May 22 2024

Before The Forum even began Dom Beveridge — founder of 20 for 20 — led a high-impact, hands-on, dynamic workshop for marketing leaders “How to cash out on centralized leasing.” Stephanie Versin and Sarah Graham also moderated group discussions throughout the workshop. A group of twenty marketers talked about how all the shifts in today’s tumultuous multifamily market — dropping occupancies, flat or decreasing rent growth, increased expenses, increasingly discerning customers, and tight budgets — can influence their marketing plans. 

The three hour workshop included discussions about how you can improve your top line with incremental revenue, cutting costs with proven best practices, and how they can progress their careers in the new operating model. Also covered were: 

  • Best practices on lead sharing + best practices on lead nurturing
  • How AI fits in and how to make it work with people
  • Biggest ah-ha moments + best practices for centralized teams: don’t duplicate efforts across teams, increase efficiency on follow-up to follow through
  • Ways to stop cannibalizing your marketing spend
  • Increasing LTV, lowering CAC, and boosting loyalty

In the final exercise, participants listed the elements they thought were most important to get right in the new operating model. What became very clear is that although it was a tech conference the people element of it is so key for the people implementing the changes and the teams who will be the front lines of the new model. 

Top five elements of best practices in the new operating model 

#1 Reimagining roles + specialization


  • Organizational efficiency when teams aren’t duplicating effort and are ablet o focus on the parts of their job they enjoy most. 
  • Customer service efficiency + capacity which also increases leasing velocity and performance. 
  • Greater returns in terms of both efficiency gained, and actual cost savings. 
  • Increased team retention and lower turnover because happier team members are staying longer in jobs that engage more of their skills. 


  • Getting teams to buy in and eliminating the stigma of “mass layoffs” when moving to a centralized model. 
  • Building customer relationships when you are in the middle of shifting customer expectations. 
  • Hiring for new roles can be difficult because team members may not have heard of the new position titles before and don’t know to search for them online. However, people in specialized roles do tend to stay longer according to data shared by customers. 


Must have technology: 

  • Customer-centric CRM that includes lead nurturing, AI and lead sharing. (To be clear: the participants said this not us!) 
  • Robust training LMS or HR functions that help train specialized roles. 
  • Personalized sandboxes for users on specialized teams so that they are only focused on the tasks they need to complete versus all the tasks that need to happen across the portfolio. 

#2. Change management + organizational alignment 


  • Static companies will eventually be left behind because they didn’t future-proof their business. Changing and adapting to the new operating model ensures job security and company longevity. 
  • Increased financial performance and the success of your business for the long term. 
  • Reduced team turnover and everyone understanding the “why” of the changes and then aligning their actions to the goal. 



  • Biases that come along with any new change, and the fact that change can often be painful both for teams and companies. Often moving to the new operating model comes with the stigma that it will take teams’ jobs, helping teams understand how they benefit from the long-term centralization and AI efforts ensures that everyone is aligned but is often a challenge. 
  • Teams can have change fatigue, which if they aren’t receptive or becoming a part of the change moving the initiative forward is difficult. 
  • If your company is under-resourced with training and development of team members, specialized roles will require new distinct training. 


Must have technology:

  •  Transparent data to support decisions and demonstrate progress.

#3. Consistency + workflow


  • Clear-defined processes and standards help to set customer expectations appropriately, which can increase brand loyalty because they know what to anticipate. 
  • Clear handoffs between technology and teams optimize resources and ensure that teams are using tech for their advantage while still taking care of the important high-touch parts of the customer experience. 


  • Training and execution are essential for the consistency and standardization of processes. 
  • As with any change it needs to be audited to ensure that it’s working as anticipated and then adjusted accordingly. 

Must have tech

  • Clear accurate easy to access reporting. 
  • Integrations that ensure you aren’t limited by your tech stack. 
  • Tech consolidation and everything in one platform. 
  • Robust training platform. 

#4 Customer-centric data


  • Allows you to track prospects and residents through their entire journey portfolio wide. 
  • This data clarity is needed to ensure reporting accuracy, and then this data needs to be leveraged to keep iterating on the operating model moving forward. 
  • Personalization to create a more satisfying customer experience and create easier conversions from lead to lease. 
  • Data-centric decision making. 


  • Integrations and ensuring that data is flowing freely between solutions in your tech stack. 

Must have tech

  • (Funnel) ← participants words not ours. 

#5. Websites


  • Engaging interactive frictionless customer experience that can cross-sell in-portfolio communities that meet renters needs. 


  • Expensive to change particularly when customized and when there are so many individual property websites the change is a big undertaking. 

Must have tech

  • Interactive site map
  • 360 tours
  • Real-time pricing and availability


Rising tides raise all ships

The Forum brought together many of the brightest minds in our space as they openly shared ideas and best practice on what to pay attention to when moving to the new operating model. For more information on best practices please read our panel recaps.