Today Patrick shares time with Nishant Phadnis who is the Chief Product Officer at Rent. and has been with the company for over a decade. Nishant discusses the solutions Rent. is providing to the multifamily industry in innovative and creative ways.
All posts by Multifamily Innovation®
On today’s episode, Patrick spends time with Kerry W. Kirby, Founder and CEO of 365 Connect, an award-winning technology company providing marketing, leasing, and resident service platforms for the multifamily housing industry.
Henson Orser founded Two Dots, a venture backed technology company dedicated to solving the problem of apartment leasing fraud using some of silicon valley’s most advanced AI, while bringing operational excellence to multifamily property managers along with it.
Scottsdale, AZ (October 21, 2022) – The national finalists for the official Best Places to Work Multifamily® will be honored during the upcoming Multifamily Innovation® Summit on December 7-8, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.
At the Summit, each company will learn how they ranked nationally amongst the other participants and will be recognized on stage for their incredible achievement.
An exciting new development with the awards this year is the addition of categories.
68 of the finalists are Multifamily Management/Owners. 24 of those finalists were ranked in the 1- 4,999 units category. 37 were ranked in the 5,000 – 19,999 units category and 7 were ranked in the 20,000+ units category.
As a separate category, 15 Multifamily Suppliers/Vendor finalists will learn how they rank nationally.
And finally, 58 of the finalists will find out how they rank on the Best Places to Work Multifamily® for Women list.
In its 8th year, the Best Places to Work Multifamily® program continues to fulfill its mission to advance leadership and innovation for multifamily professionals by recognizing those organizations who own, manage, and support apartment communities nationwide and who are making an impact in the world through employee engagement.
“This is our opportunity to showcase the hard work, loyalty, and dedication of everyone who helps make the multifamily industry what it is today. We love recognizing the people within these incredible companies every year and showcasing what they’re doing in order to receive this honored distinction within the multifamily industry. These are the best of the best building healthy organizations from the ground up,” stated Carrie Antrim, CO-Founder of Multifamily Women®.
Patrick Antrim, CEO of Multifamily Leadership explained, “Next generation leaders want to know their company is making a positive impact in the world. Companies have been measuring resident satisfaction for years and the leading indicator for organizational success is the link between employee engagement and the resident experience. Employees are presented with hundreds of opportunities each day to be their best, but it’s the behavior that drives a successful organization, not satisfaction or size. The Best Places to Work Multifamily® companies have stepped up to play that role and will have a much bigger voice in the future.”
The national research and benchmarking program demonstrates the industry’s focus on people, while illustrating its overall potential— as it annually contributes more than 3.4 trillion-dollars to the U.S. economy and supports more than 17.5 million jobs.
Leaders who are looking to drive their teams forward are encouraged to register and attend the upcoming Multifamily Innovation® Summit on December 7-8, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona, regardless if they’re participating in the Best Places to Work Multifamily® Program.
Sponsorship opportunities are available and can be secured here as well for those who want to get their brands in front of these top CEOs and decision-makers not only at the Summit but across all of Multifamily Leadership’s social media platforms, broadcast emails, and website.
So, without further ado, the 2023 Best Places to Work Multifamily® finalists arranged alphabetically are:
Alco Management, Inc.
Apartment Dynamics, LLC
APARTMENT SEO, LLC
Berger Rental Communities
Carter-Haston Real Estate Services, Inc.
Chestnut Hill Realty
City Heights Asset Management LLC
Ginsburg Development Companies, LLC
GoldOller Real Estate Investments
GrayCo Properties, LLC
LURIN Property Management
Marquis Asset Management
Mission Rock Residential, LLC
Northland Investment Corporation
O’Brien Realty Group
Peg Property Management Group
Picerne Real Estate Group
Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC
Portico Property Management
Redwood Property Investors, LLC
RentDebt Automated Collections
Security Properties Residential LLC
The Bascom Group
The Franklin Johnston Group
The Garrett Companies
The KSC Group
The Life Properties
The Prime Company
The RADCO Companies
The REMM Group
The Westover Companies
WRH REALTY SERVICES, INC.
