Pinnacle is a privately held national real estate provider specializing in third party management of multifamily communities. As one of the nation’s preferred third-party managers, Pinnacle’s portfolio includes more than 172,000 residential units and 2.1 million square feet of commercial assets. Headquartered in Dallas, Pinnacle has more than 4,300 employees at properties in 30 states.
Making housing applications convenient and efficient
As part of its vast property portfolio, Pinnacle manages many affordable housing units. Many of these units were developed with various federal, state and local subsidies which require documentation of program compliance. The most basic of those requirements is that residents must qualify for subsidized housing based on criteria such as income and assets. Compliance processes were historically time-consuming and paper-intensive, both for residents and staff. Filling out long forms was the norm, with housing applicants bearing the burden of getting all verification paperwork together and delivered to the affordable housing property manager. Pinnacle faced the challenge of replacing these antiquated processes with up-to-date digital solutions.
RENTCafé Affordable Housing
RENTCafé Affordable Housing replaces lengthy applicant meetings, expensive file storage, difficult to read forms and handwritten notes with a paperless application process. RENTCafé Affordable Housing and RENTCafé PHA support HUD 50058, 50059, Public Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, HOME, Rural Development Section 515 and Low Income Housing Tax Credit subsidies.
Taking the pressure off leasing agents
Documenting resident eligibility is a key part of a successful affordable housing program. Moving from paper-based applicant and resident files to electronic records is one of the ways the affordable housing industry, including Pinnacle, is evolving.
With RENTCafé Affordable Housing, Pinnacle saves time for leasing agents and ensures compliance with Low Income Housing Tax Credit program requirements. Those benefits result directly from changing to online housing applications and certification processes.
“RENTCafé Affordable Housing is such an amazing system when it’s used properly. You’ll be surprised at how much time you can save and efficiency you can gain by automating affordable housing certification processes,” says Nick Strzelec, technical analyst for Pinnacle.
One of the biggest challenges of reviewing affordable housing applications is missing information. Using traditional paper forms, applicants can skip over questions. Reviewers are stuck with an incomplete application and must reach out to the applicant to correct the omission, a time-consuming process.
RENTCafé Affordable Housing eliminates incomplete applications, which saves time for Pinnacle staff. “RENTCafé Affordable Housing won’t allow incomplete applications. It requires the applicant to check yes or no, and to submit every piece of information. One hundred percent of the applications we receive through RENTCafé Affordable Housing are complete and ready to review,” says Strzelec.
Given the variety of property types Pinnacle manages, it is understandable that on-site staff are challenged with a high volume of customers. “Our leasing agents are often sitting down with prospective residents in our offices. Those conversations can become quite lengthy with tax credit properties. Before RENTCafé Affordable Housing, it could take up to two hours to explain how the program works, how residents qualify, ongoing compliance requirements and how to fill out paperwork,” says Strzelec.
RENTCafé Affordable Housing automates that entire conversation into a self-service, self-guided process that applicants can do anywhere, any time. “We no longer have to rely solely on our leasing agents’ being well versed in tax credit compliance requirements. That program has a lot of complicated details such as how many pay stubs are required to verify income and imputed asset values. RENTCafé Affordable Housing takes care of all of that,” says Strzelec.