Matt Weirich is CEO and co-founder of Realyncthe leading video leasing and engagement platform for the entire resident lifecycle.
Seeing the “NMHC” 50 largest apartment managersThe list published last month made me think about the similarities between these top companies and how others might follow suit. As someone who collaborates with the top five companies on the list, it is clear that these companies are embracing and exploring new technologies, especially as real estate technology solutions become more popular and mainstream.
The real estate technology startup landscape has actually grown 300% over the past ten years. With the proliferation of technology to solve real estate challenges, it is important to ask those who will be using the technology every day questions that can help them succeed. Another commonality I suspect within the NMHC’s largest corporations is how often corporate teams ask the right questions of their leasing teams.
For the multi-family sector, here are three questions I recommend to leasing teams to ensure your properties have a smooth busy season ahead and to appropriately transform your leasing with the ever-changing demands of tenants.
1. What technology tools would you like to explore?
Let’s tackle the obvious: your teams are probably understaffed or your leasing teams are stuck with too many different tasks on a daily basis. By asking what technology tools they want to explore, you invite your team to a conversation or brainstorming session that gives them a voice. This will most directly identify what could help your team streamline and optimize day-to-day tasks, and you can do this simply by acquiring the right technology partners and working together.
There is a lot of pressure on leasing teams to meet the demands this busy season, but it will be difficult for them to meet with a lack of team members and tools. Enabling them with the right tools is important for your teams and your bottom line.
One of the more predominant themes that can be drawn from the leaders in the NMHC top 50 list is that they are very actively seeking input and advice from those who work locally in their properties. While leaders are often the ones who need to think ahead and map out the plans and the future, this isn’t the best recipe for success. Understanding the needs and pressures of your teams today will help best address known issues and develop plans for long-term growth and success as a business.
2. Which tools are currently helping you to conclude leases?
In 2020, multifamily resources quickly adopted technology-enabled tools. Now, more than two years later, you should have an understanding of which tools are actually helping your teams to market, lease, and engage tenants throughout their lifecycle. And if not, it could be a sign that you need to partner with someone who can provide data that will provide insight into the ROI of your real estate technology tools. By asking your leasing teams this question, you can compare and contrast what works and what doesn’t.
The key to this question is to ask it consistently. One thing about multi-family leasing is that it is quite seasonal. So while your teams may not be heavy users of one technology in one season, it could be what they live off of in another season. So ask consistently and rely on data to get a clear picture of need, usage and ROI.
For more insight into your current proptech tools, check out my other article for help evaluating those tools.
3. What can I do to help you in your position?
The best leaders will guide leasing and property management teams on ways they can perform better. And they will do this while at the same time making sure their teams feel valued for their work. It’s no secret that recognition helps employees see that they are making an impact and that their contributions are valued. But did you know that in a survey of 1,511 working adults, they found that? 63% of workers who feel recognized are unlikely to be looking for a new job? This is a simple question you can ask to minimize employee turnover while understanding what your individual employees need to succeed.
The point with questions one and two is that different employees may have different answers to those questions. By leaning on the insight of individual employees, especially your top performers, they can open up about what specifically works for them. And these insights can often lead to ideas and new processes that can be valuable to your entire business.
Are you ready to win more leases this upcoming busy season?
The final agreement between NMHC’s five largest companies, and frankly every company on the list, is the people. Your people are the creatives, the salespeople, the strategists and the visionaries. By prioritizing your people, their opinions and their personal career growth, you will ultimately get more leases this coming season.
No matter how prominent technology becomes, there will always be a personal element that instills that certain something about a house that is a home to someone. Lean into that with your teams this peak leasing season while simply asking the right questions. You may be surprised by what you learn, but your team will probably also be grateful for a voice and a seat at the table.