Zocalo Community Development
Topics range from centralized leasing for multifamily portfolios, the state of multifamily technology integrations, pilot programs and new technology integrations, leasing automations, flexible rentals, and more.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Multifamily Innovation® announces their 2022 Summit schedule, covering the most requested and most crucial topics for operating winning, successful multifamily organizations in today’s climate.
At the Summit, you will gain access to the perspectives from the Multifamily Innovation® Advisory Council members so you can avoid pitfalls and gain new perspectives for your business. You will have access to people and companies that are implementing new products, working through pilot programs, and designing their business with people that are thinking deeply about making their Multifamily business better.
This event also recognizes the official Best Places to Work Multifamily® companies nationwide. You don’t have to be involved in the awards program to attend this event. Top executives and CEOs from these companies being recognized will be in attendance to receive their award and make remarks from the stage.
Attendees will learn to bring together their technology initiatives with strong, internal-proven Multifamily leadership processes.
The Multifamily Leadership platform has spent the last 8 years producing high level events centered around technology, leadership, innovation, and Multifamily Investments. The company also conducts research on what it takes to run a successful multifamily company through the official Best Places to Work Multifamily® program.
Through their podcasts, live broadcasts, award programs, in-person summits, articles, social media channels, and streaming platform, Multifamily Leadership reaches a global audience of millions of viewers and listeners.
On December 7-8, 2022, you will have the opportunity to experience the Multifamily Innovation® Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. This event is open to everyone in multifamily and the content is built specifically for the challenges this industry is facing running apartment portfolios, delivered by experts who have been through it all, boots on the ground, paving the way for what’s next.
“I’m spending time every week with top Executives in the Multifamily Innovation® Council, and productivity remains the top priority for these organizations. Forward thinking executives will need to focus on increased productivity and efficiency so investors get to their yields without depending on rent increases. Innovation goes beyond technology, it’s about making a business better,” states Patrick Antrim, CEO of Multifamily Leadership and Chairman of the Multifamily Innovation® Advisory Council.
Content for the 2022 Multifamily Innovation® Summit is as follows:
- Multifamily Innovation® Showcase – a curated group of expert discussions so top executives can stay on top of current innovations and the most impactful technologies on the market.
- Multifamily Awards Show – Announcing the top-ranking companies in the National Best Places to Work Multifamily®
- Centralized Leasing for Multifamily Portfolios
- The State of Multifamily Technology Integrations
- Pilot Programs and New Technology Integrations
- Leasing Automation That Will Eliminate Unnecessary Tasks, and Help Retain Onsite Teams
- What You Might Not Know About the Flexible Rental Surge
The most unique thing about every event produced by Multifamily Leadership is the care taken to address every aspect of the individual. Work life and personal life are no longer mutually exclusive and it is equally important to treat the individual for personal growth as it is for professional growth. This is why the in-person events include unique experiences to foster mindset shifts, deeper relationships, and easier networking for industry professionals. From hiking to yoga to helicopter rides, you just never know what is in store!
There are a few sponsorship opportunities remaining, so to get involved now, please visit multifamilyinnovation.com/sponsors/.
Patrick Antrim (480) 719-4409
SOURCE Multifamily Leadership
Do you think your properties are ready for EVs? Maybe you think you’re ahead of the curve because you’ve added a charging station or two to your property. That’s where you’re mistaken.
Some estimates show that by 2030, over half your lot could be full with electric vehicles.
Consider that many properties have outdated electrical grids that can’t support charging stations, or only one or two. That could be an unexpected and expensive construction project to upgrade when you need more chargers.
When a property adds EV charging stations, they normally go to a manufacturer, order a station or two, pay someone to install it, then ignore it. The station is supposedly an amenity that’s doing its job by existing, like a swimming pool or tennis court. There are clear issues with this implementation strategy.
Bringing EV Charging to a Property
Multifamily properties are racing to implement charging stations for electric vehicles to meet the increased demand. They’re running into issues with vendors who don’t understand multifamily, onsite staff who have never handled EV charging, and often aren’t preparing for a growing future with more and more electric vehicles.
When planning to service the property with a manufacturer, the representative for the property is often the property manager, who is also unlikely to be familiar with electric vehicle charging and the best practices for managing it. That puts the property manager in the expert’s seat.
Here’s a few questions that the property manager will need to answer:
- Which types of chargers should be used?
