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Create an Experience Residents Never Want to Leave

Patrick Antrim June 11, 2021


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Reimagining the Multifamily Consumer Experience

Daryl Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Kettler. 

Summary:

Right now, Daryl Smith is working to create a fully-integrated omni-channel marketing platform, while also growing the name for his multifamily development plan.

Key Topics:

(2:10) – Kettler is reimagining the multifamily resident experience, namely figuring out how to best use the digital tools available. Smith is trying to eliminate friction as best as possible.

(3:30) — What does reimagining really mean? Multifamily has been lagging, compared to other industries. Sit down and be bold and think about how to enhance the consumer experience for tomorrow. That includes both improving the digital experience and giving consumers more choice. Offer them both online and in-person sales experiences, so they can choose what they prefer. 

(7:45) – Be bold. For Kettler, they make decisions to figure out what tools best help enable leasing configuration and digital tools. Of course, those things come with price tags, and you have to take your budget into account. 

(9:50) — Keep your brand connected to your multifamily resident through personalization. Even if consumers prefer digital contact, they still want to be able to get in contact with a human if needed.

(12:00) – What is “omnichannel?” The basis is to reduce consumer friction when multifamily residents engage with touchpoints. Kettler uses curated ads showing what the property can offer. They basically use a chatbox as a leasing agent. You have to reimagine what you can do and who you can be in the digital space.

(15:00) – Kettler’s platform experience has two levels: the enterprise, which goes over basic tools and solutions the owner would need to use the assets; and the discipline, including marketing.

(17:10) — Figure out what partners can solve for what and how you can create a frictionless multifamily resident experience. 

(20:20) – Be careful about your decision-making. Figure out who can best fulfill what you’re trying to achieve. Create a picture of what you already have and what you’re missing. Interview your on-site teams to figure that out.

(23:00) — People don’t engage with platforms in the same way. That’s why you have to have choices available. One good example of tour technologies – people want different options, like in-person, live-virtual, pre-taped virtual, and so on.

(25:40) – Of course you have to address consumers’ needs, but make sure you’re still protecting your reputation and your brand. 

(27:10) – Chatbots are conversational AI tools. Implementation of that into your strategy is what extends your availability to 24/7, which today is crucial. Consumers want immediate answers. Time is intrinsically linked to engagement. 

(30:00) – Any partner you choose should also be bold and innovative. The product should be challenging itself to grow along with the consumers. Consumer data is attainable – you don’t have to guess what people want, just look at the data!

(34:40) — The goal is to create an experience that consumers never want to leave. But is that really attainable? Digital tools will help. Plus people are trending way from home ownership. People like having managed care, with maintenance and amenities available.

(40:00) — Some multifamily companies are bringing services to them to make things all-encompassing. Some companies are playing with that new model. Think of Google: it remembers what you searched for and then brings new services to you, curated to your previous searches. 

(42:00) — Figure out what’s broken and start fresh before you figure out what tools you want. Also figure out what exactly your consumers want! You’ll also need to consider cost and timing. Digital doesn’t just give you the opportunity to relax – it also allows you to boost engagement every hour of every day. 

(45:30) — Covid changed everything. It positioned multifamily forward much faster than people could have anticipated. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It pushed people forward to engage better with their consumers.

(47:40) — Someone has to drive expectations. That’s true for accounting, asset management, acquisitions, and all other aspects of the industry. 

(49:00) — Delta Airlines is a good example of a company that’s doing things differently. Other airlines focus on revenue building and how they can boost profits through shortcuts; Delta’s new CEO focuses on the consumer experience to impact revenue that way. 

(51:00) — How do you convince your team to take on new products or ideas? Get a good team and build your relationships with one another. You all have to be in sync and work in partnership for the bottom line. Having clear lines as to who is responsible for what roles and then later combining your ideas to be in sync with a coordinated solution will help. 

(54:50) — The agent experience is the frontline sales experience. Next is the employee experience, which relies on changing and enriching as cultures change. Bring in people who truly want to be part of your team and who want to be part of the digital space. Kettler is starting to measure all that. 

(57:10) — Kettler is going to start focusing more on sales opportunities. There are expectations there, but they might need reimagining. Figure out what your sales-centered standards are and what your consumer-centered standards are and develop strategies based on that. Pricing is another consideration.

(59:00) — Challenge yourself to think about what’s next for the industry. 

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Patrick Antrim

Patrick Antrim is the Founder of Multifamily Leadership, LLC, a thought leadership platform providing streaming content around technology, innovation, and leadership. He also produces two of the highest level events in the Multifamily Apartment industry. The Multifamily Leadership brand is preparing Multifamily Leaders for the FUTURE. They honor the Best Places to Work in Multifamily®️ at our annual leadership Innovation summit.

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