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A community is created when properties find and prove the value of service-based amenities. Appealing to the wants and needs of your residents can feel hard at times, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s important when considering which amenities and programs you’d like to incorporate into your property to surpass the status quo. What is a service-based amenity, you ask? Anything that can improve the value and desire of your property including things like workout classes, social events, moving technology (like Updater!), allowing pets, pools… the list goes on!

Finding the value in your amenities and programs is what makes them worth your time and money. Always consider how a proposed amenity or service will benefit your residents while determining if its implementation will result in retention and referrals. Those are the goals!

Figure out what kind of community you want to build and then back into which service-based amenities would benefit your residents the most. It’s a simple formula for success.

The new age of ancillary services and revenue

Determining what type of amenities or programs you need to offer in order to appeal to your current residents and also to attract others to your community is easy when you have a customer-driven attitude. Understanding your consumer is essential in any business but in property management, it is a must.

Taking time to understand what residents really want as opposed to what you think they want can go a long way. All programs and services implemented at your properties should be based on feedback, suggestions, or (reasonable) requests from the consumer of those programs and services. Understanding your residents will help you make smart, long-term decisions. A few things to keep in mind:

  • If you’re going to offer incredible and sophisticated amenities, make sure you can deliver them. Of course, it’s great to be able to say you have all of these great amenities to offer, but a huge problem arises when you aren’t meeting expectations.

  • As a member of the property management industry, it’s important to understand when to take a step back, evaluate, and understand where you are, compared to where your residents are or want to be.

Identifying your community and their needs

Creating an atmosphere that residents feel they are coming home to rather than one where they feel they are just living in is the goal. In order to offer the right amenities or services to your residents, understand their needs and emotionally connect with them.

Understand your resident by considering a few key ideas:

  • Not all residents are the same, each one has individual needs. Be sure to maintain open communication to understand the differences between residents and what best fits their lifestyles and personalities.

  • Always improve and maintain relationships by asking for feedback. The only way to truly understand what your residents want is by asking. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, hearing what your residents have to say is the first step toward measuring overall happiness.

  • Go beyond the demographic and challenge yourself to understand the psychographic. Consumers are driven in certain directions and hold certain desires because of the way that they feel. Residents may come from very different demographics yet be motivated by the same things. Dive into what motivates your consumer and what is unique and specific to them. Consider what will bring them the most value. Understanding the psychographics of your residents will allow you to better deliver on services and amenities.

Customer service as an amenity

A small touch of customer service can go a long way in providing a memorable experience. Something as simple as thinking ahead and anticipating resident needs adds the touch of service that will make your property stand out. At the end of the day, customer service is all about going the extra mile.  Doing so could increase renewals and referrals. In a human business, always put people first!

Innovation doesn’t have to be crazy or brand new. It’s all about finding friction points and determining ways to solve them. When assessing amenities, consider these three questions:

1. How do you decide what’s important to implement?

2. How do you deploy or implement those items that are important?

3. How do you measure the ROI of what you’ve implemented?

Finding ways to go the extra mile can come out of identifying points of anxiety for residents during a stressful time. From the time that the resident starts thinking about moving all the way until move-in day and beyond, identify areas where you can assist them and turn a stressful time into an enjoyable one. One pain point, in particular, that is often neglected is the moving experience itself. 

It’s no surprise, that moving isn’t an easy task. Move-in should always be a main focus of the resident journey. Creating satisfaction creates advocacy and loyalty. In the end, your move-in experience should be unmatched, and will ultimately have a positive effect on your renewal rate.

Kingsley Associates published a case study that details exactly how resident move-in experiences impact renewal rates. In the study, the renewal rate for residents who were satisfied at move-in was 59% higher than the renewal rate for residents who were dissatisfied at move-in. Find friction points and solve them.

Measuring the ROI of your service products

Service-based amenities should drive value to everyone. When you are implementing amenities and programs throughout your properties, eliminate the disconnect between what is set forward by the corporate office and how that is communicated at the site-level. Take proper steps to ensure a smooth roll-out and go through all of the proper channels to make sure that all of your teams are aligned.