- Should the property own & manage the equipment themselves or hire a 3rd party?
- Should the property charge for the electricity or offer it as a free amenity?
- If charging is free, what are the predicted additional expenses for free charging?
- Where would be the best place(s) to add charging stations?
The answers to each of these questions can make or break the NOI gained from adding charging stations. Since every property has a distinct history, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. If the property manager isn’t prepared to answer these questions, the non-expert manufacturer will answer the questions for them.
Properties should have an expert multifamily EV charging consultant to prepare for the installation and future management of any chargers. They’re able to take industry knowledge from both sides and use that to make properties more profitable.
Thinking Long Term
As ESG laws and guidelines develop, as electric vehicles become more popular, what properties need to be equipped with will continue to change. Some state and local governments are developing requirements for a minimum number of charging stations on properties.
When these factors hit, one station with two plugs might not be enough for your property.
By thinking longer term, you can future-proof your property and improve your NOI. Will you have enough chargers for the next 5-10 years? Should you own and manage the chargers or hire a 3rd party? How can you encourage residents to use them?
Like with any product, it’s important to talk to an expert on how it will work in multifamily.
Our client, Refuel EV Solutions, helps properties get electric vehicle charging set up on multifamily properties effectively. They know the ins and outs of EV charging for apartments, from the technology to the installation.
Most property managers aren’t prepared to handle EV charging alone. Make sure they have the right partner to work with.
Want to learn more? Download the report on Why Every Multifamily Property Needs EV Charging Before Their Next Sale or Acquisition
There is a large demand from residents for smart home tech in apartments. In fact, 57% of renters are willing to pay an extra $38 per month for access to smart technology.
Smart tech isn’t hard to implement into a multifamily property – IF you partner with the right provider, that is. It’s possible to install smart apartment technology across an entire multifamily property in as little as two weeks or less.
That’s within weeks – and no onsite staff will have to lift a finger.
Investors who are looking to buy will prioritize properties equipped with smart home devices, since it’s an easy way to modernize their portfolio. Do you really want to be left with an outdated property that can’t draw residents?
Smart home tech is no longer an optional investment – it's a must in today’s competitive housing market. The question now is which smart technology provider you should partner with.
Let’s explore 5 pivotal factors to consider when choosing a multifamily smart home provider.
Their Devices Are Designed for Multifamily
Multifamily smart homes are vastly different from the single-family homes that most smart tech companies aim to serve. Rather than purchasing a dozen smart light bulbs and some switches off Amazon, multifamily communities require hundreds of devices.
In multifamily communities, each apartment’s devices must communicate with each other while still functioning within a broader property ecosystem. This means single-family home devices repurposed for the multifamily space won’t cut it.
Smart tech preferences also differ between residents and property managers/owners. Residents want to control their devices from their phone like a single-family home user, while owners and operators need dashboard access to monitor device statuses across all apartments on property. To accomplish this, managers need unique software built to solve multifamily challenges.
A right provider will supply the devices a community needs along with the infrastructure to manage those devices, and those needs can’t be met with single-family smart home products.
They Use the Best Connection Technology
There are many aspects to the technology behind smart homes, but perhaps the most underrated aspect to consider when choosing a provider is which connectivity protocol they use. Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Wi-Fi are the current major protocols that allow smart devices to communicate with one another.
Although many smart devices can now connect directly to Wi-Fi, this isn’t practical when considering that owners and operators manage hundreds of devices that would all have to share limited bandwidth.
Both Zigbee and Z-Wave can connect easily and reliably with devices of the same type, which is a significant advantage over Wi-Fi devices. For example, this allows Zigbee devices to extend your network's range as long as they are within proximity of each other.
Between the two, Zigbee has the largest selection of compatible devices of the three and is faster than Z-Wave with a longer range. Meanwhile, Z-Wave is more flexible in terms of third-party compatibility. Z-Wave recently released a new version (LR) of their protocol to catch up with Zigbee, but it still has a very limited number of compatible devices.
If a supplier uses multiple connection types to weave together all of their devices, it gets complicated quickly. A great smart home provider will use the best technology available and stay consistent with one connection protocol.
