Managing affordable housing properties is more complicated for staff as compliance is absolutely crucial to the state of the business. When you make the decision to invest in a new team member, you really want to make sure you’re doing everything to help them get off to a good start and make them feel supported – both to minimize risk of compliance violations and to increase operational efficiency at the property. So, what do your new hires need in order to get up-to-speed and be set up for success and efficiency? Here’s our 7 ways to make it as smooth as possible:
Give Them a Comprehensive Orientation
Other than just training them with your software, give your staff a chance to get the basics down. Educate them on affordable housing, including regulations, policies, and programs. Share your company’s values, goals and guidelines. Pair them up with a mentor so they can walk alongside a colleague who can provide guidance, while still encouraging them to get their first hands-on operational experience with the property.
Make Sure They Have Proper Certification
This one is essential. Whether you are a HUD, Tax Credit, or Rural Housing property, your staff need the right certifications in order to run those types of properties with assurance. There are national organizations, like NAHMA, that provide industry certifications, but you can find courses through your local associations, as well. Certifications go beyond training by ensuring that team members can pass tests to show they understand the material. Bonus idea: talk about providing reimbursement for exam fees for your staff!
Have Intuitive Software
Your staff may be certified but they aren’t perfect. Having intuitive but also easy-to-learn software is paramount to ensuring your properties stay compliant. Your software should eliminate and minimize the possibility of errors by your staff. Overall, your staff should be set up for as much potential for success and efficiency as possible. A solid and well-built software will fill the gaps and propel them to do so.
Get Them Involved in Associations
No matter what position your staff is in, it’s important for them to get involved in the industry. From local to regional to national, there is a lot of information and resources given through affordable housing associations that your staff can benefit from immensely. Have them start at the local region so they can understand more about their state or city’s affordable housing regulations.
Help them Develop Researching Skills
Your staff will run into questions about HUD or Tax Credit and desperately need to know how to research or find answers to their own questions. Whether they’re looking for the 4350 or FAQs HUD has shared, your team should eventually be able to go find those resources themselves. After getting involved in affordable housing associations, they can also utilize trainers and consultants in the industry for other kinds of guidance. All in all, researching is going to be an important skill for them to master.
Encourage Ongoing Education
Your staff are going to need continuing education as they advance in their role and as regulations evolve. Have your staff sign up for every kind of email list or newsletter affiliated with your kind of property, like HUD, the Treasury Department (Tax Credit), associations, etc. This will ensure they are staying up to date on regulatory changes and other industry news that could impact your properties.
Provide Additional Training in Fair Housing and Mental Health
If your new staff aren’t up to date in the latest Fair Housing training, this is a top priority. Every staff member should be trained accurately and well in Fair Housing to ensure there are no violations. Another advantageous training to give your staff can be in Mental Health awareness, De-escalation training, and Conflict Resolution as these are great skills to have when working with residents day in and day out.
Your staff can only be as successful as the support you give them. Helping them get up and running for your property is an important process and precedent for their experience working under your property management company. And we’d love to support you with this! If you’re having issues with training your current staff on your software, we might have just the solution for you. Chat with us here.