Being able to measure the ROI of your amenities, services, and programs is essential when deciding if the expense is worth it or not. Take a look at them, define them, implement them, and then reflect. Look back on your implementations and decide if they were successful and if not, how they can be improved.

1. First, determine what success looks like by brainstorming with your team, reflecting on company values, and of course, asking for feedback from residents.

2. Then ask yourself: Is this amenity generating income and helping you meet your goals? Are your open rates high if you’re rolling out an online service? Is the usage of the new amenity high? These are the kinds of questions that can help you identify whether or not the amenity or service is working for your property.

3. As soon as you’ve determined what is going to work for you, measure your small wins – all of them will add up. For example, if it is a goal of yours to gather employee feedback and you only get 2 responses, consider it a win! Find a benchmark and measure steps as slowly as possible.

4. Make sure that everything you are offering captures your residents when they’re happy and makes them stay. Be sure that the services and amenities you are offering to your residents are keeping them top of mind.

While money is an important part of the business, creating a home for residents is what is at the core of the property management industry. When you create the best home and environment possible, your business and properties will thrive.

Create a relationship with your residents and provide a living experience that you’re proud of. Once you determine what you think is going to provide your residents with the most value, implement those amenities and continuously measure their impact. Remember, understanding your residents is not a one-and-done. It is an ongoing process that is vital to the successful management of your properties.

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What happens in Vegas? This week, the Updater team attended the 2018 RealPage RealWorld Property Management Conference!

This year, we had yet another opportunity to sponsor RealPage’s RealWorld conference, held at the Wynn Las Vegas, from July 15-17. The theme of RealPage RealWorld this year, “The Future Made Simple,” really resonated with the Updater team, as our sole purpose is to simplify the ever-complicated process of moving.

In the Hall of Solutions, members of our property management team spent time meeting with some of our wonderful RealPage clients, old and new, to catch up, review their performance with Updater, and chat about how we can help them streamline moving logistics for both residents and their site teams.

This RealWorld conference was especially exciting as our newly appointed VP & Executive Director or Property Management, Jon Wyant, hosted a session titled, “How Technology Streamlines the Resident Move-In Process,” which outlined how to save residents hours, headaches, and hassles during the most stressful part of the resident lifecycle with Updater.

Scroll through our gallery below for a look at our incredible week in Las Vegas at RealPage RealWorld 2018.






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Founded by the Robbins brothers in 2009, Robbins Property Associates (RPA) is dedicated to innovative amenities and a superior resident experience. With over 49 properties and over 12,000 units, maintaining their exceptionally high standards is a challenge that RPA rises to on a daily basis. We caught up with Greer McCampbell-Hill, Marketing Director at RPA, to learn more about their dedication to their residents and how Updater helps them ease the move-in process for their residents.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for residents when moving into either a new apartment or a new community?

Frankly speaking, the moving process is not for the faint of heart. Preparing to move is one of the most stressful periods a resident will ever face, and it has an immense impact on their satisfaction when they arrive at our property. Finding reputable movers, forwarding mail, changing account information, setting up utilities, and connecting TV and internet takes days to accomplish. Updater provides residents with an easy-to-read and property-specific dashboard that helps our residents accomplish all of these tasks.

What value does Updater bring to your residents?

We know that the time between when a resident is approved and when they move-in is extremely stressful. Updater saves time and reduces stress for our residents by helping us address all of their moving needs, prior to moving day. Overall, we’ve noticed that when we help make moving easier, it results in increased resident satisfaction. Updater has been great for both us and our residents. It’s a cost-effective, user-friendly tool that immediately improves the resident’s experience at our properties.  

Property management teams are busy. What was the implementation process of Updater like for your team?

The implementation process was completely painless. I quickly completed the spreadsheet provided by Updater and had several short implementation calls to go over our setup details. Before I knew it, Updater’s impressive team finished the rest! Connecting Updater to our property management software took me less than two minutes. Our onsite teams participated in a short training call. I speak for our entire team when I say that we were extremely pleased by the ease of implementation.