They Offer Transparent and Flexible Pricing
There are two main costs owners must pay when investing in multifamily smart tech: upfront costs for hardware and subscription fees for device management software.
Most providers will charge reduced amounts upfront but make their money by charging higher monthly fees for software. This continuously eats away at ROI. It’s the same scheme used with printers and ink: the printer is cheap, but the ink is expensive.
Beyond individual device and software costs, every property is unique and will require different smart devices and pricing structures based on size, revenue, class, location and more. A 150-unit property will have vastly different planning and budgeting than a 3,000-unit portfolio.
The right supplier will offer pricing options that are flexible and can mold to fit different owners’ budget and property constraints. They should offer monthly installments, upfront purchases, or resident funding programs.
A mediocre smart tech provider will try to upsell you devices that make little sense for your community and exceed your intended budget. Instead of having to fight for every penny, find a supplier that’s willing to get the best results within your budget.
They’re Your Partner Into the Future
Multifamily communities face a different set of challenges that single-family homes rarely encounter. For example, smart smoke alarms/CO listeners and water leak detectors are not very popular smart devices in single-family homes, but they make more sense for multifamily apartments, since preventing expensive property damage can help residents avoid insurance premiums and spare owners/operators in renovation costs with asset protection.
Trusted multifamily smart home providers know what products make the most sense for multifamily properties. They will partner with owners to prioritize the type of devices that are most valuable for their property as a whole.
After setup, a partner-provider will advise you as the multifamily landscape changes. It’s no longer “You bought our product, goodbye!” and you never hear from them again. They will answer any technical questions your onsite staff might have, as well as advise you with device selection as your needs change and as technology evolves over time.
Some will even customize their product offerings based on your needs. The best providers are always on the cutting edge of the smart tech industry, discovering problems that are arising and tackling them head-on. Ultimately, a provider that best understands the short and long term needs of the property will give the best service.
They Don’t Create More Work for Staff or Owners
Installing smart devices can be cumbersome, confusing, and time-consuming. If your property includes thousands of apartments, this process can drag on for a while.
Regular onsite staff don’t have the time or bandwidth to install hundreds of devices. Leasing agents and office staff are busy servicing leasing prospects, and maintenance has its hands full responding to incoming tickets.
Hands-off installation handled by the provider is your best option. It doesn’t overload onsite staff or maintenance, doesn’t involve the owners, and minimizes errors during installation. When done correctly, you can round out this process in as little as two weeks.
Once installed, smart home tech simplifies work for onsite staff. For instance, these devices catch maintenance issues – water leaks, carbon monoxide, smoke, etc. instantly. Smart locks also enable self-guided touring by sending prospective renters a one-time passcode so they can view your property on their own time.
These automations decrease operational strain and reduce the need to hire more employees, which cuts payroll expenses and boosts revenue.
Finally, when investing in a smart device package, make sure the provider won’t abandon the company they sold to. Both the apartment operator and the resident will need support whenever technical issues arise, so choose a provider equipped to handle any troubleshooting claims that come their way.
Who Should You Pick?
The right pricing, technology, partnership, and devices are important. Yet the #1 issue we hear most often is that owners and managers don’t want more work or stress. Technology isn’t very helpful if it only creates more work. Find a provider that will be your partner, and will help guide your smart apartment portfolio so that it’s easy and useful for everyone involved.
Our client, Arize, is a multifamily smart apartment technology provider that takes the time to understand your property management business and the challenges you face, then pairs you with the solutions that will streamline your operations and maximize your revenue and occupancy/retention rates.
They’re a business built for multifamily that adapts to owner and property needs. Arize uses quality Zigbee connections that make it easy to manage your devices, and they work within your budget. Finally, Arize handles device installation for you, and they even pair you with a dedicated service representative to contact whenever you need technical assistance.
Multifamily owners need the right smart apartment technology for their properties. However, it's not just about the sustainability of your assets or about optimizing your portfolio's short-term returns.
The secret to long-term success is finding a strategic partner, like Arize, who will address your challenges with fitting smart solutions -- both today and tomorrow, as your needs change and your portfolio continues to scale.
Ready to bring smart tech to your property?
Note: The analysis of the FCC ruling in this article is for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. Readers are encouraged to consult with legal counsel before taking any actions based on the analysis in this article.
