaps NMHC’s OPTECH 2021

Last week, the ResMan team headed to National Harbor, Maryland for the first in-person OPTECH event in two years. OPTECH 2021 was hosted at the newly renovated Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just south of Washington D.C. The hotel and convention center made for a large space, covering three floors for sessions and the trade show floor. 

Over 2,000 attendees and vendors eagerly arrived Monday evening, all of them excited to see both old and new faces at this year’s event. The first night was a great networking opportunity both in and outside of the trade show floor.  

Our Booth at OPTECH 2021 

optech 2021

ResMan’s booth featured our dual touch screen demo stations where attendees could experience first-hand how intuitive and easy-to-use our conventional and affordable solutions are, with many taking the lead in demoing the accounting, budgeting, payments, and online leasing capabilities within the comprehensive platform.  

Our favorite points of conversation revolved around both old and new features launched here at ResMan. Our popular Credit Builder feature allows residents to report their on-time rental payments to credit bureaus, ensuring their largest monthly payments are rewarded with credit growth. Along with that, we shared our new payments feature which will help property managers collect rent hassle-free. The other eye-catching solution we shared was ResMan Websites, which offers high conversion features such as interactive site maps, virtual tours, neighborhood explorers, and unit-specific floor plans. The best part? There’s no coding knowledge needed. Teams are allowed to easily edit website content on the fly, including videos, photos and text.  

Sessions 

The sessions this year were the talk of the conference. NMHC did a wonderful job at providing thought-provoking sessions from knowledgeable leaders in the industry. A majority of conversations revolved around data, technology and the impact of COVID-19 on both businesses and people within property management. 

The Keynote speaker, Suneel Gupta, CEO of Rise, concluded Tuesday’s sessions with a particularly insightful conversation around burnout and coping with feelings of failure in the workplace.  

“We’ve been told success is a result of hard work and grit,” Suneel remarked. “And yet, if you look at the definitions of grit – relentlessness, instant responsiveness, being always on, doing whatever it takes to win – those are also the same actions that lead to burnout. It suggests employees to see grit and burnout as the path to success.” 

$500 Travel Voucher Giveaway 

Giveaways and swag are always a fun part of trade shows. We offered a $500 travel voucher giveaway to booth visitors at OPTECH 2021 as a thank you for stopping by. We will be selecting a winner this week and are excited to give out a nice gift that hopefully brings a much-needed chance to disconnect, relax and recharge! If you visited our booth, be sure to check your inbox this week to see if you won!  

Wrapping Up A Great Event 

It was a fun and exciting week at OPTECH 2021 and we cannot wait for next year’s event. Until then, we’ll be working on enhancements that bring even more efficiencies to our customers in 2022. All in all, NMHC’s OPTECH is a great event and we hope attendees and vendors alike appreciated all of the great content and conversations like we did. Hope to see you in 2022! 

If you attended OPTECH and didn’t have the chance to visit our booth or talk to one of our team members, we would love to connect! Simply fill out a form here to chat with one of our experts! 

6 Takeaways from NAHMA’s 2021 Sessions ft. Janel Ganim

Interested in hearing Affordable Housing Market Updates year round? Try joining the National Affordable Housing Market Association (NAHMA) and join us year round for market updates and trade shows. Check out their membership options here.

In case you missed it, ResMan is here to give you the 6 takeaways from NAHMA’s 2021 sessions regarding current conversations about the Affordable Housing Market. Janel Ganim, our Senior Vice President of Product, attended NAHMA October 19-21st for their third virtual conference since COVID-19. 

“I know everyone misses the in-person events like I do,” Janel mentioned. “But it’s nice that NAHMA is still prioritizing safety and giving businesses an opportunity to network. They had really good participation. Attendees were actively asking questions and it was clear the engagement was high.” 

At NAHMA, there were quite a few topics and conversations discussed around the current state of the Affordable market. Some were centered around new, pressing topics for Affordable, as COVID has continued to play a role in how the government is supporting the industry as a whole. Other topics were a continuation of previous conversations, expanding on problems and pain points with updates and new solutions. The most notable topics include: 

  1. Emergency rental assistance plans 
  2. Average Income Test and the IRS’ timeline on final regulations 
  3. Vaccine mandates for government employees/contractors 
  4. Supply chain disruption and staffing shortages 
  5. TRACS 203A update 
  6. Emotional assistance and de-escalation training for property staff

Emergency Rental Assistance Updates 

Emergency rental assistance has been one of the consistent topics of discussion within the Affordable housing industry, especially around states who are struggling to get their funds distributed. Currently, the Treasure department is looking at underperforming (meaning less than a third of their funds have been distributed) grantees to see if they can create a sort of performance plan.  