How have your teams benefited from using Updater?

The most noticeable benefit is that Updater saves us time. Updater ensures our residents a well-organized move. Our teams no longer have to answer questions that always came up during the move-in process because our residents are now provided with the answers within their Updater dashboard. This more organized process frees up time for our leasing teams to focus on leasing tasks and community engagement efforts.

Taking into consideration integrations your teams have tackled over the years, in terms of the ease of onboarding, where does Updater fall?

I want to be completely honest about this question; I am 100% positive that this has been the easiest integration process that Robbins Properties Associates has ever had. There wasn’t a single point in the onboarding process where I wanted to pull my hair out. The Updater team made sure that I was knowledgeable in the product itself and the integration process. Overall, it was an impressive onboarding experience.

What would you say to property management teams that are interested in implementing Updater but are concerned that the implementation process might burden their IT team or staff as a whole?

Over the years, I think that we have all gotten burned when implementing new software. We bite off more than we can chew and instantly regret taking the leap. I am a marketing director, not a tech whiz. With the help of the Updater team, we were able to implement the system quickly and with absolutely no problems at all.

How have your residents responded to Updater?

Our residents are loving Updater. Many say that Updater is a service that they desperately needed but didn’t know existed. Recently, our reviews on property rating sites have improved and reflect a shift in our residents’ perception of our office staff's knowledge and helpfulness. I firmly believe that Updater has been beneficial in improving resident satisfaction, even before they move in.

What excites you about the future of the industry? Are there any industry trends that you are keeping your eye on?

The multi-family housing industry is always evolving. That means that there is always an abundance of things to be excited about! I am most excited about the future technology aspect of multi-family housing. Engineers creating things like "super wood" that is 12 times stronger than natural wood and comparable to steel will eventually shift the way we construct our communities. I also believe that advances in the smart-home space will cause technology to become part of the core infrastructure and a critical competitive differentiator in apartment communities.

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Based out of Conshohocken, PA, HOW Real Estate is not your typical brokerage. With their unique Home 360 program, HOW is leveraging their expertise to help clients build wealth and financial security one fixer-upper at a time. We caught up with Jesse Johnston, Managing Partner at HOW, to learn more about their unique offerings to clients and how Updater fits seamlessly into their process.

Can you tell us a little about HOW’s Home 360 program? How does it help streamline the fixer-upper experience for your clients?

HOW’s Home 360 program is all about helping people become homeowners and build wealth through homeownership. We do this by guiding them through the process of purchasing a fixer-upper and then actually fixing it up!

Our offering is quite unique in the marketplace. We’re the only real estate company that has all the pieces of this puzzle under one roof. This means that one group is handling all aspects for the client. From the real estate agent to the finance team to the construction team, everyone is all in one place.

Because of this level of integration, we offer greater efficiency, superior pricing, and value for the client, not to mention an extremely smooth communication process. There is also a high degree of accountability. It’s all the same company, which means no finger pointing — your contractor isn’t going to just disappear.

What are the greatest challenges facing first-time buyers when trying to build wealth through real estate investment?

Renovating a fixer-upper is a great way to take a piece of real estate and increase its value. But the process can be overwhelming, especially the first time. I’d say there are four main challenges for a first-time homeowner undertaking a fixer-upper project.

First, understanding the finance and mortgage space is a big issue. First-time buyers don’t necessarily know what they can get for their money. For example, most people assume they still need to put 20% down on a mortgage. However, there are renovation/after-repair mortgage options that require a much smaller down payment.

Second, clients often struggle with the vision of what their home will look and feel like when it’s complete. We help them with this by providing them with a digital representation. They are then able to visualize what the end product will look like. This way, smart buyers can look at an “ugly” house and get excited at the possibility of making it their own. Instead of paying a premium to a flipper for doing the work, they can work with us and receive a ton of potential built-in equity.

Third, designing the home can be a serious undertaking — options around materials and decor can be confusing. We’ve worked with professional designers to create pre-built design packages and color palettes, which make things super easy for clients. And since we’re active in the industry, we’re always up on the latest home design trends.

