When I’m speaking with band managers & housing coordinators, I frequently get asked the question: Why do we need a software program in the housing department? It’s a fair question and I like to think that I have a pretty good answer.
So these are the five reasons why I believe that every on-reserve First Nation would benefit from having a software program in their housing department:
- Papers Tend to “Grow Legs & Walk Away”
Regardless of how organized you are, papers have a sneaky way of going missing. The best way to avoid losing important paperwork is to digitize your records in a database. With ASAP, you can attach signed lease agreements, mortgage papers & insurance papers to each house unit, tenant and vendor. Still want a paper copy? No problem! Every document attached to ASAP can be easily reprinted for your filing cabinets.
- Create a Permanent History of your Houses
Without a housing database, house information is often only held in the minds of your staff. Unfortunately, employee turnover happens. When these employees move on, that information leaves with them. By recording important information in a centralized database, new employees have access to all the historical records and are able to easily find out when an appliance was purchased or who lived in a unit at a particular time.
- Budget Tracking
A good housing software database needs a financial component so that you can track both the revenue and expenses for your community. By tracking these numbers digitally, you can easily see if you are staying on track. With ASAP software even go a step further and analyze how the money is spent for a particular home or a renovation project.
- Auto-Generated Reports
With a database software like ASAP, you get access to numerous pre-made reports as well as the custom report creator. So when the Chief & Council are requesting an update on the status of the department, you simply print or email a summary report for them. Or when you need to write a proposal for CMHC or ISC (formally INAC), you can pull up house condition reports to support the proposal request. A good software program makes the reports for you so you have to type anything out.
- See the Trends in your Community
Finally, having a software database makes it easy to find and analyze the trends in your community. How many work orders do you process in a month? How many elderly tenants do you have that live alone? Do you have overcrowded units? A database like ASAP can answer all these questions in a matter of seconds and provide you with the information you need to make the best decisions for your community.
In summary, having a well-designed housing software program will make it so much easier to stay organized and complete your work with ease.