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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

5 Ways to Enhance Business Relationships

Relationships are essential in business. An organization must create a team that is reliable, they must ally with partners that are supportive, and foster loyalty with customers. Creating these relationships with key players is essential to the success of property management company. You can’t manage properties with a customer, you can’t serve customers without a team, and you can’t build your service without partners. No matter how you look at it, there is no situation where it is not important to develop and strengthen relationships. Here are 5 ways to create longevity in your business relationships. Network Go out of the way and enter industry spaces where you can interact with professionals that can be valuable to your organization. Always be ready to meet people and be willing to consider how they can improve your service. Your network should be vast and diverse, complete with potential customers, past customers, vendors, banks – even members of the media. Keep connected to the people in your network even when there is nothing you can offer them, because there when there is something, they can provide you, they will tell you first. Hire a Business Relationship Manager (BRM)? A business relationship manager is typically a senior-level position designed to breakdown barriers between separate departments in a business. The focus of a business relationship manager is to emphasize internal collaboration between otherwise siloed departments to encourage innovation beyond barriers. The BRM or a business relationship team acts as a liaison between internal departments, potential partners, and cus......
Continue reading
386 Hits
0 Comments

8 Advantages of Offering Self Service Tools

Offering customers self-service capabilities is becoming an increasingly important element of the customer service toolkit. Whether it is in the form of an online knowledge base, a simple FAQ or a portal, Gartner Research predicts that by the end of 2020, 85% of the relationship between customers and businesses will require zero human interaction. Here are 8 benefits to self-service for organizations weighing the value of adjusting their customer service strategy. Preference One of the most compelling reasons for introducing self-service tools is that it’s just what customers want. Giving customers the ability to manage elements of their service themselves, is more convenient and enhances their property management experience. Forrester research found that 72%of American consumers prefer to independently use a website to find answers as opposed to emails or phone calls, approximately 50% of the people who prefer self-service feels strongly about having that option. Growth Studies show that companies that grow sustainably, place heavy priority on their customer experience do not rush to take on more customers until they establish a quality and balanced approach to serving and meeting their customers’ expectations. HubSpot research showed that 49% of companies that found growth to be important prioritized customer experience. Volume Enabling customers to serve themselves helps balance the customer service workload relieving your customer service representatives of an increasing workload. As your portfolio grows, self-service options can scale to accommodate the increase in customers and enable you to manage requests, inquiries, and concerns without having to add additional staff to yo......
Continue reading
471 Hits
0 Comments

4 Ways Property Managers Can Use Reports

Reports are an important function that businesses can use at every level of the hierarchy – boards, executives, middle management, and even administration. When reports are run on a regular basis companies can tap into the multitude of data available to them. Reports can give organizations easy to interpret summaries that make it easy to identify patterns and evolving trends. Reports give businesses the opportunity to highlight repeating occurrences that indicate common challenges in comparison to common successes which enables that business to develop new strategies and make changes accordingly. Reviewing data empowers property management companies to anticipate business needs and improve their customer service. That information can be used to set goals and performance benchmarks for small teams or the entire company. Maintenance Successful maintenance is essential to successful property management. Owners often base their decisions on how efficiently maintenance is handled. Property management companies can leverage reports to improve their ability to execute maintenance which can improve customer retention and improve that company’s reputation. Property managers can use reports to gauge the frequency of maintenance. They can highlight the most common requests and determine appliances or specific areas that may need more attention. Maintenance reports can also help property managers keep track of inventory and warranties, so they are better equipped to anticipate needs. Overall maintenance reports help property managers to be proactive and reduce the number of unexpected repairs. Accounting Managing financials is often a delicate situation which makes reports even more advantageous to property management accountants. The mod......
Continue reading
465 Hits
0 Comments

