PHFA Pulls Together List of Management Agents' Best Practices
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) has compiled a list of best practices observed by management agents who work with the PHFA. Although the list is not all inclusive, it will assist management agents “in the challenging role of trying to keep units fully occupied by tenants so that the property can pay the bills.”
We have excerpted some of these best practices below:
- Establish a preventative maintenance program.
- Establish a plan to manage the property’s capital repairs and replacement needs. The plan also should include upgrades that encourage investing in technology leading to future energy savings.
- Properly train all staff and provide periodic continuing education. Support staff—such as the property’s accounting staff and regional managers/regional maintenance personnel—should also receive training. These costs are not permitted operating expenses and should be paid from the management fee collected.
- Pay your staff an appropriate wage with benefits. If you are unable to provide pay increases, work with them to provide compensation other ways, e.g., paying more of their benefits or offering incentives for reaching certain goals.
- Have a written policy in place to manage the turnover of vacant units. Schedule a unit inspection once the notice of lease termination has been received so the work required upon move-out can be determined.
- Have a policy in place to keep the property fully occupied, e.g., advertise in local newspapers, hold an open house, and revisit screening criteria. Develop a program for tenant retention that addresses the cause of turnover. Establish and maintain a waiting list.
- Establish written eviction procedures.
- Create a physical environment that supports a sense of community with the development, e.g., establish after-school programs or a computer center, provide landscaping and recreational areas, etc.
- Integrate the property with the surrounding community through partnerships with other organizations and agencies.