Finally, hiring the right construction team is essential, but can also be pretty tricky. For renovation projects, builders generally need to be approved by FHA and/or other agencies. HOW is pre-approved to do this kind of work. And because of our scale and the fact that HOW projects are self-funded, it means that we won’t have to stop work for bank approvals and funding draws, as often happens with smaller construction firms. Plus, we have proven experience with examples of previous work, along with built-in trust carried over from the home-buying process. Last but not least, with everything under one roof, there are no messy handoffs to an outside construction team.

In your opinion, what need is Updater filling and how does it support/complement your Home 360 program?

Updater is a great fit for our Home 360 program, truly extending our full-service, end-to-end approach. It really rounds out the toolbox we provide our clients. At the end of the day, the program is all about improving the client experience, and Updater creates a seamless process during their move. We’re closely aligned in our vision of giving clients fewer things to worry about.

How have your clients responded to Updater?

It has been great! We always get lots of positive feedback about Updater, which reflects in our strong engagement numbers. Lots of value-add solutions don’t provide actual value, but Updater really does. I’ve personally used Updater three times to help me move! The product keeps improving, and we have a great relationship with the Updater team.

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Jon Wyant, formerly Updater’s VP of Property Management, has been appointed Executive Director of Property Management. Jon will follow Ash Bell in the role, who was recently appointed EVP of Updater’s Insurance Division

Wyant joined Updater two years ago and brought over 15 years of property management experience to the team. During his tenure as VP of Property Management at Updater, Wyant has been instrumental in growing the property management business development team and has developed some of Updater’s most meaningful partnerships in the industry.  He has also expanded Updater’s integrations with core property management software technology companies.

“The past two years of working at Updater have been incredibly exciting and fulfilling. I look forward to further growing our team and extending our partnerships,” said Wyant. 

A few of our favorite photos of Jon and the Updater team. 








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Jon Wyant, formerly Updater’s VP of Property Management, has been appointed Executive Director of Property Management. Jon will follow Ash Bell in the role, who was recently appointed EVP of Updater’s Insurance Division

Wyant joined Updater two years ago and brought over 15 years of property management experience to the team. During his tenure as VP of Property Management at Updater, Wyant has been instrumental in growing the property management business development team and has developed some of Updater’s most meaningful partnerships in the industry.  He has also expanded Updater’s integrations with core property management software technology companies.

“The past two years of working at Updater have been incredibly exciting and fulfilling. I look forward to further growing our team and extending our partnerships,” said Wyant. 

A few of our favorite photos of Jon and the Updater team. 








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Want to work on your brokerage’s real estate branding? Well, you’re in the right place! We’re here to give you some straightforward, actionable advice so that you can start taking steps today.

To build a great real estate brand, start with core values.

For successful real estate branding, begin by asking yourself what your brokerage’s core values are. Chances are, you already have an idea of the values you and your team have in common. You might just need to get everyone on the same page by writing those values down and posting them for all to see.

Ask your team what kind of values they think the brokerage already follows and try to boil them down to a few key phrases or words. Remember, the whole company needs to buy into your core values. If agents have your logo on their business cards yet fail to embrace the brokerage’s core values, your brand will be miscommunicated to clients.

After you decide on your core values, post them on your website in a place that’s easy to find, like an about page or with your mission statement. These values are part of what makes you unique in the eyes of potential clients.

Take, for example, South Carolina’s The ART of Real Estate. Besides having an amazing name, their mission statement clearly communicates what they value: being a community resource, exceeding customer expectations, and positively impacting South Carolina. The ART of Real Estate is transparent about the core values that drive what they do as a company. That makes their brand powerful. Partly for the way The ART of Real Estate demonstrates their core values, the brokerage was named a Ground Breaking Brokerage by Better Homes and Gardens in 2017. Now that’s something to be proud of! 

Target your real estate branding to the right demographic.

Once you know what your core values are, make sure you’re directing your efforts at the right demographic. Are you leveraging the talents and resources of your team effectively? Or, are you spreading yourself too thin by trying to attract every customer in the market?

