Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Choosing Technology Wisely

Choosing Technology Wisely

Choosing Technology Wisely

The technology landscape is a crowded one these days, both with innovative new arrivals targeting the industry as well as strong existing options with more longevity.   Choosing the right value-add technologies is a challenging task for multifamily operators.  What are the drivers that elevate one over the others?

Take a look at any aspect of operating apartment communities today, and you’ll find no shortage of new technologies designed to help your business improve, streamline, connect, develop, educate, assess, analyze or aggregate – you get the picture.  Most likely, you and your team are contacted by enterprising marketers frequently, all seeking to show you how their solution is the answer.

Let’s take a look at one area receiving a lot of attention in recent years:  package delivery. You have technology-plus-hardware solutions from companies like Package Concierge, Parcel Post and LuxerOne; and digital-only solutions like those from Entrata (ParcelAlert) and ReceivingRoom.  Also, customized apps like Mobile Doorman offer an entire resident communication platform including package notification as only one of many communication features.

Of course, that’s just one example.  From new lead-delivery apps like HomeMe and Zumper to bite-sized web-based training options like GROW Learning, real-time transportation information displays like Transit Screen, and InfoTycoon’s innovative asset management platform. And I can't write a tech article without mentioning the new Respage AI-powered chatbot (a digital leasing agent), and the innovative market survey platform by BI:Radix. There is so much new technology deployed that the list could go on for days.

What to do? 

It’s difficult to know which technologies are the right ones for your business, or even what the options are with so many new entrants on the scene.  Following are a few tips that may help determine need and navigate the crowded waters:

  • Take control of the process.  Are you simply reacting as firms seek you out, or do you have a business strategy that incorporates ongoing technology health and assessment?
  • What problem are you solving?  What are your pain points and can a technology solution help to alleviate, or is it an infrastructure or management issue?  Don’t just go for the shiny new penny without a compelling reason, or without knowing how ROI can be achieved.
  •  If new or additional technology seems like the way to go, make sure you do your homework about what’s available in the space.  Google it, reach out to peers from other companies, and find out the good, the bad and the ugly.  Other users are always the best resource.
  • Do you have the stomach to be an early adopter?  Or are you more comfortable once a company has an established client list?  Save yourself some headaches by knowing where your comfort zone is.
  • If evaluating a technology solution that’s been around for a while, you’ll want to assess their track record of evolution; do they continue to improve and invest? How well have they adapted over time? Is the customer base commensurate with time in market? How robust is their integration strategy?
  • Does the technology you’re looking at empower – your employees, your residents, prospective residents – to achieve their goals? The best way to determine this is to include various user groups in the decision process. Really listen to their feedback rather than simply looking for validation of your point of view.
  • How does it rank for ease of use?  If it seems clunky and confusing in a demo, it is.  Next.
  • It’s all about the people.  Sure, it’s a great technology, but how do you feel about the folks who deliver it?   Again, do your homework and find out what other customers have experienced with consistency, commitment and communication. 

Sifting through the many choices may be daunting, but it’s a great problem to have! The secret to success is to know your organization’s needs, and to do your homework on the many options.

Rate this blog entry:

Leave your comments

  • Judy, good tips in this post! Thanks for including the Respage Chatbot. Something to remember is all technology decisions are not created equal. Some new technologies in multifamily can be quick decisions that can have a immediate impact while other larger enterprise decisions may take longer.

  • Most welcome, Jackie, and thank you! And you are so right - tech decisions can be vastly different depending on the scope and investment.

  • Thanks for sharing this insight! Your blog post clearly explains the necessity of technology in the multi-family industry. As you mentioned, it is difficult to know which technologies are the right ones for your business and what the available options are, as new ones arise consistently.

    Managing properties can be time consuming, and as such, property managers are interested in solutions that increase efficiencies and streamline activities. Specifically, electronic access control systems increase operational efficiencies by improving the key management process as staff members can easily grant or repeal access electronically. Therefore, property managers can place a greater emphasis on leasing apartments to new renters.

    Likewise, the system will also help attract more potential residents who are tech-savvy and interested in innovative security solutions. By implementing an electronic access control system, residents can enter their living facility using smart credentials, such as a smartphone. To your point, it is essential to focus on solving a problem when implementing a technological system, electronic access control will help alleviate safety concerns and increase security solutions.

    Do you think electronic access control systems are necessary in the multi-family industry?

Marketing is one of those things that is always evolving. Much like technology, marketing teams need to be consistently looking at future marketing trends, considering what might be applicable to their industry and budgeting for effective testing each and every year. In the world of marketing, there are a lot of platforms and technologies that marketing experts have identified to be major players in 2019. This is a great article about impactful marketing trends to watch this year. As far as mu...
Gartner has predicted, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human. This can be both a scary and exciting statistic for the multifamily industry. Based on LeaseHawk CRM user data in 2017, more than 75% of all communications to properties were handled via telephone call. With phone calls being such a personal form of 1-to-1 communication it can feel uncomfortable with the thought of a robot making a personal connection with a prospective renter on the other line. However...
  Anyway, according to a study on Convince & Convert, "as of 2018, 15 percent of American adults say they have used a chatbot to interact with a company in the prior 12 months." And according to Ideal.com, 35 percent of people who use chatbots expect to get detailed responses to inquiries. Also, they found that 64 percent of people believe the top benefit of them is to get 24-hour service, and that 55 percent of people believe the top benefit is getting an instant response. Read the wh...