It is no secret that the multifamily industry has had to modify its approach, adjust processes, readjust them and continue to seek outside-the-box solutions during the pandemic.
In times of turmoil, strong and agile leadership has never been more vital.
While robust leadership is never overrated, it can be part of the territory at times for thriving companies whose associates are driven and perform admirably with very little prodding. A true test of leadership occurs when things deviate from the routine and decision-makers are tasked with keeping their organization thriving in unfamiliar times.
Times couldn’t get much more peculiar than 2020, naturally, which has put the onus on leadership teams to display their prowess. They are tasked with keeping teams connected in a socially distant atmosphere, finding avenues to remain in close contact with residents and onboarding solutions at an accelerated pace.
Tech can assist with this variety of new challenges and help organizations pivot, survive and continue to thrive in the pandemic-influenced landscape. Here are some of the ways:
New-age communication tools
Phone calls and emails generally get the job done during a fast-paced business day, but those mediums don’t create the face time and collaborative atmosphere now missing with many associates working remotely. Leadership teams that have been quick to incorporate Zoom meetings, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have had the best success keeping teams connected. While these platforms certainly don’t qualify as advanced tech, they are integral in maintaining high-level performance in a non-office environment. They also contain the underrated psychological component of allowing associates to see each other virtually.
Intuitive resident platforms
Residents can no longer visit the office regularly, and phone communication can be delayed with limited associates onsite. Intuitive resident portals have been a staple of the industry for the past few years, but adoption among residents was far from 100%. Now these portals have become a primary communication option rather than an elective medium, which has heightened the need for leadership to provide associates with an effective tool.
In addition to the traditional portal capabilities of online rent pay and digital service requests, these platforms should serve as an easy way for residents to access the latest community information. With the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, teams should be able to immediately communicate updates regarding availability of amenities, modified office hours or any additional pertinent updates.
Data-driven tech implementation
In many cases, leadership teams have had to fast-track tech adoption to meet previously unanticipated needs. A haphazard approach can sometimes result in adopting the wrong solution, but thankfully industry data, such as that provided by Entrata’s COVID-19 rental trends series, can help avoid that scenario. Analyzing data—both industry-wide and internal—allows for quick testing and measuring of tech platforms, which enables a rapid evaluation of whether it is a good fit for the organization. For instance, analyzing rent trends from a trusted industry source coupled with internal prospect trends at your communities can help determine what type of self-guided tour platform best aligns with your needs.
Undoubtedly, apartment industry leaders have a new set of unique challenges in 2020. Those able to utilize tech to communicate with their teams, maintain the organization’s culture and fast-track implementation of new platforms are remaining ahead of the curve.