If you’re in the latter boat, you need to focus on a specific demographic, like single female homebuyers or millennials. Figure out what makes your brokerage unique and then determine which demographic you’re uniquely suited to serve. What can you offer to clients that no one else in the region, or even the industry, has the ability to? Is it the 60+ years of combined experience among your agents? Or is it your use of innovative technology and social media? Once you decide, emphasize the unique traits that set you apart in your branding.

Take some time to figure out which niche your brokerage can thrive in. Once you do that, you’ll be ready to rock the real estate branding game!

The key to real estate branding is consistency. 

Ready to build a real estate brand? Now that you’ve brought together the foundational pieces of your brand through the above sections, you just need to do a bit of research, make some stylistic choices, and most importantly, remain consistent.

Building a brand is about creatively expressing what makes your company unique. You can do this through colors, fonts, and language. Don’t get overwhelmed with these details. If you’re new to real estate branding, take it slow. It’s better to start small and remain consistent than to get caught up with a total overhaul that you ultimately fail to maintain.

North Carolina’s Triangle Home Team Realty is a great example of consistent real estate branding. Branding themselves as a “home team” makes the brokerage sound trustworthy and approachable. This branding is carried through team bios that emphasize individual members’ roots in the community and sports-themed website elements and copy. Overall, everything remains congruent with the core values found on their “About Us” page: integrity, knowledge, experience, and commitment. This kind of consistency is key to strong, recognizable real estate branding.

Real estate branding requires a strong online presence.

No matter your client base, your online presence is an integral piece of any real estate branding. But wait! Don’t rush to sign up for every social media platform online just yet. First, you need to do some research on your target market.

For example, if your target market is millennials, you should know that over 80% of millennials do their real estate research online.

New York City’s Citi Habits is a perfect example of having a targeted online presence. With urban millennials in mind, the brokerage’s website features easily-digestible educational resources and an active, fun blog. They’re also active on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Brokerages with other target markets should do their research to find out where to focus their branding efforts. However, no matter the demographic, make sure your website is true to your brand, your blog is regularly updated, and you exist online where your audience is.

Help your agents with personal real estate branding.

Your agents can help or hurt your brand, so make sure they are all on the same page about your real estate branding decisions. You could consider providing your team with a branding guide that includes colors, logos, and other assets. This will help agents communicate your brand in their own materials.

Be sure to help agents develop the individual traits that make them unique within your brokerage, encouraging them to build their own personal brands. Even as they do that, however, keep reminding all agents of the core values that unite you as a team.

Most importantly, give agents the support they need to provide clients with an incredible customer experience that reinforces your brand values along the way. You, your agents, and your clients will thrive as a result.

Real estate branding can seem overwhelming at first glance. However, by asking a few key questions and remaining consistent, you can build a successful brand that will unite your team, maximize your efforts, and attract the clients that will make your brokerage flourish.

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Out of the Windy City, on the cutting edge of real estate, comes Spaces — a combination property management company/brokerage dedicated to remaining locally-owned and fiercely independent. Their die-hard commitment to the city of Chicago, their customer-first approach, and their dedication to technology makes them uniquely positioned to meet the needs of their residents. We caught up with Katherine Goens, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator at Spaces Real Estate, to learn more about how Updater helps them go above and beyond for their residents.

What value do you think Updater brings to your residents?

Updater definitely provides our clients with convenience. Our residents who utilize the tool find it refreshing that the platform consolidates all their moving tasks into one place. They see it as a one-stop shop when it comes to completing their move. On top of that, the user-friendly interface helps minimize the confusion and hassle for those tasks.

What was the implementation process/time commitment like for your team when implementing Updater?

The implementation process for setting up Updater was fairly seamless, and the Updater team was there to assist the entire time. Once the onboarding was established, it was smooth sailing. Now that it’s fully integrated, there’s no legwork on our end. Invitations are automatically sent out to our residents.

What would you say to property management teams that are concerned that the implementation process might burden their IT team or staff as a whole?

