Intense data mining isn’t needed to proclaim the terms virtual and remote reached their crescendo in 2020. Essentially all activity in the multifamily environment—including onsite communication, education panels and industry conferences—gravitated away from the in-person experience.
But just like the industry’s migration to video and remote tours, the transition to virtual conferences wasn’t a flip-of-the-switch endeavor. It required a rethinking of standardized industry practices and a little bit of trial and error.
At Entrata, we’ve both hosted and attended several virtual conferences, and along the way we have observed some of the key components that help these events sizzle—or at least stand out.
Here are some of them: continue
When looking back on 2020 in a few decades, odds are it won’t be remembered as a banner year for the world. But that doesn’t mean that everything about the year should be permanently washed away.
Like almost everywhere else, it will be remembered as a trying year for multifamily. It will also be known as a year when the industry, by necessity, had to think outside the box and become extremely innovative. And while some of the newfound practices will be dated specifically to pandemic times, others are here to stay. At the very least, they laid the groundwork for the multifamily roadmap moving forward. continue
An accessible, functional resident portal was one of the technologies that put Entrata on the map. Providing an interface to residents to be able to pay rent, schedule maintenance requests, or just reach out to the leasing office any time of day or night was once a revolutionary offering in the multifamily space.
A lot has changed. Renters expect more from their communities than an online portal for rent payments. So we’ve been updating Entrata’s ResidentPortal to keep up with evolving demands. In 2020, Entrata made ResidentPortal 4.0 available to all of our clients using ResidentPortal. With this update, the power of the portal is greater than ever. continue
The introduction of artificial intelligence to the multifamily industry has been a measured process. Yes, many are using AI in the form of chatbots and for advanced automation. But to a large degree, AI is viewed by the industry for its future capabilities rather than anything that can make an immediate impact.
The apartment sector can make headway on that front by envisioning how AI can augment existing platforms, and then pairing them. continue
Data is a lot like a Peloton bike. It looks good and is great to have, but it only makes a significant impact if you put it to solid use.
Undoubtedly, data collection has become a primary objective for apartment operators over the past several years. But applying data in a manner that genuinely moves the needle remains elusive for many.
Utilized properly and effectively, the business intelligence derived from data can solve several pain points. From advanced submarket analytics to the ability to uncover undetected renter tendencies to intuitive pricing insights, the possibilities are aplenty. The challenge is rooted in converting raw datasets to actionable uses.
Here are a few recommendations to uncover the secret sauce contained within the data: continue
Practical Applications for Multifamily
As natural language solutions become more advanced, the multifamily industry is taking notice—albeit at a measured pace.
AI-fueled innovations such as chatbots are a great fit for the apartment world and are becoming increasingly popular. As machine learning acquires a stronger grasp on natural language, chatbots can adeptly answer a wider variety of questions from prospects in instant-messenger fashion.
So far, multifamily hasn’t delved much further than chatbots when incorporating natural language solutions into their processes. But the technology has significant potential to offer a variety of new solutions to the industry moving forward: continue
In the past, waiting a week to see if you qualified for an apartment was part of the territory for an applicant. But so was the inability to track the progress of a package shipment, or the need to wait for the rerun of your favorite show if you missed the original broadcast.
Prospects are much less patient in an instant-gratification world, and they should be given the abundance of digital tools designed to expedite these types of processes. The quicker an applicant can be verified the better—but the accelerated timeline shouldn’t come at the expense of an accurate and thorough review.
In addition to the fast-but-not-reckless approach, apartment operators have had to consider a handful of additional variables in the ever-evolving applicant verification process: continue
Tired of looking at the same old screens? Entrata to the rescue!
Follow @EntrataSoftware on social media (or check back here each week) for a fresh new look. You can download a new wallpaper designs for your phone, tablet, or computer each Wednesday. continue
Does it feel like your phone is ringing more than usual? Like it’s getting harder to keep up with new calls, much less return every call awaiting a response? You’re not imagining things. In the last six months, Entrata has recorded a year-over-year increase of calls to properties of anywhere from 11% to a whopping 21%. It’s not just people looking for new homes, you’re also getting more resident calls.
Add this increased call volume to the safety measures that have fewer team members in the office, and it’s easy to see why so many communities are feeling overwhelmed and reaching out for a little help. Call Centers are having a moment as they step in to provide a necessary service to properties, residents, and prospective renters alike. But it’s not as simple as making sure calls are picked up. continue
Remote communication has become the new norm, and by now, everyone is used to it. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the industry has perfected the art.
More than ever, effective communication platforms are a must as apartment communities continue to work with smaller onsite teams while striving to maintain service levels. While tech can certainly help to stay connected with residents, a few grassroots concepts are helping teams, as well.
Naturally, email is an effective starting point, as 68% of young renters prefer this communication method. But delving below the surface, here are some key tactics—both of the tech and non-tech variety—that can boost communication efficiency levels: continue