Industry leaders have the answers and are getting great results adopting smart technology. From marketing and leasing to energy, procurement and vendor management, the numbers help tell the story about what’s really working for multifamily leaders.
How do you convert more leads?
To stay competitive, properties and services must stand out in the busy digital marketplace. From a prospect’s smartphone search to a resident’s online lease renewal, marketing automation can help companies work smarter, exceed customer expectations and convert upwards of 20% more leads.
Many property managers are finding exceptional results through marketing automation strategies including self-scheduled tours, nudge marketing, text messaging and email drip campaigns. Brenda Studt, vice president of marketing for The Excelsior Group now converts 28% of digital leads to residents and attributes their increase to “using high-intent calls to action, including nudge marketing and self-scheduled tours.”
This approach to tours is a game changer for MG Properties Group too. “We let prospects text us and self-schedule their tours on our websites. These prospects convert at much higher rates than traditional leads, sometimes by as much as 70%,” said Melise Balastrieri, vice president of marketing and development.
How do you make invoice processing faster and less expensive?
According to Aberdeen research and Yardi data, processing an invoice manually typically takes up to 30 days and costs around $35 per invoice. For most companies, that’s unsustainable. By automating invoice processing and vendor management, processing time drops to under five days, reduces cost per invoice to less than $5, saves hours of staff time, eliminates paper and reduces errors.
Joe Anfuso, CFO of MG Properties Group calculates that “we save around 300 hours a month from not having to go through the paper shuffle and managing mistakes.” Normally about 10% of invoices have errors, but automation can reduce that to less than 2%.
Both owners and vendors are seeing the value of automation. Larger businesses that send five or more invoices in a month make up just 7% of vendors but generate 75% of invoices. Giving them an online portal to submit and track invoices helps accounting departments on both sides.
How do you streamline affordable housing applications?
The biggest hurdle can often be compliance, but leading affordable housing apartments are turning to online applications for an easier, paperless process with several benefits. Out of 250,000 units analyzed, 683 online applications were completed every day – saving stacks of paper and time doing in-person intake meetings. But it goes beyond paperless benefits.
Of those online applications, 63% were completed after 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m. CST giving prospects the freedom and convenience to apply while your office is closed. Additionally, 78% of the applications were abandoned before submission by self-screening for eligibility requirements. This allows your staff to spend time with the 2 out of 10 truly serious and qualified applicants.
Nick Strzelec, property technical analyst for Pinnacle Property Management Services, has seen the results impact his team firsthand. He says, “100% of applications received online are complete and ready to review. Going paperless has eliminated incomplete applications from our inbox. That saves us a lot of staff hours.”
How do you recover resident and vacant unit utility costs?
Utilities are typically the second largest controllable multifamily expense, representing about 21% of an average two bedroom/two bath annual spend per unit. But those costs go beyond resident usage. About 31% of vacant unit utility charges are recoverable and can total $25-$200 per unit in any given month. Manual invoice processing costs can be 80% higher than with automation and may include late fees and overpayments.
Roxann Gendron, vice president and controller of Conifer Realty, says they are saving at least $50,000 a year with a built-in energy management solution. She continues, “Late fees and data entry time are eliminated, providing our community managers the opportunity to focus on our properties and our residents.”
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