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Multifamily Project Management Trend | 5 Cloud-Base Project Management Software Programs for 2014

Multifamily Project Management Trend | 5 Cloud-Base Project Management Software Programs for 2014
In the post-recession business world of today, it’s more important than ever for multifamily C-level executives and property owners to manage their resources efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, the more multifamily properties you own or manage,it becomes increasingly difficult to manage multiple projects, remain on task and on target, and either generate revenue or save money on pesky expenses. For many multi-unit executives, there is a solution though. Cloud-based project management tools, like those below, can help you monitor expenses and track progress at the same time in order to operate the most lean apartment rental business possible. 1) WorkZone WorkZone is beautiful because it’s so simple to use. Unlike other project management systems that are overly complex, WorkZone is simple enough for people of all technical proficiencies to use effectively. At the same time, cloud-based project management software WorkZone packs a powerful punch when it comes to features that are easily adaptable across many industries. For instance, multifamily owners are able to create templates for similar projects in multiple apartment complexes and buildings. This not only saves time, but also keeps all the pertinent expense and tracking reports with a similar format. This makes it easier to spot potential problems or discrepancies and correct them early,  in order to save cash. 2) ProWorkflow The built-in invoice and time tracking tools alone make ProWorkflow a powerful tool for multifamily apartment owners to utilize in their businesses. The time tracking tools help you track the efficiency of people on particular projects as well as the cost-effectiveness of ......
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The 4 Types of Bad Data Getting in the Way of Multifamily Business Intelligence

The 4 Types of Bad Data Getting in the Way of Multifamily Business  Intelligence
So what’s all the buzz about business intelligence (BI), and just what does BI mean for apartment operators and managers, anyway? “Put simply, business intelligence is all of the things that enable you to make good, data-based decisions to improve business performance,” explained Glenn Thomas, Lead Software Development Manager, Business Intelligence at Property Solutions during an industry technology event last fall. With the multifamily industry increasingly looking toward the freedom provided by open, agile systems able to capitalize on the competitive opportunities revealed in strong data and reporting, Thomas outlined the four most common data challenges with multifamily software systems that traditionally have inhibited the ability to cultivate actionable BI: 1)                 Bad Data: Bad data includes duplicate files and data sets, corrupted files, and non-tied data sets that should logically be connected or relational. 2)                 Old Data: This is yesterday’s news, or worse, even older legacy data from systems, products, properties, and people no longer relevant (and therefore antagonistic) to your enterprise and your data management. 3)                 “Can’t Get There From Here” Data: Fixed reports and data sets that are not malleable enough for analysis and interaction offer little promise for efficient and actionable data analysis for multifamily strategists. 4)                  “Can’t Get There Quick Enough” Data: The red-headed step child of “Can’t Get There from Here” data is data that might be malleable or interactive, but is for a variety of reasons held captive from the data analyst, including data sets dependent on participation from other partners, vendors, or housed in disparate systems.  ......
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Top Multifamily Executives Weigh-in on Change Management

Top Multifamily Executives Weigh-in on Change Management
Multifamily leaders share their keys to empowering property staff when launching new systems and technology  By some estimates, 70% of change initiatives fail to meet their objectives. According to Multifamily Solutions president Dennis Smillie, it’s a staggering figure illustrating common barriers when launching any sort of change at an apartment organization. “Change management starts long before implementation begins,” says Smillie, “And effective change management survives and thrives long after implementation is done.” Beyond the standpoint of multifamily software, he explains that change confronts all departmental areas and disciplines. “It can be something as simple as asking your offices to stay open an extra half hour during the summer to capture more opportunities in the leasing center,” Smilie says. “Whether it’s technology, or whether it’s simple business processes, change is change.” “You need a good change management plan. That’s the key component,” agrees Scott Pechersky, Vice President of Technology and Ancillary Services at Alliance Residential, who outlines four specific questions his team asks right from the get-go when implementing change: 1) What are the behaviors we want to get out of our staff? 2) Which employee positions will we primarily use to communicate the change? 3) How will we communicate that message? 4) What new costs or budgeting measures will be impacted?   “Success is important,” explains Smillie. “But failure is even more important because failure creates barriers to future change. Every time a change effort fails it generates greater resistance to any subsequent new initiatives, related or unrelated.” To help ward off those unintended consequences, Wate......
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Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Multifamily Website User Experience

Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Multifamily Website User Experience
What on earth do car interiors have to do with online multifamily marketing? If you’re even remotely concerned with how customers interact with your community websites and software tools (and really, who isn’t?), understanding product design and development processes in the automobile industry provides some keen insight into how improved user experiences can impact the multifamily resident lifecycle.   “My favorite word in thinking about user experience and design is empathy,” says former General Motors product designer Branden Neish, who spoke on the Crafting an Interactive User Experience panel at a recent Property Solutions’ user conference. “A lot of auto purchases and leases are made on emotion, and you have to be able to capture customer attention via emotion. To achieve that, the first stop in any design process is really understanding the customer.” According to Neish, the balancing act of a great user experience is between design constraints, business and development constraints, and engineering constraints, necessitating a partnership between business, design and engineering departments and disciplines. Similarly, user experience should apply in three key areas in the apartment industry: your leasing office, your model units, and finally your prospect and resident websites.  In the session, presenters outlined their top five tips for an improved community website user experience: 1)     Cut the Clutter: Use a maximum of 8, clearly labeled navigation items. 2)     Provide Eye Candy: Capture attention by leveraging visual media, most notably, lots of high-quality photography. 3)     Minimize the Mazes: Don’t hold back information in any area. Help users quickly find wh......
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