Top 5 Advantages A Cloud-Based Property Management Software Brings To Landlords

Top 5 Advantages A Cloud-Based Property Management Software Brings To Landlords
Most landlords enter the business as a side investment. They often work a nine-to-five and, after saving up money, purchase their first rental property. As their portfolio grows, whether they remain with their day-job or become a full-time landlord, the tax on their time grows too. The greatest benefit of cloud-based property management software is therefore the automation it provides landlords, property managers, and owners, saving them precious time so they can focus on spending time with their family, growing their business, and enjoying the fruits of their investment. . Here are five advantages of using cloud-based property management software.   Collect Rent Faster Landlord software packages offer automated reminders, remote access, and better tools for enforcing late fees. All of these features and many more add up to faster rent collection. What’s more, most rental management software services provide tenants the ability to sign up for automated payments. Like their electric bill, internet bill, or credit card bill, they no longer have to remember to pay it (and you don’t have to bother hassling them for it). And if they don’t signup for autopay, the multitude of one click payment options – from bank transfers to credit card payments – make it incredibly easy for them to get their payment to you. Some rental management platforms now even promise to deliver the funds to you in just a single business day, which is faster than some banks process physical checks.  Data Back-Ups and Trustworthiness Conventional property management applications rarely receive security patches a......
Continue reading
702 Hits
0 Comments

The All-In-One or Best-of-Breed Dilemma: Which Technology is Best for Multifamily Companies?

The All-In-One or Best-of-Breed Dilemma: Which Technology is Best for Multifamily Companies?
In the property management industry, there is a technology to solve almost every problem.  From paying rent online to managing packages, the industry is bursting with solutions that tackle all the tedious aspects of being a property manager. But first, you have to find the vendor that’s right for your company, and that can be a tough task. The best way to whittle down your choice of vendors is to determine if you want to use an all-in-one or a best-in-breed solution. You may not be sure which one is the best fit for your business, so here are the pros and cons of each. First, let’s take a look at all-in-one solutions. All-in-one providers catering to the property management industry offer a combination of management, investment, marketing, leasing, and resident tools. All-In-One Pros An all-in-one solution can be an easy sell for some property management companies. The idea of a single platform being able to solve multiple challenges at once sounds very appealing, especially if you have limited internal resources. The IT requirements required to use an all-in-one provider may be reduced when a single vendor is used because there are fewer programs to maintain. If your team is not particularly tech savvy, only having to learn one platform can help avoid confusion among users of the software and shorten the learning curve. Plus, users will only need a single login to manage each application. Only having one technology vendor to juggle can be convenient, too. You’ll only have one ve......
Continue reading
1389 Hits
0 Comments

The Art of Chasing Away Your Residents

The Art of Chasing Away Your Residents
“… And they never come back!” That’s exactly what you want to hear... if you are the Manager of the Cape Town Stadium in South Africa and you’re talking about the birds that have been plaguing your stadium for the past few months. It’s what you want to hear when you hired a trainer to fly his falcon around the stadium every few days to scare these birds. It’s exactly what you want to hear when you decided it was time to scale back to one flight every month. That’s what I was told during my tour of the stadium. “…And they never came back!” That’s NOT what you want to hear when you are the property manager or a residential community and you are trying to attract prospective residents or keep resident retention up. It’s not what you want to hear when you are advertising on multiple platforms or if you’re offering renewal or referral incentives for residents. It’s definitely not what you want to hear when the success of your job is largely defined by occupancy. That’s what I’ve been told while working with property management software. While stadiums and residential communities are as different as birds and residents, they also hold  similarities. Birds are attracted to stadiums because the stadiums can fulfill their core needs. They have grass seeds for food, rafters for shelter and other like-minded birds for company. Residents are attracted to communities for very similar reasons: BBQs & cookies for food, shelter, and other like-minded residents for company (that's always the simplest key for successful resident retentio......
Continue reading
867 Hits
0 Comments

Diamonds or Dirt?

Diamonds or Dirt?
Let’s be honest, folks. When you and your team are wading through the middle of the quantifiable quagmire that is a RFP and are trying to decide which property management software solution is right for your business, you are going to be putting a lot of focus on the operating costs, performance metrics and anticipated ROI of your investment in a software package. After engaging in the necessary due diligence and ultimately selecting a software company you believe is the best value for your business, you complete an integration progress, get certified, have some training on the product and away you go, skipping blissfully through the flower laden fields of successful property management with your new best buddy, ever. I mentioned that we’re being honest, right? As a former property manager,  eCommerce director and a strategic client manager, I can tell you straight up that you better keep a very close eye on where you and your new property management software buddy are happily skipping, lest you both end up with something rather icky on your shoes. All too often, a critical component of a RFP is neglected until you have picked out your property management software provider and integrated it into your day to day operations. I’m talking about the quality of the relationships you will have with the people behind the software. Yes, I know that you checked references during the RFP. But did you talk to the right people? Let me explain. Most references during an RFP process come from membe......
Continue reading
944 Hits
0 Comments

