2023 is poised to bring about some exciting changes. To kick off Multifamily Demo Day, Rent Dynamics’ Chief Revenue Officer, Mike Wolber, and the Host of Modern Multifamily was invited to explore emerging technologies and trends in Multifamily with panelists Mike Brewer, Kadi Mancuso, and Alexis Murrell. With centralization and AI occurring as themes throughout the discussion, the panelists outlined some strategies they will utilize to serve their residents and employees better to create a more efficient and streamlined experience.
Here are 6 takeaways from yesterday’s Multifamily Demo Day discussion kickoff:
The impact of AI across Multifamily in 2023
For Kadi Mancuso of JVM Realty, her onsite team has implemented AI Revenue Management to pinpoint the areas of highest operational efficiency to assess marketing allocations only toward necessary exposure based on availability which has helped increase conversion time and helped procure dynamic lead prioritization. Customer Service and Reputation integration is other key focus for her team. Having an integrated dashboard where every role can visually grab a pulse of key metrics that impact the business in a digestible manner that doesn’t exude data paralysis helps solve time efficiencies. Alexis Murrell of Middleburg Communities also noted how more AI-driven lead management and lead nurturing have enabled both sales and onsite teams to ease the front-load burden and spend higher quality, dedicated time with prospects and residents.
Moderator Mike Wolber of Rent Dynamics opened up the conversation of centralization by reinforcing the multifaceted use cases and definitions across different properties and teams. Mike Brewer of RADCO highlighted his cost management organization through a strategy he likes to call #aceo – abbreviated for ‘Automation, Centralization, Elimination, and Outsourcing’, mainly about tech stack consolidation.
For the first time in the industry, Alexis illustrated how properties like Middleburg Communities are restructuring how they build out staffing models. As one example, admin roles like the assistant manager and accounting workloads have shifted off-site. Where there was a more horizontal movement of role shifting, companies are keeping the hiring focus on the role itself – allowing greater talent from other industries to fill the job skills of their expertise. In other cases of centralization, she added, having the ability to centralize leasing and contact centers has been a recent transformation.
Utilizing Resources at-hand
While “do more with less” is commonly used, Alexis prefers to reframe this as doing their best with the resources you have. Operators and property managers must measure the impact and feedback from their tools, integrations, and efficiencies – from revenue to leasing and employee and resident satisfaction. As centralization rolls out, she emphasized, we need to use beta testing, thoughtful deployment, and feedback in more of a project management process.
Kadi also shared that she likes to apply a “repair, not replace” mentality that starts in her maintenance teams across all departments. Before bringing in new tools or vendors, it’s valuable to analyze current resources and take those learnings to apply moving forward.
Customer-centric, Property-centric, and Employee-centric Approaches
Mike Brewer forecasted the current progression of AI; he sees the future trending highly customer-centric, team-centric, and vendor-centric. Operational leaders can leverage smoother transitions of upscaling and rescaling ahead of these anticipated restructures.
“Getting good at being good” is a sentiment Kadi echoed in relation to customer service reputation. Never forget that residents are people, just like we are people. She referenced her team’s J. Turner Research Reputation Management Score utilization. Cultivating an environment where both residents and employees are happy paves a route for more robust hiring and talent retention.
The Vendor’s Role in 2023
Grady Newman, Founder of Resi, asked the panelists: “Have you seen your vendor partners pivot as far as how they focus on value or support within your organization?” Alexis responded, “As we look at economic headwinds, we see vendors trying to show value too. We are looking at more impactful metrics, not vanity metrics “. She explained how actions such as beta launches, experimentation, impact assessments, and case studies are some ways vendors demonstrate deeper collaboration.
Trends Here to Stay
Since 2020, we have seen the emergence and shift to more self-guided transactions. Alexis feels confident full self-guided tours will continue as a staple, leveraging technology for tour booking, enabling residents the convenience of showing up and self-servicing on their optimal schedule.As for Mike Brewer, he strongly feels AI tools are the future of everything, primed not only to impact multifamily but roles worldwide. He is personally using ChatGPT and AI to assist in idea generation for book titles on a piece he is currently authoring and creating scripts as part of interviews on his podcast, The Multifamily Collective. In the future of leasing, he envisions AI stitching together a cinematic experience of video, chat, and voice sent out to a lead prospect at the exact moment they are looking at the apartment in their zip code, utilizing the right place at the right time with deliberation, and evolving the future of apartment marketing.