Secret Weapons to Better Manage Affordable Housing


Managing Affordable Housing brings a unique set of complexities compared to other forms of rental housing. Professionals in the Affordable industry must ensure that the property and/or portfolio is working within the rules of United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other regulatory agencies. But doing so doesn’t have to be a daunting process, says Perry Levine, RealPage Industry Principal.

“Affordable has a totally different set of issues than conventional multifamily,” says Levine. (The solution) is using a powerful suite of solutions to run the back-office of the business.”

Managers and stakeholders can easily conquer the distinctive challenges within accounting, budgeting, reporting, portfolio management and more. All it takes is a few secret weapons.

Levine says Affordable operators can benefit from a robust property management financial suite that can provide a holistic operational view.

In the recent webcast, “6 Financial Secret Weapons for Affordable,” Levine touched on how operators can arm themselves with the right property management platform to more effectively manage this unique housing vertical.

Here is a sampling of how the suite eases the Affordable accounting and reporting processes:

Budgeting for Affordable requirements

Budgeting is time consuming.   Traditional processing can take weeks or even months.  Most companies have adopted spreadsheets instead of doing their budgets manually, but that comes with its own set of problems.  Bad data entry, incorrect formulas, broken links are all common with spread sheet processing.  There is no central location to house the budgets, no tracking, no single version of truth, so there are often issues with multiple people working on different versions of the same budget at the same time.  And without integration to your property management and accounting systems to load and upload data you still have to key data in. An Affordable budgeting platform reduces the time it takes to complete budgeting functions from months to weeks

“There are great tools in place specific to our Affordable industry,” Levine says.

Reporting and financial statement design specific to Affordable

It’s important to have the ability to report on financial information quickly and easily at whatever level required. This is possible with customizable dashboards that are visible to all team members. Grid and query features instantly find the necessary detail to round out statements.

“Quick, easy access means more productivity,” Levine said. “Getting financial information you need from accounting is imperative. Having quick and easy access allows stakeholders to be more productive, whether its accounts payable handling a vendor call or the CFO needing to discuss info with a lender. The timelines of access to information cannot be overlooked.”

Looking through the lens of operations and financial performance

Compiling the necessary data to view the property or portfolio operations and financial performance – and score it against others in the portfolio – can require importing multiple reports from numerous stakeholders, and then the view may not be entirely correct.

Portfolio management solutions serve up portfolio data, critical metrics, and thorough analysis you need, regardless of asset type or operational platform. For third-party managers, the feature is particularly important because performance by owner can be tracked.

The solution should provide summary information on year-to-date revenue, expenses, NOI, loan balances and other critical areas all in one place for accurate benchmarking.

Levine said RealPage’s Portfolio Management solution is especially powerful with its Portfolio Explorer feature, which offers a litany of financial information by dragging and dropping by year, property type and financial report.

The feature is one of many within the RealPage Financial Suite that provides Affordable operators the firepower to meet the unique challenges of the industry.

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