Right now, they’re considering reallocating funds to high-performing grantees who have distributed a lot of their money and might be looking for more funds. The Treasury Department stated they are trying to have all plans in place by the end of 2021. 

Average Income Test 

The Affordable Housing industry still waiting for a final rule from the IRS regarding the Average Income Test. The industry is still “business as usual” with their interpretation of the rule, which doesn’t necessarily align with the initial guidance put forth by the IRS since fixed unit income designations could in some cases conflict with other regulations (e.g. fair housing). 

However, it is worth noting the IRS desperately needs to finalize the regulation with the new tax bill on the horizon which will undoubtedly take up majority of the IRS’ time. Hopefully, final guidance around average income test will be wrapped up and released soon. 

Vaccine Mandates 

Many attendees were asking about the new vaccine mandates for government employees and contractors and how this will apply to REAC inspectors. The short answer is REAC inspectors will be required to be vaccinated eventually. However, it sounds like it might take a while for vaccine mandates around REAC inspectors to roll out. 

These mandates will also apply to government contractors such as project-based contract administrators who are monitoring contracts on behalf of HUD properties. Now those organizations are asking “What does this mean for me and my staff? How long do I have before I have to put this mandate in place?”  

HUD did say they are looking to provide some guidance on that soon, but for now there is no timeline. The contracts in place for those PBCAs expire January 31st so HUD is working on an extension. However, they’re also going to address the mandate for vaccinations as a part of that guidance, too. 

Supply Chain Disruption and Staffing Shortages 

One of the biggest discussions during NAHMA’s 2021 sessions included the continued suffering in the industry due to supply chain disruption and staffing shortages. Many raised concerns about not being able to find people to work. From property managers to maintenance to even contract workers, there is a low supply of available workers out there. It’s not a salary issue at this point, either. Even with offering signing bonuses and other benefits, Affordable Housing properties are simply struggling to find qualified people. 

It should be noted that government vaccine mandates are not the only reason or even the main reason for these shortages. Vaccine mandates might be affecting some areas with staffing shortages more than others. 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August, a record high in the 21st century for the United States, so staffing shortages are happening in other industries, too.  

Due to wage increases, a need for materials, and an increase in insurance, HUD staff are being told to expect budget-based rent increase requests to offset some of the costs that have been hurting operations. This speaks to the detrimental effects of shortages in supply chain and staffing. Properties’ concerns with shortages include the impact on the quality of housing for existing residents as routine maintenance and repairs aren’t able to get done in a timely manner. The shortage also impacts the speed at which properties can turn units, which leads to greater vacancy loss.  

TRACS 203A 

Timing on the TRACS (Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System) 203-A release has been a running joke – it’s been expected “soon” for what seems like an eternity. It seems like soon might finally be upon us, as HUD staff indicated they were wrapping up paperwork and ready for implementation in 2022. Software vendors showed concern as they need to know what those updates are, and need some lead time to make necessary product updates and roll them out to the industry. Typically, understanding the specs, updating code, and testing those changes is a three-to-six-month process.  

HUD responded saying they were under the impression this was being communicated, but it turns out most of the software industry wasn’t aware of the timeline until the same week NAHMA’s 2021 sessions took place. Shortly after the conference, HUD sent out an email for a November 15th meeting to further discuss the TRACS 203A timeline. 

Emotional Assistance and De-escalation Training 

The Affordable industry has consistently spoken about the impact COVID has had on staff at properties and their ability to better engage with residents and maintain operations with online tools. The conversation shifted a bit toward residents and their mental health. After a recent shooting leaving two staff members dead, many are speaking up about the heavy increase in gang activity, police calls, domestic violence, and suicides in HUD properties.  

Because of this, multiple management companies said they have implemented new training programs for their staff such as active-shooter training, suicide prevention training, and de-escalation training. Other properties are also brainstorming ideas to better support staff and residents. Some have created team member assistance hotlines as well as providing staff with walkie talkies that are on the same frequency as on-site security. Some suggested shelter-in-place plans and adding back doors to offices for necessary escape. 

It’s unfortunate that crime rates are increasing at all, but what we’re seeing is consistent with the general decay in mental health and an increase in anger-related incidents in restaurants, airports and even entertainment venues. All in all, there will be an increase in safety features at HUD properties in the near future. 

To hear more in-depth Affordable updates from NAHMA’s 2021 sessions, watch our latest Affordable Updates Webinar here.