AptCon Recap

By on Jul 11, 2019 in Events, News

Are you practicing the most efficient and effective management strategies? Implementing technology at every point in the leads-to-leases process can help you optimize your approach.

During the 2019 SVN Rock Advisors Apartment Conference (AptCon) in downtown Toronto, Peter Altobelli, vice president and general manager, sales at Yardi Canada, presented on the impact of new technology on property management strategies.

In the session, “Operations and Management: Maximizing Value Through Professional Management,” Altobelli collaborated with fellow industry experts Lucy Gouveia, marketing and leasing director at Greenwin, Zola Mehlmakulu, operations manager at Skycord, and Trish MacPherson, executive vice president, operations at CAPREIT.

The panel discussed the inextricable tie between successful modern management and technology.

Marketing and Lease-Up Strategies

Intelligent software can make the marketing and lease-up processes more efficient and effective. The panel recommended the following strategies:

Create, launch and maintain a corporate website, regardless if you are in the construction phase. Include floor plans, photos and videos. Websites promote your brand and attract prospects who are interested in becoming a part of your community.

For new builds, begin the lease-up at least two months into construction. This schedule provides time to craft your renter experience within your marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Paying special attention to your renter experience provides you with a way to build trust, reliability, and customer satisfaction with prospects.

“Yardi in Canada is known for our ERP and accounting software solutions,” began Altobelli. “In conjunction with that, we’re offering a fully integrated marketing and CRM solution in a single database that connects to all Yardi products.

With lease-up underway, the advantages of a fully integrated system become apparent. Once the applicant becomes a resident, their information is fed seamlessly into the property management and accounting system. Having integrated software saves time and increases accuracy when turning leads into leases.

Nearing the end of lease-up, Altobelli recommended reviewing the marketing and leasing data that you’ve accumulated so far. Look for trends that may help you seal the deal on the remaining vacant units.

Resident retention is the final step. Altobelli explained, “Tenant retention is just as important as filling your properties. Technology is key here, too. Young renters don’t want to talk to someone. Everything is done through e-transfer and portals. Make sure you provide electronic services to help with retention.”

Hiring, Training, and Paying Leasing Staff

For lease-up staffing, it is common to promote from within, but a new trend shows success with recruiting fresh talent from outside of the real estate industry, observed MacPherson. In the absence of industry experience, look for a superstar salesperson who can fully engage and build a relationship with the client quickly.

Begin training staff on relevant software during the construction phase or sooner. This way, team members become proficient with the technology before using it to interact with prospects. Staff can adeptly manipulate the software to update the website, use its tools to attract leads, manage those leads and then turn them into leases.

Turnover is a costly and time-consuming reality in multifamily housing. Once you’ve identified talent and trained them the software, protect your investment with timeless retention strategies. Altobelli suggested, “Motivate staff with proper compensation and consistent encouragement and recognition. Know who’s on your team and how should you motivate them. Leasing staff have pride and need to build a sense of accomplishment to feel successful.”

Want to learn more about using technology to improve your marketing and leasing strategies? Join a webinar.