Last month, the Cornerstone Partnership hosted a discussion-based peer learning webinar on the topic “Working with Homebuyers: From Application to Post-Purchase Monitoring.” During the call we shared some of the lessons learned and tips we’ve collected from our members over the years and facilitated related discussions and open sharing amongst participants.
Here are some of the highlights shared on the call:
- On Program and Monitoring Enforcement…
Monitoring and enforcement is hard, especially for large programs, but not impossible. For instance, one city with a portfolio of 800 units outsources verifying owner occupancy to a private investigator. The City still contacts homeowners at least once a year with a mailing and newsletter that reminds them of their restrictions and offers post-purchase support.
- On Exit Surveys…
There are creative and cost-effective ways to increase your survey response rate. One program enters the first handful of homeowners who complete an annual survey into a drawing for a gift card. Another program embeds exit survey questions into their Resale Application in order to ensure a 100% completion rate.
- On Using an Online Program Application…
By collecting the data electronically, you can easily analyze the data on your entire applicant pool. One program uses information in their HomeKeeper that is automatically populated from their online applications to determine what kind of housing applicants wanted. Now they can pursue development projects that directly meet the needs in their community.
- On Working with non-Native English Speakers… There is a whole range of solutions for a program’s translating needs: phone translation services such as LanguageLine, hiring part-time employees or using volunteers, partnering with multilingual lenders or financial counseling services, and more.
Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, we’ve made the webinar recording and slide deck available online on our website. To hear more tips and learn more about these topics, we invite you to review the webinar and review the resources linked in the powerpoint slides. Lastly, many participants expressed interest in participating in future discussion-based webinars, and we hope you’ll join us. If you could hear from your peers – other housing professionals from around the country – about a specific topic in affordable homeownership, what would you like to learn about and discuss?