May 20, 2024

Housing Mba

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What should our focus be in 2024?

3 min read

Multifamily, the cliched line says that it is slow to adapt to changes. As we approach 2024 in our industry, I believe there is a need for us to keep embracing the necessary change. Recently, I asked members of the Multifamily Insiders Linkedin Group which areas they thought we should focus on. Staff was the top answer with 55%. Lisa Russell shares her thoughts on three areas.

She has the following traits:

1. Digital Transformation: The property management industry has adapted to technology changes slower than other industries. Digitalizing property management through the use of technologies such as AI, robotics, machine learning and other similar tools could improve operations and efficiency and reduce costs.

2. The resident experience is in need of a new focus. It could be done by implementing seamless communication channels and providing personalized services.

3. Staff Training: Focus on continuous staff training in order to adjust to the new technologies and tools. This will ensure that the workforce has the necessary skills to deal with the changing industry. Over the next five years, change management will be a crucial strategic process.

All three are things I agree on and think they all go together. It all begins with excellent training, I am convinced. The onsite teams of industry need to be trained continuously. As an industry, we need to focus and invest in our teams’ training needs. We invest in the teams on site, and they will grow professionally and personally. They feel appreciated, and invested, and they’ll continue to provide an excellent customer experience. We should never reduce or lose sight of the technology training that is available to our team members. We should add trainers because everyone learns in a different way. We need trainers that are experts on specific areas or software. In some ways, technology doesn’t always make life easier. Sometimes there are more problems in making the tech work together. We need to customize our customer experience, just like how we do with technology.

A former executive from a leading NMHC told me that, between 2020 and the year 2022 about twenty new technologies would be launched. Rent reporting, alternate insurance and deposit programs, flexible payments, digital asset-management tool, reputation management with more sophistication, virtual leasing assistants for residents, virtual events apps, etc.

It was difficult to deal with COVID because not all tools directly affected onsite teams. There have been so many changes in the organization, including leadership, business continuity/safety, remote working, and new technologies for teams onsite. It has been a tough 3 years for everyone.

What can we do to rethink our teams on site, make investments in them and create a culture that embraces new technologies?

We still struggle with the onsite training, new technologies, etc., even though we understood that scenario a little more than a year ago. Our staff must be trained with purpose and we need to focus our attention on them. We can improve the experience of residents if we embrace digital transformation, which involves finding the perfect marriage between AI and HI (Human Intelligence). All starts with training and investing in our staff.

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