How to Evaluate a Property Management Company
How to find a property management company specializing in affordable housing
For any church or organization that currently manages affordable housing, it is imperative to surround yourself with knowledgeable staff and partners. This is especially important when your communities are sustained and subsidized by government funds and agencies. When you are considering hiring a property management company, finding one that is well-versed in programs managed by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is crucial.
Choosing a property management company is a decision that may last decades. Just like finding the right life partner this relationship is like a good “marriage”. To find the best fit the top three things to consider: mission compatibility, experience and infrastructure.
How to evaluate a property management company
Is their company mission compatible with your organization?
When you are looking for a property management company make sure your mission and their mission align. Do you want a company that is there simply to make money or one that is there with a mission to serve its residents? At CCH, our mission statement is “Providing Affordable Quality Housing in Caring Communities.” We build and manage affordable housing communities where seniors can live and thrive in the comfort of their own homes, because we believe doing so is better for communities as a whole and the seniors we serve. Our employees and policies stem from our mission as a resident centered organization. By taking this perspective, we offer value with lower turnover resulting in lower expenses.
What is their experience with HUD programs, protocol and reporting?
Whether you are looking for the first time or have gone through the process before, you want a company who is backed by years of experience. When we talk about affordable housing, you specifically need a property manager who understands the complexities of HUD compliance and reporting. At CCH, we have departments dedicated to helping our partners navigate through the myriad of government regulations affecting affordable housing.
A company who has nearly 60 years of property management, such as CCH, will be better equipped to partner with you than a company who is just starting out. Newbies are more prone to making mistakes that could cost dollars out of your operating budget or expose you to legal battles that could have been avoided by hiring the right company. Having dealt with most every imaginable situation, an experienced property manager will also have a professional network of experts to offer their clients when challenges arise.
How is the property management company structured to handle your particular community?
Perhaps the most important aspects to consider is how the company does business. Will they take care of everything well? Ideally, a company will have a person or team dedicated to particular issues such as physical plant maintenance. Can they handle scheduling and passing HUD, local and federal inspections? We recommend asking if the prospective company has a human resources department equipped to properly interview, hire and fire site employees and maintain all required documentation. Ask if they have an accounting department. Do they offer asset management or a compliance department to make 100% sure that your site is following all of the federal, state and local regulations?
Ultimately, the property management company you select to oversee your affordable housing community must be prepared to serve the greater good while managing the bottom line.