A Lifestyle Experience

By on Oct 28, 2019 in People

Meet Chris Armstrong, director of brand, product and technology at Get Living, an innovative build-to-rent operater in the UK that prides itself on delivering unforgettable resident experiences.

We recently had the chance to sit down with Armstrong and learn more about how the company is challenging and changing the renting experience.

Chris Armstrong

“We are all about innovating the resident experience at Get Living. We were the first to scrap deposits back in 2017 and we’ve never charged fees. It’s something that our residents value – it not only builds trust but affirms our role as an innovator within the sector,” said Armstrong.

“Our focus is purely on the customer experience; from first enquiry to move in, right through the tenancy and when resident’s leave us.  We continue to challenge ourselves to meet our residents growing expectations of us to deliver a simpler, better and more rewarding renting experience,” he explained.

Read on to learn more about Armstrong’s perspective on resident experiences and how they will transform the marketplace.

 

Q: So it’s all about the experience – How does Get Living deliver it?

Armstrong: Residents are attracted to our quality homes and our quality service. Since launching in 2013 we’ve continued to challenge the norms of renting and evolve our offer finding more ways to take the hassle out of renting.

Yardi RENTCafé has helped us achieve that with both new customers and existing residents.

The property websites and the online functionality from Yardi enables us to deliver a great online presence. We can display available units as well as showcase each neighbourhood’s amenities all within the Get Living brand platform.

Prospects can complete the entire application process online, enabling us to onboard residents quickly and easily. Our leasing cycle has greatly reduced since introducing Yardi – where renewals would have taken 3-5 days, our relationship managers can turn these around in under an hour.

For our marketing team, the increase of web traffic is a major goal, as is nudge marketing and social engagement. It means we are fully maximising marketing ROI, and seamlessly bringing the resident a great experience.

 

Q: It looks like Yardi technology impacts not just your business operations, but the residents life too – how important is technology to their journey with you?

Armstrong: Email is dying, our residents rarely use it – in fact we rarely use it on the operational side now either – we are moving to an app-based business.

With Yardi’s new white label resident app MyCafé by RENTCafé, we are able to completely brand the renter experience in the Get Living style. We encourage our residents to use the resident app, and we provide a user guide and training for each new resident to further communicate its value and benefits.

The app is a far more effective way of communicating with our resident demographic. It also delivers far greater efficiency and mobility for our team, allowing them to be fully focussed on residents’ needs. The app delivers full resident on-boarding which includes inspections. Payments can also be executed via PayPal – all on the app. Residents love that.

 

Q: What other benefits does the app give your residents?

Armstrong: We can further enhance the resident experience by utilising the maintenance functionality within the app to report and raise maintenance requests. This has not only meant faster response times and a focus on visibility of progress; we have seen the maintenance technicians become advocates for using the app; we’ve removed the use of paper from the entire process; and residents get complete visibility of the progress of a request.

We can build a far greater sense of community with the promotion and RSVP for exclusive resident events and that drives the lifestyle experience our communities. At that point the technology and the resident experience really comes together. Technology is key to making these successful.

Q: How does the use of technology help Get Living excel in real estate whilst delivering an exceptional experience for the renter?

Armstrong: Using the technology that we have adopted, we are growing and succeeding. Currently, we’re at 95% occupancy – which is great and a testament to the technology supporting us and the data we can now understand and process. We’ve eliminated spreadsheets and legacy systems and now focus our energy in cloud-based, mobile innovations that keep us on top of cultural shifts.

Through the power of the data, we can see a complete view of one customer’s journey. We can even estimate when they might be thinking of leaving us and automating the renewal process, which supports customer retention.

 

Q: Can you describe the value of your partnership with Yardi?

Armstrong: As a real estate innovator, its vital that we have partnerships with like-minded companies. Our partnership with Yardi grew out of the need to deliver a technology-led experience for our prospects and residents from the get-go. Yardi helps us deliver connected solutions, efficient staff, which all feeds into a positive resident experience. That’s about all we can ask for from a proptech provider.

Yardi’s experience in the U.S. multifamily market and the ever-growing build to rent sector is hugely important. They understand what it takes to stay ahead of the curve and that fits our strategy of always looking to innovate the industry.

Finally, as a technology partner, Yardi let’s us be us. We’re able to give visibility to the Get Living brand through each tech touchpoint the customer has with us and with more products coming online, allows us to evolve to meet their needs. We greatly value the partnership with Yardi as we strive for further success.