Top Five Benefits of Centralized Leasing in Multifamily
The biggest advantages property owners and management companies have uncovered with centralized leasing.
Feeling short staffed? Teams not operating at peak efficiency? You’re not alone. With the tight labor landscape, property management companies (PMCs) are being forced to “do more with less.”
There is no silver bullet, but, centralized leasing and centralization in general offer PMCs a solution to leverage technology to streamline how they run their business, which frees their teams of repetitive tasks and allows them to focus on providing exemplary service to renters and residents. So if you’re considering centralization, or are wondering “What is multifamily centralization?”, in this post we’ll define centralized leasing, and share five benefits to a centralized multifamily business model.
But first, let’s skip to the good part. We are honored to partner with some of the leading and largest Real Estate Investment Trusts in multifamily to help them centralize their business. Below are some of the results they’re seeing in their business and why centralization might be something you want to learn more about:
So, with those results in mind 🤩, let’s set the stage for centralization with good groundlevel information, and then dive into the five benefits companies see from centralizing.
What is centralized leasing?
Call it centralization. Call it centralized leasing. Or call it role specialization. There are a lot of words thrown around in the multifamily space that get after the same key idea: time and cost savings for PMCs, that when executed correctly, create efficiencies for onsite leasing professionals and an excellent customer experience for renters.
Centralized leasing specifically, moves the leasing functions offsite so that leasing professionals are no longer income verification sleuths and W-2 document detectives to approve applications (and many other “admin” tasks). Instead, a specialized centralized leasing team handles the leasing process ensuring a smooth experience for renters, and freeing the onsite teams to focus on high-touch customer service interactions.
Why should PMCs care about centralized leasing?
Centralized leasing, and centralization in general have been on the multifamily wishlist FOR YEARS. Centralizing allows PMCs to rethink and restructure processes, staffing, role specialization, and technology to take mundane tasks offsite. For PMCs centralization crafts a new, streamlined, flexible, model to scale sustainably, reduce costs, thrill teams, and grow revenue.
#1 Bottom line benefits: do more with less + save
Staffing is highly unstable. Again, this isn’t unique to multifamily, but it is disproportionately impacting our industry. It’s harder to keep great leasing teams, get them ramped up, and keep them happy. Many onsite teams are asked to do more with less, which leaves them burnout prone, and only exacerbates the issue, unless processes change. As we see it, property management companies have three choices when thinking of how to change processes: handle some tasks with AI and automation, take mundane tasks offsite with centralization, or a combination of AI automation and centralization. Note: doing nothing (burying your head in the sand) isn’t a viable solution and will ensure your nimble competitors take advantage.
Centralization allows property management companies to take better care of onsite teams by taking mundane tasks offsite, like leasing in the case of centralized leasing. Proof that it works?
At Camden, our Renter Management Software allowed the company to delight their team members by removing Sunday as a work day for onsite teams– without losing any production!
By allowing property management companies to run with leaner teams working fewer days there are large benefits to the company’s bottom line.
In a public earnings call, Essex shared that they were able to increase their leasing agent-per-unit ratio from one agent for every forty units, to one agent for every forty three units portfolio-wide after rolling out the Funnel platform.
The proof is clear, arming your teams with the right tech to centralize leasing, and other focused workflows allows them to do more with less.
#2 Renter satisfaction
Nothing is more important than the renter to your business. So, if that’s true, (to be clear, at Funnel we absolutely believe it is true), then why is it that status quo software provides either a disconnected (in the case of single solution options filling in one part of the journey each ), or a connected but sub-par 1990’s experience (in the case of legacy software providers)? The renter journey from initial inquiry through renewal touches so many aspects of your business. It shouldn’t be siloed via software that only focuses on a fraction of their journey (i.e. a single conversation with a chatbot on your website), and shouldn’t feel clunky because it was originally designed as an accounting ledger system (and not for renters).
Centralizing your operations and marketing efforts with Renter Management Software all while leveraging a single guest card allows property management companies to create an exceptional experience for renters, increases their satisfaction, builds brand loyalty, and ultimately increases lifetime customer value. That might seem like a lot, so let’s back it up.
