Gwen Volk INFOCUS INC.’s response to COVID-19


Affordable Housing Extra

Our soft skills courses are designed for the special concerns of affordable housing professionals. Select a course to find out the available formats and to read the course description. For a complete list of courses, download our Signature Course Catalog.

COQ Made Easy [FREE]

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Do you have an unfinished Communities of Quality application under a pile on your desk? Have you been procrastinating on even starting one? This workshop takes the mystery, fear, dread and anxiety out of the COQ application process. Learn how to:
(1) pre-qualify your property before starting the paperwork,
(2) identify categories where you may be lacking,
(3) develop a strategy to obtain the points you need, and
(4) set up a "who does what, when & how" schedule with a target date for submitting your application.

Service Programs on a Shoestring

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Not everyone is lucky enough to have professional service coordinator on staff. Nor can all properties afford to hire an outside service contractor to coordinate their activities. Tax credit properties and bond properties generally come with a requirement for programs to enrich the quality of life of residents but generally do not have budgets that provide much to invest in such things. Take it from someone whose properties won two national awards- largely for their outstanding service programs - without benefit of large budgets or professional service coordination: You too can-do quality programs on a shoestring. BONUS: Participants will receive access to Gwen’s “Best Ideas List” with more than 500 no-cost, low-cost programs and activities proven to be successful by your fellow affordable housing managers nationwide. Updated to include Ideas for Resident Engagement During COVID.

Best Practices for Communicating with Residents

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Communication is a skill and an art - especially when it comes to having to communicate complicated and sometimes unpleasant realities to the resident of an affordable housing property. Role playing, shared success stories and rules for keeping your cool, participants will learn how to come out an ally instead of an adversary to those residents that have a lot of "issues".

Communications Workshop for the Property Management Team

Format: On-Site: 6-hour Workshop or Virtual:One 6-hour session or two 3-hour sessions

Focus: This course is for everyone – property managers, maintenance staff, compliance directors, and executives. Join us for a day of learning and fun!

For the better part of every day, we are communicating to and with others. Whether it’s interviewing applicants, addressing resident lease violations, interacting with coworkers, listening to a family member or the look we give the cat, it all means something.

The Communicating Effectively workshop will help participants understand the different methods of communication and how to make the most of each of them. These strategies will provide a great benefit for the affordable housing management company and its staff at every level.

In this class we will identify barriers to communication and how to overcome them, develop and practice our non-verbal communication skills, learn how to listen actively and effectively, and ask good questions, learn how to read body language, how to better communicate with persons with disabilities, and much more.

Do the Right Thing - Property Management Ethics

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Doing the right thing is not always obvious and frequently is not easy. Subscribing to a professional “code of ethics” is important but understanding and applying that code to real world situations requires study and practice. This course goes beyond the codes with straight talk about doing the right thing.

What do You Say After “Hello?” - Mastering the Art of Conversation and Networking

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Engaging in interesting, memorable small talk is a daunting task for most people. How do you know what to share and when to share it? How do you know what topics to avoid? How do you become an engaging converser? Most experts propose a simple three-level framework that you can use to master the art of conversation. Identifying where you are and where you should be is not always easy, but having an objective outline can help you stay out of sticky situations. We will also share some handy networking tips that will help you get conversations started.