Melissa D. White

By on May 27, 2014 in Marketing

Melissa D. White is a Millennial specializing in multifamily marketing, which means she is perfectly poised to understand what renters of her generation want and need from their apartment leasing experience. And thanks to fast-paced technological innovation in th_MG_7870e realm of real estate and the willingness of her employer, GFI Management Services, to try new things, she’s also able to deliver the desired experience.

That’s not just a win-win, but a win-win-win, with prospects, apartment front office employees, and Melissa all reaping the benefits.

“It’s given me the power of time. You’ve given me my time back to go out and manage my team,” said White, who has been working in the multifamily industry for a decade. She quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become GFI’s Director of Marketing and Training, a position that puts her right in the vortex of multifamily tech advancement.

“I never expected that this much technology could be possible in multifamily – I think of it as a Leasing Virtual Assistant,” said White, whose teams use Yardi products for their day-to-day sales operations and marketing tasks, including managing ILS listings, lead tracking, and social media content distribution.

Like most Millennials, White sees the myriad benefits of technology-aided workflows. Training, distributing listings, following-up on prospect interest, advertising specials and promotions, measuring ROI in content and media, and even the act of leasing have all become more streamlined, systematic and automated in the last year, she noted.

“We look at Yardi as our partner. You’re not just a vendor, and we’re not just a client. You’re our partner in offering sustainable onsite solutions and valuable services to our residents,” said White. While GFI has adopted numerous Yardi products, among her favorites is RentCafe, a comprehensive marketing solution which allows for automated ILS, SMS and social media updates.

Of course, one of the most stressful aspects of implementing any new technology solution is the implementation process. Since her role encompasses both marketing and training, White has nailed down some best practices for bringing a new platform to a large, multi-faceted portfolio.

A few of her best practice tips:

  1. Have a plan, a realistic time frame, and patience. If something can break or go wrong, it probably will. Expect hiccups and be prepared to react to them in smart and pragmatic ways.
  2. Take special care with your pilot group of trainees. They’re going to spread the word to their colleagues about the new product and what to expect from it.
  3. Conduct a secondary review of any content that’s planned for distribution. If your implementation is spread over several months, facts and circumstances may have changed by the time your platform goes live.
  4. Have a beta period post-implementation, where you are monitoring for process glitches and inefficiencies.
  5. On go-live day, have a senior staff member who understands the technology on site, in addition to any outside consultants. This will ease your team’s comfort level with the process and give them a trusted resource for questions and concerns.

White will teach a class at this week’s Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference in Washington, D.C. on planning for a successful implementation and will be a participant in the Making Analytics Actionable Smart Marketing Panel. Don’t miss the chance to hear from a savvy Millennial marketing and training expert!