This article was written to accompany the What Multifamily Leaders Need to Know About the FCC Broadband Ruling event. It is available to watch for free with the rest of our on-demand multifamily events tackling industry problems through our Events page..
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) made a ruling on February 15, 2022 that changes the landscape of how telecom agreements are arranged with multifamily apartments. The FCC made this decision with the goal of increasing competition in multifamily units for residents. These begin enforcement on September 26th, 2022.
It’s worth remembering that not all of these are new laws. Some are updated interpretations of existing regulations. As a result, these will affect past and future agreements instead of only newly made agreements.
These are based around changes regarding exclusive marketing agreements, tiered revenue shares, and the “Sale and Leaseback” components of some agreements.
Exclusive Marketing Disclosures
Although the FCC does not straight-out ban exclusive marketing agreements, the service provider is now required to notify all current and prospective residents of any such agreement.
Service providers have discretion on how to communicate the details of what this means, but the notices will be included on all marketing materials. Building owners lose any opportunity to influence this if exclusive marketing is part of the agreement.
This does not require immediate action from the property owner or operator, but it is still in the best interest of the owner to rework these agreements as soon as possible into non-exclusive marketing. Very few residents are likely to be happy to hear about any exclusive marketing agreements.
However, not all providers are concerned about how this affects the building owners’ relationships with the residents. The building owners’ relationship with the service provider is the critical reason why service providers may want to renegotiate these agreements to remove this risk from the building owner.
Tiered Revenue Shares
Since the FCC rulings in 2007, multifamily properties have not been able to enter into telecom agreements that include a restriction that prevents other providers from entering a property, previously referred to as “exclusive access” agreements.
With the new 2022 ruling, the FCC found that the “tiered revenue share” model had a very similar effect to the no-longer-permissible “exclusive access” agreements.
Also known as “penetration-based” models, this is when the revenue share paid to owners will change based on the percentage of available residents that service provider has as subscribers. That percentage is known as the “penetration rate”.
Properties should attempt to renegotiate these tiered revenue share models immediately. Service providers are already making decisions regarding if they will pay any revenue share at all, or if they will offer a flat percentage of revenue share regardless of penetration rates on a property-by-property basis.
Waiting for each service provider to tell the building owner what they will pay is not a great idea because the owner does not have any opportunity to argue for better terms. According to the FCC, the provider has no obligation to pay any future tiered revenue share after the changes.
There are strategies that the top telecom negotiators use to encourage renegotiation from reluctant providers. Some of these are difficult to utilize, so it’s highly recommended to talk to an expert to get a better deal.
This directly affects the property owner. Any agreements that include this style of revenue share will need to be reworked or else the property may no longer receive this revenue.
Sale and Leaseback
“Sale and leaseback” arrangements were not permitted under the 2007 FCC rulings. Unfortunately, there is significant debate within the FCC legal community regarding if this restatement of the FCC’s 2007 ruling will have any significant impact.
It is similar to a parent telling a child, “I told you to clean your room. Please do it!” This will probably only be determined as a result of future court cases, so don’t be that owner.
Like the decision on tiered revenue share agreements, this will directly affect the property owner. Any agreements that include this type of stipulation will need to be reworked promptly. Fortunately, most agreements done since 2007 with any major national service provider are unlikely to be a major threat.
Even so, check with a specialist who understands the wiring infrastructure in the exact building. This is a bad time to presume knowledge without a specialist reviewing the agreement and the wiring.
The deadline to take action on the ruling is September 26th, 2022. That’s only a short time to get critical changes done to important contracts. It’s worth noting that these rulings currently only affect television and telephone contracts, though it’s likely that similar changes will target internet service providers in the future.
As of the writing of this article, service providers nationwide have already been sending change proposals or notices of stopping revenue share payments. Likewise, building owners should expect to see letters to residents in August and September if they have an exclusive marketing agreement so that providers can claim compliance by delivering notices prior to the September 26, 2022 deadline.
The easy way to deal with this is to let the telecom companies contact you and then accept whatever changes they send your way, perhaps with some slight bargaining.
In the end, this route could be leaving tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table and have your residents believe the building’s ownership didn’t care about the services available to residents. This makes now the perfect time to completely renegotiate your contract terms.
