May 05 2020

At Funnel, we live and breathe the ins-and-outs within the multifamily industry…maybe a little too much 😉. We sometimes are so full-steam-ahead that we forget to s.l.o.w. down and talk about what exactly we mean by multifamily managed properties (and where our tech fits into the industry). 

If you’ve been asking questions like what is the multifamily industry? And, what is Funnel? Then you came to the right place. 

You may not have called it this, but chances are you know more about the multifamily industry than you realize because it touches all of us. It’s the biggest “little” industry (that you may not have thought about before). The multifamily industry is the real estate sector that includes property management companies and apartment rentals.

This market share touches almost a third of the households in the United States, because 35% of the nation’s 122.3 million households rent, as of 2020, the last year for which the Census Bureau has reliable estimates. With the ongoing housing crunch — marked by low housing inventory, high prices, and increasing interest rates — this number is only expected to grow. 

If you’ve ever looked for that perfect apartment with the most ideal apartment community, lived in a not-so-perfect apartment, or know someone who’s done both, then you too have been involved in the multifamily industry.

What is Funnel? 

Funnel enables more successful leasing, onboarding, and renewals for teams at property management companies and renters. We worked with the leading, and largest owners and property management companies to replace an operating model reliant on a combination of property management software and single-point solutions.

Instead of a separate provider for your CRM, virtual leasing agent and chatbot, online leasing tools, resident app, renewals, and ILS syndication Funnel houses all of these functions in a single platform. Not only are they all industry-leading in their architecture and quality, but they also simplify the day-to-day for onsite leasing professionals, and create efficiencies at scale for PMCs. This empowers them to provide a better experience for renters. 

We created a new category of multifamily technology. We call it Renter Management Software (RMS).

What is Renter Management Software? 

Let’s be clear on this. When we say renter-centric or Renter Management Software, it must contain four vital ingredients to qualify:

  1. Sole focus on renter-facing solutions.
  2. Single guest card platform architecture.
  3. Ability to centralize workstreams or tasks.
  4. Core operating ethos that is centered around the renter. 

Let’s go into detail on each of the four tenants of Renter Management Software. 

#1. Only Renter-Facing Tech Solutions Here, Please

As a tech provider, if your focus is too narrow, innovation is incremental at best and inconsequential when rolled out across a property management company’s portfolio. If your focus is too broad, then your solution is an inch deep and a mile wide and doesn’t deliver on innovation either.

In scope, RMS is the multifamily Goldilocks-tech platform: it’s broader than a single-point solution and narrower than legacy tech. RMS only focuses on the renter lifecycle from initial inquiry through renewal. Because RMS focuses solely on the renter journey we had the freedom to develop a robust platform tailored to onsite leasing professionals and today’s renters. 

#2. Single Guest Card Architecture

This is a critical point. Structurally, the platform is architected around the individual renter through a single centralized guest card. What is a single guest card? Simple, for each renter in Funnel’s CRM there is only one guest card for Rachel Renter. Not one guest card at each property, not daisy-chained together guest cards, one guest card. Full stop. 

Building Renter Management Software from the ground up is an undertaking (We know! We did it!). So, as with any innovation, there will be imitators who create shortcuts, not innovation. An example of this is linking multiple guest cards, instead of having a single renter-centric guest card. Workarounds like that are symptoms of status-quo vendors building tech bandaids rather than revolutionizing the industry to heal what’s fundamentally broken. 

If a tech vendor promises a quick easy fix, they likely deliver incremental improvements, but they won’t deliver true innovation. It seems remarkably straightforward to say, but if you want innovative solutions that deliver exceptional results, then large-scale change is required. 

#3. Tech Built to Centralize 

This single guest card is vitally important. It empowers businesses to centralize various specialized renter-facing workstreams and results in business efficiencies because of the platform’s core architecture.

The single guest card streamlines follow-up. We know that staffing is a huge challenge for property management companies and they’re constantly asking their leasing teams to do more with less. Funnel helps take the burden of mundane tasks from leasing professionals so that they can focus on providing exceptional customer service to renters. Our AI and automation nurture leads until they are escalated to a single leasing professional. 

At that point, from a single view of a leasing professional, we can see what communities Rachel Renter is interested in. Also, we can see what questions she has asked, and send tailored follow-ups to Rachel about the one-bedroom apartment she’s interested in. From day one, with the Funnel platform, prospective renters aren’t being “nurtured” by twelve different leasing professionals all working for the same overarching property management company

Additionally, because specific leasing actions are geared around the renter’s lifecycle in their lead to leasing journey, Funnel can automate some tasks and allows PMCs to reconfigure roles and teams to centralize specific tasks and craft specialized centralized workflows. 

#4. Renter-Centric Ethos

Finally, a renter-first ethos demands more than a “better” or an “improved” renter experience, but business transformation and flawless service from every interaction with a prospect or residents from initial inquiry through renewals. Not only is this renter-centricity built into our products and how we build trusted consultative partnerships with clients; we take it a step further.

We believe we can change the world by changing the renter experience. From our values to our business practices, Funnel is investing in the community. We started the multifamily industry’s first 501(c)(3) Housing Opportunities Made Equal (H.O.M.E.), to provide more equitable opportunities for renters of all backgrounds to find their next home.

Our commitment to a people-first culture is in the DNA of our company — from our P.I.N.K. values to the renter-centric architecture of our product line — it’s an effort that comes from within.

Multifamily Property Management is More Than a Software | It’s a Business Transformational Tool

At Funnel, we challenge the status-quo through both our tech, and via partnerships grounded in transparent communication, respectfully challenging ideas, and urgency around solving problems. We work alongside leading PMCs to rethink and rebuild the intersection of people, processes, and tech in their business model. 

We build trusted, consultative, partnerships with multifamily property management visionaries as they burn their old property management software-reliant playbooks and craft flexible, renter-centric, portfolio-tailored, operating models that give teams of all sizes a way to win.

Learn more about Funnel’s approach to partnership, and how it can help with talent retention in this recent GlobeSt. article.