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PropTech in the Multifamily Space: More Vital Than Ever

PropTech in the Multifamily Space
Nov. 11, 2020

Residents of multifamily properties rent for a number of reasons, but some of the most common reasons include amenities such as gyms, door security, and pools just to name a few. Renting vs. buying continues to surge, as seniors are looking to downsize and to no longer worry about maintenance issues; and younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z don’t want to be tied down to one place. When considering the advantages of renting, property technology, or “PropTech”, is just as important, if not more so, than other available amenities.

For decades, residents of all ages have been asking for modern conveniences such as being able to pay rent online, submit maintenance requests, and pay utility bills. In the era of COVID-19 and working from home, these conveniences, along with high-speed internet, should no longer be an option. They are absolutely necessary. To expand upon the increased needs of residents during the pandemic, there are many more factors that need to be taken into consideration. Take food delivery notifications, for instance. Property managers are starting to facilitate these external partnerships on-site with companies like Amazon, UberEats, and Postmates, just to name a few. And with the need for social distancing, it’s also important to have a system in place for booking time in shared spaces—fitness centers, the building lounge, conference rooms, and so on.

Many onsite managers, even some regional management staff, are concerned for what the future holds for their particular roles. They fear their job security could be at jeopardy over the next 3-5 years with the ongoing increase in PropTech. The dialogue must be open between onsite staff and executive teams in order to determine just how much PropTech should be invested in. While there are many benefits for residents, these investments can consequently be expensive and have a low adoption rate with staff as well.  Leadership teams must start at the top and communicate within their organizations to really determine what the ROI will be in ultimately supporting the decision to invest in new technologies.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and your executive leadership team when weighing decisions surrounding PropTech.

  • What’s the most effective use of the technology?
  • How much observation of staff adoption/usage, before and after implementation is being conducted?
  • Are you relying solely on your executive team to conduct these observations? Or electing staff in the field?
  • Do you have key team member, such as an Asset Management Executive, you can assign to report to the CFO to provide a third party analysis of usage and downstream ROI/benefits?

Whether you choose to invest in more PropTech or not, the bottom line is that it’s time to have the conversation. If you decide you need a key leader to own the initiative, we’re here to help in your search. Shoot us a note.


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