Automation. It’s here to stay whether you think it impersonal or not. And in multifamily communities, the movement toward automation has been in the works for over a decade. Two years since the 2020 lock-down, we now see how imperative digitization for management teams has become. By introducing automation right from move-in, properties can offer their residents more convenience for an improved resident experience.
Here are 7 automations your community could benefit from, starting today.
“The pandemic has accelerated the transition to digital media and its use,” said Anant Yardi at NAA’s APTvirtual conference in 2020. “Artificial intelligence is such an important topic. These are the technologies that are bringing tech to the market for the benefit of the industry.”
Digitization is causing sweeping and large-scale transformations in public, commercial, and private lives. Multifamily Executive writes, “Automation “frees” on-site staff from the arduous administrative task of shopping comps and setting rents in order to focus on leads. Translation: Less back-room busy work equals more customer face time. And therein lies the allure of automation.”
Accelerated Automation is Here to Stay
Only a short year ago, Ed Wolff of LeaseLock wrote, “Historically, multifamily has been slow to embrace technological change, but the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of business-critical technologies such as virtual touring platforms, integrated building services, and remote leasing management to name a few. In a post-pandemic world, apartment operators need to be visionary — and automation is mission-critical for the new age of leasing.”
Coordinating resident move-ins means leasing teams need to add resident information in the property management system, issue keys, and coordinate multiple options that may affect a high-rise space. The same can be said for move-outs, amenity reservations, building access, and communicating with neighbors on a secure platform. Any task that seems likely to keep residents waiting for a team member to assist may offer another opportunity to improve service.
“When leasing associates no longer have to shop and set rents, handle maintenance requests, accept checks, manage renewals, or process lease documents, they are suddenly able to better manage the sales and customer relationships.
“You want managers who are assisting residents to make their apartment a home, where the reason for the knock on the door has nothing to do with asking for rent and addressing maintenance problems,” Georgianna Oliver of EverGreen Solutions told Multifamily Executive.”
Embracing Operational Automation
Understanding how to choose the right partner for a flexible tech stack can be harrowing. Partnering with the Elevated Living platform can improve management team performance, drive down the cost per lead, and can merge multiple tools into one simple app to make unexpected conditions easier to tackle.
“Automation on the operations side is the biggest thing we are being asked to help with from a systems development perspective,” Blaine Davis with IRES told Multifamily Executive. “Especially on the leasing side of the business, people are embracing operational automation changes much better than two years ago.”
Multifamily Design + Construction’s David Malone wrote, “Many rental and condominium communities integrate package centers into high-traffic areas. Not only does this make it easier for couriers to find the center and deliver packages, it also makes receiving a package a neighborly event. If planned and designed appropriately, package centers can strengthen community ties among residents.”
Resident Satisfaction = Growth
Two years ago, at the start of the pandemic, Karen Hollinger of AvalonBay Communities explained to CRETech that payment management is a necessity, especially when companies have thousands of payments to process. Paper checks are no longer an option at scale. Thinking how far automation has integrated into multifamily life since the start of the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine paying rent any other way.
But rent payments aren’t the only automated expectation residents have. Matt Hoffman of HousingTech Ventures explained to CRETech that understanding what amenities residents desire depends on tracking data and being in touch with the local market of any given community. Keeping up with trends is now a necessity for the top 1% of Class A multifamily communities.
Scheduling tasks like maintenance, package pick-up, amenity use, and guest access on one app allows residents freedom of time management - something that residents expect from a world where almost everything can be done at the touch of a button.
“It’s clear that certain fundamentals have shifted, but the reality is the same as it was before (the pandemic) which is better data, better integration, better automation,” Darren Wesemann of Berkadia told CRETech. Opportunities to guide integration in established and new builds abound, so deciding on what to automate in a building depends on understanding big data before making a tech stack decision.
While all-in-one digital solutions provide advanced security levels, they are also efficient community management tools. Convenient and safe communication means residents and property managers have private messaging as well as a community feed. Choosing a platform like Elevated Living to support a resident-forward tech stack makes experiences in a multifamily community stress-free for residents and management teams alike.