It’s Not About Bringing New Technology to the Game, Let’s Change the Game

The multifamily industry is changing, and it’s important to change with it. To do that, you should keep an eye on the way society is changing as a whole, the differences between generations, and the types of things people are already interested in. 

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Kerry Kirby, Founder and CEO of 365 Connect

Technology is a huge portion of that. Multifamily needs to trend toward automation, streamlined online interactions, and no-contact exchanges of information. Think long-term and prepare ahead of time so you don’t fall behind.

Key Topics

(2:45) — Demographics is the most under-utilized tool in multifamily. Figure out who your renters are to determine larger trends. Are they moving out of the area, are employment numbers okay? If not, you might not want to build in that area, or might want to rethink your plans at least.

(6:00) – The banking industry has changed to be completely digital, with automatic online payments, money transfers over PayPal and Venmo and the like. Even money is becoming digital, with things like cryptocurrency. Consumers have spoken, and they’re saying they want to move transactions online. 

(7:55) – Consider the auto industry. It’s a physical product, like apartments. You’re both selling units, and the goal is to get people to the office to make the sale. But just about no one likes the experience of shopping for a car; multifamily needs to make sure the shopping experience is a pleasant one and not something people dread. Tesla has already renovated the supply chain to go directly to the consumer. They recognize they’re selling (or will be selling) to younger generations that don’t like interaction.

(14:35) –365 Connect has accumulated a lot of data in its nearly two decades in business. There’s a disconnect between what’s happening with the customer and what property managers expect. The in-between, unexpected things are what matter here. 

(17:39) – People figure that if something ain’t broke, we shouldn’t fix it. But innovation is crucial! Re-thinking the industry to come out ahead is going to be important as Gen Z becomes the most common renter. 

(20:00) – Companies have this misconception that they have to shove as much information out all at once as possible. But guess what? People have pop-up blockers, and they find information overload unappealing. It can be enough to push them away. It’s better to be clean, precise, and transparent. 

(22:00) — 365 Connect helps to figure out where there are gaps in communication. There are certain features that simply aren’t on the market that need to be built, but 365 is a huge help in the meantime.

(24:20) — Automation is going to be huge. Kirby thinks we’re going to get to the point that multifamily is completely self-service. There’s a huge turnover of on-site staff. Those folks can be repurposed to more critical roles, rather than giving them jobs that robots could handle. Having automation will also expedite leasing.

(27:40) – When you’re building software, you’re never really done with the project. At first, you’ll run into bugs you didn’t know you had. It’s better to try something and fail and adjust. You learn from your mistakes. After that, you make adjustments and send out updates to make things better. Kirby compares it to Elon Musk purposely making cheaper rockets because he knows he’s going to blow them up in tests.

(31:10) — Everything is technology-driven. If you don’t have the proper tools in place to bring a prospect in and quickly onboard them, you’ll fall behind.

(32:56) – Even if you have a senior property, and you think that person might not be interested in technology, you need to think about who will be in that property 10 years from now. Those people will be more interested, so you should make the adjustments and investments before they get there.

(34:41) – 365 Connect does predictive technology tests. They pick their own platform apart and huddle down to innovate. 


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