The Affordable housing industry is one with a lot of guidelines. From compliance to daily operations, keeping organized for electronic data submissions is key to the success of affordable properties. Plenty of properties have been using software to better streamline their processes and help eliminate risk associated with compliance. Software can take a huge burden off owner/operators, helping them ensure they are compliant, avoiding violations, costly fines, and potentially even greater consequences.
Having the right affordable housing solution in place will bring some sort of return to your business. Whatever you are paying for in a software should ultimately result in additional value coming back to your properties and operations – more time, more revenue, less cost, etc. But not all affordable solutions do this, so it’s important to consider your options carefully. Below are some points to consider.
Your software should support your entire Affordable portfolio.
Many owners and operators have a mix of different affordable property types – some HUD, some Tax Credit, maybe a few rural and often some properties with layered programs. Each program type has different requirements and regulations, and not all affordable housing software supports all types of programs. As a result, many property management companies find they need multiple different systems to manage their portfolio. Does having multiple systems make operations more complicated than it should be? Wouldn’t it be easier if one system supported all the affordable property types with a company’s portfolio?
Your software should support the way you operate.
One of the keys to ensuring you are getting value for your software is to make sure it works for the way your business operates. For organizations with smaller (often Rural Development) properties, it might not make sense to have staff handling the site level tasks. Yet many software solutions are designed assuming that most tasks take place at the property level rather than from a central location. Organizations like this should look for software that can easily separate and organize properties how they need it to be separated. Group your rural housing properties in to one view? This is important. Separate properties based on regional managers overseeing it? Shouldn’t be a problem. The software should ultimately be able to keep you organized and efficient and if it isn’t, you’re not getting enough from your supplier.
Your software should be easy to use.
For software to deliver value, it needs to make jobs easier, not harder. If your frontline managers are telling you that software takes a long time to learn or isn’t intuitive to navigate or is hard for them to use, that’s a sign that you aren’t getting the value you should expect. Getting where you need to in the system shouldn’t have to be several clicks and open tabs. It should only have to be a few clicks at most to find what you need.
Software should also have customization options so your teams can make the most out of their use. Having a customizable dashboard where users can see the valuable information while logging quick actions makes for more efficient operations. When it is easy to use, it is easy to train others to use it, too, meaning you do not have to spend extra time getting employees onboarded, especially in a high turnover industry.
Your software should make the recertification process smoother.
Certifications and recertifications are often the most tedious parts of Affordable housing operations- especially when you’re doing this without a great software. And if you have rural properties, handling MINC submissions for every particular property can be a lot. If you’ve considered a software that will help you group properties according to type, you can also find a software that will let you submit recertifications all at one time for the types of Affordable properties you own. No need to do one rural property at a time, just do them all at once! That’s how a software should be, making your operations easier.
Your software should be browser-agnostic.
As we like to say, software should be plug and play! Software shouldn’t need to change much of what you’re already using but should simply come on board to make life easier. If your software requires you to be on one kind of browser or one kind of device, it’s disrupting current processes and familiar operating systems for your employees in the long run.
ResMan is excited to offer Rural Housing compliance management capabilities as part of our affordable housing software solution. Just like our HUD, Tax Credit and layered program features, these rural development capabilities are seamlessly integrated with our comprehensive property management platform that includes screening, waitlist management, online leasing, tenant management, maintenance, accounting, and of course our Compliance Center dashboard! To learn more about what we are offering within one platform for you and your properties, book a demo so we can walk you through it!