Spaces doesn’t have a full-time IT team, but that didn’t prevent us from implementing Updater because of how simple the onboarding process was. I’d tell anyone thinking about adopting Updater to not be concerned. A single individual from our team took the lead on the project and it was no burden at all. Plus, the rewards were more than worth it!

How have your teams benefited from using Updater?

Being able to provide Updater as a resource for our clients definitely gives us a leg up on the competition. Updater also provides another value-add for our potential residents that other properties may not offer. In this business, you need to do everything you can to make yourself stand out and Updater helps us do just that.

How have your residents responded to Updater?

They love it! Updater is a perk that really benefits our residents and makes their lives easier, so there isn’t anything for them not to love!

What do you see as one of the greatest challenges currently facing the property management industry?

Keeping tenants happy year after year and making our properties stand out among a sea of competitors is definitely a challenge. When potential renters browse online, everything starts to look the same; properties and buildings all start blending together. It’s a challenge to identify the small things we can do to keep ourselves top of mind. This is why it’s so important to us that we provide our clients with all the resources they need to make their entire moving process — beginning to end — as seamless as possible.

What excites you about the future of the industry?

We’re really excited about the variety of products that are emerging in the Chicago market. One trend that we’re keeping our eye on is co-living. It began in New York and San Francisco and is currently making its way to Chicago. The premise of co-living is that residents are matched blindly with roommates and rent a room in a shared apartment. While living with a stranger may be seen as a downside, most times the unit comes furnished and fully stocked with certain toiletries. For young professional just moving to a new city, it’s a great (and safer) avenue for finding and renting a space to live.

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The Art of Real Estate (AoRE) is a full-service brokerage that prides itself on going the extra mile to make their clients feel cared for. Based out of South Carolina, AoRE focuses on their commitment to clients through outstanding customer service and an innovative approach to problem solving and technology. We spoke with Brad Allen, Broker-in-Charge and Managing Partner of AoRE, to learn more about their dedication to customer experience and how Updater fits seamlessly into their business.

What do you see as the biggest challenges new agents face in delivering an impressive client experience?

One of the biggest challenges for a new agent is lack of experience. New agents simply don’t have the knowledge that an agent with 15, 10, or even five years of experience has. It takes time to build confidence and knowledge of the market, specific areas, and the business process as a whole. Until they reach that point, new agents need to immerse themselves in the real estate market, take the lead in educating themselves, and seek out industry mentors.

Another challenge that new agents face is learning how to interact with different types of clients. Successful agents know how to communicate frequently and effectively without being overbearing. Agents walk a fine line as they must act as an educator, a navigator and a calm voice of reason all in one. This is especially true when working with first-time homebuyers.

What do you believe is the most important piece of advice or guidance you can provide a homebuyer?

That’s a great question. To begin with, I would advise them to do their research on specific neighborhoods based on criteria that are important to them. This includes everything from price, to the feel of the community, to school districts if applicable.
 
After they’ve done their research, I would tell them to trust their agent and let them be their guide through the process. It’s their profession, so let them do their job to help you! Finally, I would tell them to go with their gut, but at the same time, don’t bite off more than they can chew. If a house feels right, it probably is. But if it’s five bedrooms and you only need two, check back in with your gut.

In your opinion, what need is Updater filling or what problem is it solving for your clients?

Updater is relieving our clients’ stress of having everything transferred to their new address. Using Updater takes significantly less time than scouring the internet to find out what moving tasks need to be accomplished and how to accomplish them. Updater helps streamline the moving process for our clients and provides them with a seamless process for transferring their mail and utilities from their old home to their new. All in all, Updater helps our brokerage look extremely professional.

 What have been your clients’ responses to Updater?

Most feedback we receive is that our clients would use it again in a heartbeat. Several of our agents have used it for personal moves and have been able to tell clients how easy it is. It’s a one-stop shop for our clients. During the busy time of moving, it’s something they really appreciate. The feedback we have received has been nothing but positive!

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DEELS Properties, a renowned leader in the property management space, is committed to providing their residents with the highest quality of life. As a data-driven company, DEELS Properties was compelled to evaluate their resident experience from beginning to end.

