Whether you realize it or not, your technology sends a message to your prospects, residents, and even employees, about your business. About a year and a half ago Jason Larson, Chief Strategy Officer at IDM went looking for a technology partner that could grow with his business. After spending a little time with the Entrata team at NMHC OpTech, he knew he’d found the kind of partner that would represent his vision to audiences both inside and outside the company.
Traditionally, multifamily technology systems have been segregated between “front end” and “back office” tasks. This creates a false dilemma as many industry professionals perpetuate the idea that either accounting or marketing functions must be sacrificed when choosing a technology system. Today’s executive needs a 360 degree view of their business which provides actionable data on a variety of processes without losing sight of the guest experience.
Larson points out that nothing in accounting or leasing and rents is isolated. Whether accounting, marketing, or operations: all business processes relate to each other, and Entrata Core is built to bring them all together in the most efficient way possible. A year in, IDM is seeing the powerful benefits of this centralized system.
“I’m a ‘one login’ guy. The only other login our employees have is for their email. Everything is in Entrata. We’re so much faster now,” Larson says. “There’s something comfortably familiar about Entrata’s UX. It’s modern. Our new controller came over from another industry, and I thought this would be a great test case since he’s a pure accounting guy with no software bias. Within a week he was able to intuitively find his way around the system. He loves it.”
At the same time, IDM’s front-line employees (and job candidates) are hearing that Entrata is fun to work on and even seeking out opportunities to use the platform. They are discovering that Entrata Core and the innate connections between ProspectPortal websites and the Leasing Center directly benefit employees.
“While our leasing agents are sleeping, the Leasing Center is booking appointments for when they show up at work, and they get the commission,” said Larson. “People are starting to see the value.”
But it’s not just about keeping the IDM team happy, Larson is also deeply invested meeting the expectations of the modern renter. Entrata’s centralized system means that visitors to the leasing office are greeted by name; employees can see their specific needs and circumstances at a glance and quickly and easily address those needs.
“We didn’t realized that residents cared as much as they do about our technology platform,” admitted Larson. “Most of our residents, it’s got to be 80 or 90 percent, log in to the ResidentPortal at least once a month. We find that we’re driving resident retention because of these tools: because we can talk to them so easily. Residents feel more of a sense of community because they’re connected with us online. They’re better served and better taken care of than ever before, and they notice it.”
IDM is gaining a reputation among residents and prospects as a high-tech property management company. Prospects regularly comment on how easy the online application process is, and residents are enthusiastic about online payments and credit card payments.
“It starts at the front end,” says Larson. “With Entrata’s Leasing Center, we never miss a phone call. Prospects go to our website, they see a floorplan and use the furniture tool to lay out their unit. All they have to do is click on “interested” and they’re going to get called back right away. We’re going to get them booked and when they come in to visit we already know all about them.”
Even in a low-vacancy market, IDM’s business philosophy involves giving residents the kind of individual attention that makes them want to renew. “We’re going to earn their business every single day,” Larson says. “And Entrata is the only tool that actually lets us do that in an affordable way. It’s the only way to pull it off.”