For any questions, watch the FCC Changes Q&A meeting we hosted with Mark Weaver, as well as our What Multifamily Leaders Need to Know About the FCC Broadband Ruling on-demand event.
Discussed questions include how the ruling affects bulk services, how to add new providers, how to negotiate high-quality contracts with small properties, and many more.
Have the Experts Negotiate for You
Our client, the Cable Contract Negotiation Group (CCNG), negotiates the best of internet, cable, and telecom agreements. They’re led by Mark Weaver, a telecom industry insider who knows exactly how far providers are willing to go and capitalizes on it in the best way possible for multifamily owners and operators.
Standard real estate lawyers are out of their element in this. They don’t handle this every day. Expert telecom negotiators are the best option for multifamily properties who want to take advantage of these changes, getting better terms compared to even the top 20 national multifamily companies.
Reach your NOI goals and provide better services for your residents.
Note: This article is written to accompany the How to Tackle Multifamily Labor Shortages event. It is available to watch for free with the rest of our on-demand multifamily events on our Events page. This article reveals the data we collected as part of our research leading up to the event.
In March alone, 3% of the workforce quit. That’s 4.5 million people walking away from their jobs.
Finding high quality employees has always been a struggle, and it’s gotten even harder in the last two years. Employees that have stayed for years are leaving. It’s often referred to as “The Great Resignation.”
Most employers weren’t ready for this. The work environment changed with COVID moving workers to their homes. Now these companies aren’t fully prepared to handle their workers quitting.
Our research revealed that only 50% of multifamily properties expect to be able to handle all their incoming calls, and 65% think they would benefit from having another leasing agent.
There are not enough leasing agents on staff for many properties. What’s going to happen when no leasing agents are available and a prospect comes looking?
They will go to another property.
Most large properties are spending tens of thousands of dollars on marketing. Every prospective resident turned away is marketing dollars being wasted.
Yet even hiring more leasing agents (if they can find them) might not be enough. A majority expect that prospects prefer to interact with the property after office hours. We found that 32% use a call center to allow for more after-hours interactions, but it can’t cover the rest of the leasing journey.
The multifamily leasing environment is changing. Everyone wants instant access and convenience. If a future resident can’t get it from one property, they’ll get it from the next.
In the past several years, we’ve seen a shift towards technology-enabled leasing. Tech can fill holes effectively where hiring wouldn’t be able to.
Websites with basic information aren’t enough anymore. The future of leasing is technology, and properties need to take advantage of the opportunities it provides.
Those opportunities are already here. Properties need to adopt them. Ease of access is critical in today’s world, and more staff won’t always achieve it.
Properties need to enable touring in convenient ways. Online 3D tours that can be experienced in virtual reality (VR), letting leasing agents Facetime or Zoom with prospects to show them the apartment, or self-guided tours after hours with smart locks.
Although in-person tours are still an option, there are now more ways to tour. Properties need to take advantage of that.
But touring is only half of the equation. What is the process of getting a future resident to the point of touring?
We found that right now, 93.3% of multifamily executives expect technology to change the way we lease apartments. Over half picked artificial intelligence (AI), guided conversation, or voice assistants to make a change to how we lease apartments.
It makes sense. Staffing is a massive issue for all industries right now, not just multifamily. Artificial intelligence can do the same work that properties would need to hire more workers to complete.
A prospective resident can get the same information from an AI as it could from a leasing agent. Instead of them coming to see a leasing agent, the leasing agent comes to them.
Our data found that only 72% of apartments have a way for prospects to find availability, ask questions, schedule a tour, or lease, without talking to a person. Well over half think an apartment can be leased without a leasing agent.
Automation is growing, but it’s not finished. The entire leasing process has been automated in pieces, and properties need to make the jump, or they will continue to lose leads through the cracks.
There’s an obvious solution to staffing problems, and it’s not hiring more people.
Our client, LeaseHawk, helps multifamily properties lease faster by using an AI leasing assistant that handles phone calls, text messages, and online chats, at the same time. Prospects can ask questions and get information just like a normal conversation. This supplements employees and allows them to focus on more important tasks.
Don’t let staffing problems hurt your business. Let AI pick up the work.