Renters are like all of us: want to feel known and a personalized touch, expect real-time results, and instant information. But, in the traditional property management company business model, with separate guest cards at every single property (so teams don’t get the true picture of what they’re looking for), and a repetitive and clunky desktop experience, renters can feel like they’re just a number and get frustrated by the slow antiquated process.
However, when your tech saves all their preferences in one place (regardless of which in-portfolio communities they’re inquiring about) and makes personalized recommendations through marketing automations built for each person, they’ll feel known. They never need to repeat that they have a dog, Sparky, again. Centralized leasing and the Funnel connected platform ensures that once a prospective renter is ready to apply to a community, they’re treated with personalized care by a team who specializes in the step of the leasing process that they’re currently entering. This team ensures a property management company can win their loyalty, with a winning customer experience.
#3 Better morale, better service (and more)
A natural byproduct of arming teams to do more with less is better morale, and talent retention. And while this seems pretty straightforward, we’ll make it clear: renters and consumers are savvy and can spot inauthenticity easily. This matters because happier teams are naturally able to provide happier (better) customer service for prospective renters and current residents.
“When you put people in a position where they’re using their strengths, it increases engagement and that naturally overall increases team performance,” said Allison Dunavant, Vice President of Organizational Development at Camden Property Trust. “That is what drives a good employee experience.”
By taking many of the mundane tasks off the onsite teams’ plates you can increase your team’s morale, decrease your talent churn, and provide a better renter experience all at the same time.
#4 Role specialization
Many leasing professionals “fall into” multifamily– an adage we’ve either lived the story, or heard it a million times. Leasing Professional Lisa knew someone, who knew someone, who told them they should work for a property management company during leasing season…and then the rest is history.
Many of these team members are rock-stars at what they were originally hired to do: provide excellent customer service to prospective renters and current residents. Many of these same people-focused rockstars never signed up for doing the repetitive, redundant, mundane, administrative tasks that are 100% necessary to tackle, but are usually also 100% easily handled by AI and automation, or can be taken off their plate by a centralized team focused on specific workflows.
For teams, centralizing does two things. First, it allows multifamily leasing professionals to focus on building trusted relationships with renters and residents (aka the part of the job that attracted them to multifamily and where, generally, they excel). Second, it provides clear career-pathing via role specialization for individuals who might be interested in moving to one of the specialized teams.
To be blunt, it’s hard to retain talent if they don’t see room for growth and advancement. And there’s a lot at stake if you can’t accommodate all your inbound leads. While this isn’t unique to multifamily, how you solve for it is unique to your business. Centralization is a solution that many of the leading and largest property management companies have found great success through and better career pathing for teams is among those reasons.
#5 Marketing consistency, at scale
Centralization is better for renters, onsite teams, as well as your brand. When a centralized team handles all leasing activities and leverages marketing automations, they deliver both consistent messaging and experience portfolio-wide.
As you know, all renters are unique but many of their questions aren’t. However the answers and effort they might receive vary based on who is responding. Using a secure, enterprise-grade marketing and communication platform, like Renter Management Software, creates consistency in these essential touchpoints from initial inquiry through renewal.
It does this by giving property management companies the freedom to answer renters frequently asked questions in a uniform, branded, and timely manner, both through AI, automation, centralized teams handling specific parts of the renter journey, and well-thought-out answers to these questions. This ensures that renters are followed up with in a meaningful way that moves the conversation forward toward the next natural step.
Branding and marketing 101 is: consistency, consistency, consistency. It’s one of the most important tenets of brand building and creating an “on brand” experience. AND it’s impossible to achieve without a platform that takes the follow-up burden off of onsite teams, and by doing so, creates a dependable, uniformly excellent experience that naturally builds trust with prospective renters and current residents.
Centralize to win
Perhaps this feels bold, but we’re confident that companies reluctant to change — who refuse to adopt new operating models through scalable tech, who refuse to implement flexible workflows for specialized centralized teams, who refuse to lean on AI and automation — will lose.
Join the pink side to win (and win big) via centralization, AI, and automation.
Schedule a demo to learn more.