On Wednesday, May 12th, Kiser Group hosted a virtual Technology discussion as the second installment of the Virtual Mid-Market Summit series. Partner Aaron Sklar moderated a panel with Xfinity Communities’ David Lizak, Kass Management’s Mark Durakovic and WPD Management’s Patrick Ryan.
Watch the Panel
Top Takeaways from the Multifamily Technology Discussion
1. Leasing Efficiency Through Technology
Mark Durakovic: Personless showings really took off in the past year. We had never really experienced virtual leasing prior to the pandemic – but now, upwards of 20% of our units are leased virtually. We implemented ID verification to confirm the potential renter is who they say they are and text messaged based appointment reminders to also increase leasing efficiency.
Patrick Ryan: Paperless leases via DocuSign or other services have been a priority – even before the pandemic.
David Lizak: We have a product for the mid-market where property managers and residents can remotely control everything from the unit’s lighting to thermostat to locks. For vacant units, property managers can provide short-term access for a prospective tenant to tour the unit and be able to see how long they were at the unit.
2. Improved Move-In Experience Through Technology
David Lizak: In Chicago, you have to rekey each unit between renters. Now, owners and managers can do that digitally. Technology is paying for itself and providing added value to the renter.
Mark Durakovic: We used to have people come by our office to physically pick up keys. Now, it’s totally seamless through an app. It’s increasing customer service and making our team more efficient. We have an integration with Yardi to also help streamline everything.
3. Increased Technology-Based Amenities for Mid-Market Renters
David Lizak: It’s a well-known fact that people want quality, high-speed internet in their unit. Having the internet be pre-installed is also equally important. We have solutions so that the moment the resident moves into the unit they can be immediately connected to the internet.
Community-based amenities are increasingly important such as events and activities. When residents make friends or feel connected to the building, they are more likely to renew.
Mark Durakovic: We’ve been hosting trivia events and other community offerings with the Smart Community product. At one point, we had a couple hundred people joining our virtual events.
Patrick Ryan: For buildings that offer community amenities, we have implemented a reservation system to help manage how many people are in the space at once.
4. Improving Building Admin Functions Through Technology
Mark Durakovic: Minimizing data entry by the landlord or management is critical for overall efficiency. Having all of our systems be connected so that information can be auto-populated is critical. Our lease generation process used to be 20 minutes per lease and now takes one minute to generate and be sent to the customer.
Patrick Ryan: We do not accept cash or check rent payments. Residents can pay online or go to a CVS and, using a barcode, can pay rent. We’ve been focused on minimizing the touchpoints between team members and renters to improve overall efficiency.
5. How To Get Teams to Buy into New Workflows
Patrick Ryan: Getting team members from leasing agents to maintenance techs to adopt our new workflows can be a challenge. We have implemented GPS and QR Codes to ensure that the services are actually being performed. We spend a lot of time teaching them the process to help adoption.
Being an expert or having a team member be an expert in each element you will be training people on is key. This way it isn’t more complicated than it needs to be. Team members need to understand how the new workflow promotes efficiency for buy-in.
Mark Durakovic: Prior to COVID, we went paperless and told all our vendors to change how they sent us invoices. Our vendors did not fight that change, it was internally where we saw resistance. Transparency is important for buy-in from owners to staff.
Connect With the Panel:
- Mark Durakovic, Kass Management, firstname.lastname@example.org
- David Lizak, Xfinity Communities, email@example.com
- Patrick Ryan, WPD Management, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aaron Sklar, Kiser Group, email@example.com
Join us for a multifamily technology discussion on Wednesday, May 19 at 12:00 p.m. Central.
mid-market summit technology mid-market summit technology