As the multifamily sector adopts more and more technologies, partnerships with tech providers are becoming increasingly commonplace. But the purpose of these partnerships is not just to provide prospects or residents the latest technological trend.
Successful partnerships provide long-term value by strengthening and streamlining processes for onsite teams and enhancing the daily lives of residents. With so much at stake, properly vetting potential providers is vital to make certain they will be a good fit for the organization.
Whether it’s an outside partnership, such as Google or IBM, or an inter-industry partnership with a software or smart-home provider, steps should be taken to ensure the tech partner will be a solid multifamily companion.
Here are some vetting practices to consider:
Evaluate their responsiveness
New software systems with all the latest features are awesome – unless you have a question and there is no one around to answer it. If the tech provider doesn’t have live support, it might take days to receive an answer. In a real-time world and non-stop industry, that isn’t quickly enough. Make certain to research how responsive the tech provider is and what training resources they offer. And if they do have live agents available, ask how they have been trained and how qualified these associates are to answer your inquiries.
Even the user-friendliest systems will create questions. But if the software is not user friendly, it will not only foster more questions, but it will create a frustrated and disheartened team. A frustrated onsite team isn’t usually a good thing for apartment communities, which thrive on efficiency and quick service for their residents. A system that’s user-friendly will make the training process quicker, result in a more rapid learning curve for onsite associates and generally allow a smooth work environment. Technology, after all, is designed to make things easier.
Can it grow with your organization?
Some technology providers offer intuitive systems and provide several resources for any issues that arise. But can they integrate with your current system? Is the platform customizable for your particular organization, or is it a one-size-fits-all solution? These questions are just as important to ask, as systems that cannot grow with an organization typically don’t result in a long-term fit. Those with the capability to customize and integrate on the fly often serve as the best solutions.
Odds are, your security standards are pretty high. If your tech partner doesn’t have nearly congruent standards, it can expose your systems. In a worst-case scenario it can compromise your data, and you certainly don’t want to be the Marriott or Target Corporation of the apartment world. Don’t just assume your tech providers have it covered, but make sure they’ve heard your expectations. If clients make security a priority then tech providers will be inclined to follow suit.
In an industry that is becoming increasingly innovative, apartment operators now have various options to consider when providing software systems for their onsite teams and tech-related features for their residents. Those who properly vet those options will achieve desired results much more swiftly.