Rural Housing Management Technology
Greater focus is being placed on Rural Housing management, a unique government-supported niche market for renters often living under difficult financial circumstances in areas far from primary markets across America.
Innovative technology is playing a key role in maintaining this vital housing. Improvements in the leasing, resident communications, collections and payment options, property maintenance and staff training operational functions is creating greater efficiencies.
Coming out of the pandemic, affordable housing operators who manage these properties are looking for a software technology advantage that can streamline these tasks and responsibilities online and enable them to provide more care to their residents.
ResMan is emerging as a leading software provider to these companies, offering innovation that moves its software as a service (SaaS) ahead of many of the larger property management software companies’ products, which have grown outdated.
Rural Housing’s Greatest Need
I attended the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing’s (CARH) 2021 Virtual Midyear Meeting and discovered that one topic that continues to come up is a lag in available contemporary technology.
With more teams working remotely due to the pandemic, PMCs have increased reliance on digital processes. To maintain efficiency, affordable housing PMCs have begun managing leasing, payments, recertifications and other processes online. Affordable housing PMCs are also seeing the need for mobile maintenance solutions to manage and complete tasks on time.
The need for remote management solutions has allowed PMCs to see the value leveraging software to centralize data and even manage the evolving nature of compliance. Using a platform designed for affordable housing PMCs allows property managers to proactively manage their affordable property portfolio and simplify compliance.
On June 8, ResMan expanded our innovative affordable housing solution to include support for HUD, Tax Credit and now Rural Housing properties all on one, seamless platform while ensuring compliance with all regulations.
Well-built, affordable housing for low-income individuals living in rural areas is essential to the vitality of communities across this country. We’re proud to give the industry the technology it needs for this cause, enabling a broader set of affordable property management companies to benefit from our industry-leading Compliance Center dashboard and automation that make up our complete property management platform.
How Rural Housing Management Technology Helps
Here are ways that technology helps onsite teams in affordable and rural housing:
Affordable property management professionals are using online applications, managing recertifications online and adopting electronic document storage. Having unlimited electronic document storage is key for audits.
SMS/text messaging is preferred by many residents of all ages, and affordable property management professionals are adopting this popular communication channel. Phone calls are time-consuming for staff, especially when they go unanswered. Text messaging is convenient for both staff and residents and preserves a written record of conversations and notifications if integrated with your property management software.
Self-serve accounts are a baseline expectation for consumers today. Resident portals allow residents to manage all their communications, property notifications, payments, service requests, document uploading, and package delivery preferences in one convenient location. This gives your staff more time to focus on higher priority tasks.
Legislation has driven the adoption of increased and expanded online payment options for residents in some states, which could become more widespread. The most recent trends we’ve seen include:
– Card payments (credit/debit) – New Jersey signed a law in January requiring affordable property management companies to accept credit card payments for rent during the COVID-19 emergency and for one year following the end of the emergency. The legislation allows transaction fees to be passed to residents, and any amounts reversed by the credit card company due to claims of fraudulent activity would be considered unpaid rent.
– Cash/wire pay (Greendot/Western Union)
– Flex pay (twice a month/weekly)
– Credit bureau reporting – California now requires affordable property management companies to give tenants the option to report rent payments to the credit bureaus
Maintenance is a major component of affordable property management. More communities are leveraging the power and convenience of software to manage work orders and inspections.
Some affordable housing professionals are stepping up their technology usage with online training (software, internal company training) and internal collaboration on shared documents, budgets, policies and procedures.
The lack of affordable housing in rural areas of the United States continues to be a critical issue and concern and ResMan is here to provide solutions that benefit companies and their residents who might be facing lower income levels, urban sprawl pushing housing costs up, loss of high paying jobs and lack of access to credit.