Convinced that they could simplify the move-in of their residents, DEELS Properties turned to Updater to help them streamline this process. We caught up with Noam Hameiri, Senior VP of Operations for DEELS Properties, to find out how their close attention to detail, coupled with Updater, is providing their residents with the ultimate apartment community experience.

What value does Updater bring to your residents?

Renting an apartment is a stressful process. Not only is the applicant often facing the third or fourth largest financial commitment in their life (that is, after mortgages and student loans), it involves moving to a new home and sometimes even a new city or state. It’s stressful and can take a toll.

We wanted to devise a plan for how we, as a property management company, could make the lives of our new residents easier. We decided to analyze the full tenancy life cycle of our residents — from website visitors to past residents. We then addressed each of the interaction points between residents and us.

What we discovered is that making our move-in process easier could significantly decrease the level of stress our residents face. We think that the move-in experience determines the overall resident’s experience throughout the tenancy, and we must ensure that it starts off on the right foot. We were looking for a way to improve the move-in experience and reduce that move-in related stress, and then we found Updater.

Updater is a great example of a cost-effective tool that simplifies the move-in process, saves time for both our residents and our site teams, and helps us address all the potential moving needs of our residents prior to them joining us. The result is a faster move-in process, a reduction in move-in anxiety, and better overall resident satisfaction.

What were the process and time commitment like for your team when implementing Updater?

The Updater team made our lives easy and helped us a lot in terms of onboarding. There actually wasn’t that much for us to do. Our area manager provided Updater with the information they needed and then they set up each of our communities. Once we finished the implementation, it worked (and still does) like a well-oiled machine.

How have your teams benefited from using Updater?

The move-in process is more organized. Our residents go through their workflow in their personalized dashboards and it ensures that all necessary steps are accomplished. It’s a big anxiety reducer. It also minimizes the back and forth regarding our move-in requirements and saves our site teams quite a bit of time.

Compared to other tools you’ve implemented, in terms of ease-of-use and implementation, where does Updater fall?

Top of the list. We’ve implemented many systems. Not a single one has been as simple and streamlined as Updater.

What would you say to property management teams that are concerned that the implementation process might burden their IT team or staff?

Let the Updater team guide you, they know what they’re doing! There is no need for an IT person to get involved. It’s simple and easy to implement. I would say that if you can figure out how to use a GPS system in your car, you’ll be fine. It’s pretty straightforward.

How have your residents responded to Updater?

They love it. So far, we’ve had an amazing response. I’d attribute our impressive conversion rate to the fact that we’re very proactive in informing our future residents about Updater. We inform them that they’ll receive an email from Updater with a link that will guide them through the process. So far, we’ve only heard good feedback from residents.

How have you seen the industry change over the past decade?

I think that the multifamily industry is in a renaissance period — economic data support its continued growth. With that said, property management roles are in the midst of a revolution. We’re seeing more professionals who understand that property management is a very challenging profession. These same individuals are taking steps to be as well-informed and as educated as possible. Today, in order to succeed, property managers need to be proficient in marketing, sales, budgeting, basic financials, customer service and retention, legal, and even a little light maintenance. It’s an incredibly multi-faceted role.

What do you see as one of the greatest challenges currently facing the property management industry?

One of the biggest challenges, especially here in California, is affordability. It is very concerning that the rent burden for many residents is over 50% of their monthly income. I’ve even seen residents who pay upwards of 60%. These residents have a difficult time succeeding financially, not to mention saving for a down payment for a home. It is a cycle that is very hard to break.

What excites you about the future of the industry?

We exist in such a fast-moving industry that there are so many things to be excited about! The continued development in terms of knowledge, skill set and professionalism definitely excite me. Also, the overall development of technology, such as Updater, is changing and shaping the industry. For example, advanced property management tools such as those provided by Yardi, IoT (internet of things) and smart apartments and communities, virtual reality, and augmented reality are also fascinating technologies that will definitely shape our industry going forward. With everything we have at our disposal, the future of multifamily is limitless, and that is very exciting!

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