Three Opportunities Homeowners Unlock | RENX
If you are still feeling the impact of the pandemic, you are not alone. The disruption caused by the virus has affected all lines of business, perhaps none more than property management, as the global tenant population has been urged to ‘stay at home’. Now, with the widespread vaccine rollout and much of Canada preparing to reopen, some initial impacts are fading as other new realities emerge.
Here are three pandemic solutions that many multi-family operators rely on to uncover long-term NOI growth opportunities.
Challenge # 1: Tenants are on the move.
Solution: Use marketing and rental technology to attract, select and retain the best residents.
It may seem like we’ve been in a bit of a wait-and-see situation over the past year and a half, but Yardi and industry data shows us that new lease rents are picking up steam. For example, many tenants in central metropolitan areas have migrated to smaller markets like Halifax and Abbotsford. Market reports also indicate that tenants are shifting, favoring larger rentals with more outdoor space and room for a home office as remote work continues. Additionally, as businesses go through the tug-of-war of remote and office work, employers who proceed with a return-to-office retainer will most likely initiate a new wave of movement.
All of these changes indicate that property management companies need the right marketing and rental technology to stay on top of their game in order to attract and retain the best residents. Ask yourself if prospects can easily find your properties in an online search? Can they virtually visit available units, view current rates, apply and even rent online? To achieve this, you need a real estate website with conversion optimization features that work well on mobile devices. You should also integrate a self-service screening tool to help you centralize, select and onboard the best candidates quickly.
And if you want to keep current residents who may want to make a change, consider leveraging a resident portal. Not only do resident portals and mobile apps increase convenience for tenants with online payments and notifications, they’re also a great way to share renewal offers and let tenants know about your other properties just in case. they would be looking to relocate or upgrade.
Challenge # 2: Teams are disconnected when working from home.
Solution: Centralize team collaboration and encourage consistency with a CRM solution.
All companies have witnessed the importance of accessing and sharing reliable information between teams. Avoiding the pitfalls of inconsistent rental and customer service, such as duplicate data entry or lost leads, can be overcome by implementing a centralized customer relationship management system accessible from anywhere.
With a CRM solution that connects your staff to your property management database, you can give everyone on your team real-time access to the same information about prospects and residents. As a result, rental agents will have the confidence that the information they are working with is up to date, and with a shared dashboard, you can rest assured that customer follow-up is done efficiently. Additionally, as trust grows, productivity will increase, creating a positive work environment that contributes to a better customer experience.
Challenge n Â° 3: The staff is less present on site; residents are more on site.
Solution: Consider maintenance and janitorial software to keep communities running smoothly.
With more residents at home, the wear and tear on your units and grounds is likely to have increased. But you can have less staff on site. Small issues that would have been resolved quickly with an in-person conversation can quickly add to what seems like an overwhelming to-do list.
Fortunately, advancements in maintenance technology can help you catch up with and even get ahead of incoming work orders. When maintenance tools are integrated with the resident mobile app, your tenants can submit requests with voice memos and photos, so your team knows exactly what’s going on before they visit the unit. Some maintenance software connects to tools in the purchasing market, allowing technicians to order all necessary parts from approved suppliers. With full visibility into your maintenance operations, you can improve the resident experience, streamline unit rotations, and integrate purchasing to reduce vacancy days and increase net rental income.
For an added level of comfort and convenience for residents, concierge software can be used to improve communication, streamline package management, schedule services like pet sitting, and even manage equipment reservations – whatever. something that will likely be valuable long after COVID restrictions are gone.
When considering maintenance and janitorial solutions, make sure the option you choose works with your property management platform. Then all repair data and resident inquiries will be updated in real time and easily accessible to your team, wherever and whenever they are working.
Act sooner rather than later
The pandemic has highlighted our collective need to be able to connect from anywhere, accelerating an already inevitable change in tenant expectations and the needs of real estate staff. Tenants want to live where they want and interact with properties when and how they want. Teams need to be able to help prospects and residents at all times, with a clear communication path and centralized, accurate data.
The good news is that it’s not only possible but practical to exceed the expectations of today’s tenants with a well-connected team backed by innovative technology. Multi-family businesses that take this approach to create a smooth and convenient customer experience make it easier for their staff to work and position themselves to beat the competition. And it is an opportunity that no one can afford to miss.