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Software Support

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Software Support
Like any other multifamily professional, you have dreams and aspirations. You have places to go and things to see. But before you “go and see,” you have a job, and to complete your job, it's not uncommon that you're calling for software support with multifamily tech providers. It shouldn’t take long, right?  You don’t need to plan your day around this interaction, do you?...  Do you? Well, much like your teenage daughter's long-standing Facebook relationship status, it’s complicated. It all depends on how you look at it. Expectations change by contact type and by level of urgency. Just as you can expect to hear back from someone quicker when you are talking face to face than when you send them a postcard, you can also expect a quicker response from 911 than from the Better Business Bureau. So when evaluating the aptitude of your property management software's support department, it's important to first evaluate the nature of your support needs in terms of (1) Contact Method and (2) Urgency.   Contact Method: According to recent surveys, about 75% of clients expect their service provider to offer at least four different methods of contact. The primary methods are listed in the table below, along with the expected wait times:   Contact Method Industry-leading Average Expected Wait Maximum Expected Wait Phone <30 seconds 60 seconds 5 minutes Chat <30 seconds 60 seconds 15 minutes In person/ Storefront <30 seconds 5 minutes 15 minutes Social Media <30 minutes 4 hours 8 hours Task or Ticket System <30 minutes 4 hours 24 h......
Continue reading
1146 Hits
0 Comments

Fear of spiders? That's nothing...

Fear of spiders? That's nothing...
Let’s face it, learning new software can be hard. You might think the biggest challenge we face when training an apartment portfolio on new technology is overcoming different skill levels in our learners. But really, the biggest hurdle is fear of technology, fear of change, fear of screwing things up... basically just fear. As a trainer, oftentimes I'll outline a fantastic step-by-step plan to usher clients  from one software program to another,  only to find they still haven't gotten past the login page when I check back even weeks later. No matter what type of training, I encounter excuses like, “I'm too busy” ... “I don’t like that sort of training” .... “I can’t remember anything the trainer said”... and the list goes on and on. If I really probe, I usually come up with the root cause, and most often it's fear. Digital natives don’t have the same issues with technology. There's an element of learned intuition in how they discover and explore new software programs. Because they've developed that familiarity, it just makes sense to them. For those who aren't comfortable with software, this fear of trying something new is a big enough obstacle that they'd rather just continue their usual tasks and routines. But if we can get them to give it a shot, then they actually make great strides. To help technophobes get over their fear, here are some techniques that my team and I have found effective: Always make sure the learner understands how the software will directly benefit them, and the way they do their job. Everybody wants to ......
Continue reading
873 Hits
0 Comments

Who Will Lead the Platform Revolution In Multifamily?

NMHC OpTech ConferenceDuring the NMHC OpTech conference this past week, Phil Simon spoke about the “Age of the Platform”, which essentially means businesses building applications on top of other businesses.  The most well-known examples of this platform concept are creating apps on Facebook or the iPhone.  In these cases, Facebook and Apple become the “platform” by which other companies develop add-on services to offer to their customers. From a multifamily perspective, there are two ways to participate in a platform concept:  Either create services on another platform, such as develop your own Facebook app, or become a platform yourself, where businesses create services on your own architecture.  Today, I want to cover the latter, as I really think that is the more interesting of the two right now.  I think the most logical, and potentially evolutionary-inducing option is for property management software to be that option.  In this way, other companies should easily be able to integrate their service with the base property management software without duplicate entry, exporting/importing issues, and other walls between the data.  So for example, a company could develop a package-tracking “app” that works seamlessly within the property management software environment and leverages standardized data, such as resident lists, rather than having it be a separate entity entirely which has to recreate these standard elements. In 2005, my former company was attempting to implement a social media based resident portal, and we got the painful feedback that our service would simply not be useful unless we were integrated with the major p......
Continue reading
5608 Hits
11 Comments