A prospect arrives at an apartment community where he encounters a self-serve kiosk. He types in his parameters for the type of home he is seeking. A mobile, humanoid-type robot arrives at his side, asking if he has any follow-up questions.
The robot scans his ID to make sure he is who he says he is, then produces a key fob. The prospect is free to visit the apartment that fits his parameters and take a look. An iPad equipped with chatbot technology will be in the apartment home, the robot explains, in case he has any further questions while exploring the unit.
He can also use the tablet if he chooses to sign a lease on the spot via a fully automated process. Sounds like the perfect modern-day leasing process, right?
Not really. continue
While 2020 can still lay claim to the most chaotic year the apartment industry (and perhaps everybody else) has ever experienced, we didn’t exactly get back to business-as-usual in 2021.
Sure, some semblance of normalcy returned, but 2021 also was a year of continued adjustments, ever-changing protocols, and prolonged staff shortages—all while the industry continued to push the envelope from a technology perspective.
Here is a look at some of the major multifamily storylines from the year: continue
Before the tech revolution, the user experience in multifamily was always collaborative. The user—the person searching for an apartment home—would meet with members from the property team, or at the very least connect with them over the phone.
Tech has shown us that many leasing functions, from the home search and application processes to the tour itself, can be done digitally. But in the quest to provide a wide array of expedient digital options, some property teams have drifted too far from the original roots of the renter journey. In some cases, the journey is entirely bereft of human contact.
And while an interaction-free option might appeal to some renters, the best user experience typically occurs with a mix of tech and old-fashioned human contact.
Here are some ways to strike that balance: continue
Entrata’s Virginia Love Featured in Apartmentalize Session
The tech revolution gradually made the apartment industry more adaptable to change. It’s a good thing, too, because multifamily teams have never had to adjust more than they did last year in a suddenly contactless world.
Had the pandemic arrived, say, 15 years earlier, operators and onsite teams would have had considerable difficulty modifying their set-in-place, non-tech-savvy ways. But modernized apartment professionals have experience beta testing new tech, instituting rollout plans and modifying processes on the fly to make them more efficient.
That experience has proved invaluable through the early and current stages of the pandemic and has enabled teams to navigate through the chaos as efficiently as possible. A panel of experts, moderated by Entrata Industry Principal Virginia Love, recently discussed ways the industry has deftly altered its approach in the Apartmentalize 2021 session Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick: The Art of Pivot. continue
Fraud attempts across industries in the US are up an average of 25% this year, and according to a recent study conducted by Entrata, the property management industry is feeling the impact of this rise in fraudulent activity. The survey findings reveal rapid growth in the number of fraud attempts and increased concern about the impact these cases are having on operations. The results provide a unique view into the types of fraud plaguing the industry, the frequency of such attempts, and shed light on ways new technology may help combat these issues. continue
Now that 2020 has firmly underscored the idea that an agent-led tour isn’t the only option, it’s safe to say that processes surrounding apartment touring will be ever evolving.
A myriad of tour options now exist, and communities across the nation are trying to determine the approach that best attracts renters at their particular locale. Trevor Riley, senior vice president of product for Entrata, discussed the various tour types and morphing renter preferences at the Apartmentalize 2021 session What’s Next in Apartment Touring? continue
The awesome and the maddening thing about technology is that it never stops evolving. Just when it seems that you have the latest, most cutting-edge tech features in place, something comes along to further push the envelope.
That trend has been further exacerbated over the past 18 months and shows no signs of slowing. For apartment operators, it has become increasingly paramount to keep pace with the rapidly changing technological landscape. Falling behind, naturally, means playing catch-up. And if you’re playing catch-up, it means your competition has the advantage. continue
The secret is out—renters are keen on smart home capabilities. What used to be a luxury feature is now an expectation.
More than 80% of renters say they want an apartment with smart home amenities, and more than 60% are willing to pay a monthly fee for a voice-activated virtual assistant. But part of the allure of a smart home apartment is the seamless experience that accompanies it.
As such, Entrata has partnered with numerous smart home providers to further elevate the connected home experience for property teams and residents alike.
“When residents demand change—which, let’s face it, happens pretty much every day—we think it’s important to have technology partners who can adapt quickly,” Entrata President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Harrington said during Entrata Connect Episode 2. “We’ve been working with the multifamily industry for several years to help figure out how to make smart communities a reality.” continue
A prospect arrives at an apartment community, meets with a leasing agent and sees the property in a predetermined path. In the past, that was the only type of tour. But modern-day prospects want choices when they search for their next potential home — and they now have an ever-increasing amount of options.
Over the past year, the way people tour apartment communities has evolved in various ways, presenting more opportunities to convert more leads to leases. In reaction to the pandemic, many apartment communities began offering virtual and self-guided tours in addition to the traditional agent-led ones. The variety of tour types is almost certainly here to stay, as operators have learned that prospects love options. continue
Imagine if many mundane daily household tasks could simply be automated. Trash cans automatically transferred from the garage to the curb on pickup day. Groceries neatly placed in the fridge on the proper shelves. The backyard efficiently mowed on a weekly basis because you scheduled the lawnmower to do it at a certain time.
Much tedious busywork also surrounds the lead management process. But unlike those household tasks, many lead management procedures can be automated now. continue