In recent years, the multifamily industry has dealt with widespread lockdowns, increased housing regulations and eviction moratoriums, and a fair amount of upheaval. By and large, the industry has weathered each change with resilience. Apartment communities have adapted quickly to keep residents safe and businesses secure, implementing time-saving technologies faster than ever before.
As we settle into a new dynamic “normal” across the industry, the need for speed and efficiency remain top priorities for many property professionals. And at every level, from property to portfolio, the demand for easy-to-use, secure digital transactions is growing.
Rikki Dolor, a property manager at Capano Management breaks it down like this: “With new construction we’re filling up an entire building. We could have 40 people moving in on one weekend. A 30 page lease may take an hour to complete on a good day. That’s a whole work-week right there.”
Traditional, in-person, and paper based workflows are giving way to faster, online experiences. Capano uses Entrata’s ResidentPortal and the ResidentPortal app to keep things moving quickly at lease-signing and beyond. Prospective residents begin interacting with the community online from the moment they submit a guest card, and that online relationship continues after they move in. continue
Tech receives a lot of credit for helping the apartment industry get through the pandemic. That’s fair, but speaking as a tech provider, we’re going to put ourselves in the honorable mention category. Why? Because onsite teams have been the true MVPs of the past year and a half—and it’s not even close.
For 18 months plus, we’ve observed as onsite teams held communities together through the most difficult period the industry has ever experienced. In what became a contactless environment in an era of social distancing, they put a human face on their communities and bridged the gap for prospects who still had to find a new home during the unconventional madness. continue
We live in a data-rich world. Any PM software platform you use is going to offer lists of reports to find metrics on every aspect of your business. All of this data can offer a trove of information, but how much real insight does it provide?
Multifamily professionals can find themselves overwhelmed or confused when multiple reports approach the same issue from different perspectives, spending extra time to pull multiple reports, struggling to compare historical data with current trends, and losing faith when numbers aren’t what they expect to see. This wealth of information can end up muddying, rather than clarifying, decision making processes. It doesn’t have to be that way. 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
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
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
The associates who comprise the IT team are among the most astute in your organization. But despite their tech-savvy skill set and problem-solving abilities—IT stands for information technology, after all—these teams are no different than others in that they require training to function at a high level.
While a high-functioning IT team often performs training for other groups within the organization, such as educating employees about software systems, training resources for IT itself cannot be neglected. In short, effective training for IT teams hinges around process as much as education.
Here are a few concepts to consider when incorporating IT teams into the greater operations process: continue
Imagine a world where a property management system not only accurately tracked rental payment data, but also analyzed it to predict which payments have the highest likelihood of returning.
Actually, you don’t have to imagine. Thanks to advancements in predictive machine learning algorithms, this cutting-edge technology analyzes scores of data pertaining to payment history, timing and behavior. It can be used to more intuitively assess the ultimate result of the payment.
How do apartment operators get in on the action? By partnering with providers that invest in these sophisticated technologies. continue
How technology can assist with offline touch points
Throughout the tech revolution, the essential skills of a leasing agent have largely remained the same. Provide a welcoming smile, regularly walk the tour path to make certain nothing is amiss and clean up for-show units so they are ready for the eyes of prospects.
It’s all part of the standardized training process, which is similar for maintenance teams and additional onsite associates. But although tech hasn’t replaced these non-digital activities, it certainly has provided a way to make them easier and more streamlined. Essentially, it serves as the conduit that can bring together various onsite teams.
New technology tools allow teams to interact more rapidly, address any community issues efficiently and expeditiously, and provide modern touring experiences for both residents and leasing staff. Here are a few examples: continue