Multifamily Insiders — Labor Crisis Solved with New Tech
Tech creates a safety net for leasing teams and property management companies to retain stars and optimize teams
In the current environment, staffing shortages aren’t unique to multifamily. But multifamily property management companies are grappling mightily with the impacts of the Great Resignation, and how to give their stretched thin teams a hand while continuing to empower their top producers.
Funnel teamed up with Multifamily Insiders to understand how all of this is impacting multifamily professionals, mainly the onsite teams who may feel this more immediately. Here are the three things you need to know from the 2022 Labor Shortage Research Report.
#1 Team members are leaving because they’re exhausted (and more honest answers)
It’s no secret that sometimes the property management business model is siloed in ways that can leave a lot of repeatable, mundane, administrative tasks on leasing professionals. For years, an overreliance on both legacy tech solutions and stringing together niche solutions have held property management companies and their teams back from centralizing many of these tasks. To add insult to inquiry, many of these mundane tasks are often not in alignment with the standard sales-minded, people-centric, skill sets that are vital as a leasing professional.
While this isn’t uplifting news, here are some actual survey results as to why people are really quitting their positions.
- Exhaustion, not enough time off, lack of training, inadequate pay.
- High workload and compensation
- Less stress or better pay
- Better hours, less stress
- No room to grow and better pay
- Not enough help, budgets not correct, regionals acting unprofessionally
- The pressure of the position, other opportunities, friction with supervisor
It doesn’t have to be this way. Funnel’s Renter Management Software allows property management companies to centralize rote, mundane tasks, to specialized teams. Meaning a centralized specialized team could handle these tasks. Centralizing specific workflows would give your leasing team more bandwidth for the areas that give them energy like connecting with ready-to-rent prospects and current residents. When teams are able to focus on the areas of work that they love, work doesn’t feel like a four-letter word. Our clients who have centralized tell us that large-scale strategic moves like these naturally lift performance, increase engagement and create notably happier teams. Plus, creating specialized, centralized, teams crafts clear paths for growth within the property management company for top leasing professionals.
#2 Tech to aid retention
This won’t come as a surprise to any hiring managers out there. But, when asked if the number of applicants or the quality of the applicants was the greatest hiring challenge, 72% said both. Plus, one in five (21%) of those surveyed say that leasing consultants are the most difficult position to fill at property management companies.
So, we know it’s obvious at this point (but we’ll go on the record and say it): long term, it’s far better to keep your teams happy, create clear paths for growth, and retain top talent. Much like the cost of acquiring a new customer is far higher than keeping an existing one. The changes needed to make these shifts are made of micro-movements of small mundane tasks which when restructured at scale create efficiencies for teams and property management companies alike.
Now let’s add a layer to Captain Obvious’ attire: not only do you want tech that can efficiently centralize these activities, you also want tech that your teams trust and like using. At this point, we’ve all been frustrated with a clunky piece of tech that fails to deliver a pleasant experience. Have empathy for your leasing teams’ day-to-day, and make sure that it isn’t packed with lackluster tech experiences (they’ll probably enjoy their role more).
When asked, one in two surveyed (51%) said that the labor shortage increased efforts to centralize teams. Centralization means something different to many people in the multifamily industry and has been on the wishlist for YEARS at many Property Management Companies. We see centralizing as organizing various specialized workstreams to a team or teams that focus on that single task it’s also referred to as role specialization, centralized leasing or corporatization. Consider leasing as an example, a property management company wanting to centralize leasing could create a specialized team that handled all renewals and lease approvals for the entire portfolio. At Funnel, we take this one step further, we believe a key component to successful centralization is the actual architecture of the technology that you’re implementing. Structurally Renter Management Software is built around the individual renter via a single centralized guest card. Because all information about every renter, and prospective renter is kept on single centralized guest cards, this gives businesses the ability to centralize various specialized renter-facing workstreams and results in business efficiencies.
We can tell you that our public clients have seen that centralization does indeed reduce the staffing needs that were once demanded in their previous legacy decentralized operating model. In their Q1 2022 earnings call, Essex Property Trust, shared that they were able to create business efficiencies by operating closely located properties as single unified business units.
You don’t need to take our word for it, hear it from Essex themselves. “The benefits of this operating model include enhancing our customer service through virtual on-demand experience, creating more career advancement opportunities for associates through specialization, and ultimately generating a 10% to 15% reduction in administrative staffing needs through natural attrition, which is also mitigating the inflationary pressures we are experiencing today,” said Angela Kleiman, Senior Executive Vice President Chief Operating Officer of Essex Property Trust.
Using Renter Management Software to centralize specific workflows insulates the business from market shifts and adds resilience long term for property management companies. So from our standpoint, it makes sense that with a tight labor market companies are looking for ways to give their do-more-with-less leasing teams a hand.
…Feeling short staffed?
Funnel can help with that. Learn more about the Funnel approach to centralizing, and streamlining specific workflows to increase leasing team engagement and retention by scheduling a demo.