May 10 2023

The new operating model is a big change, so here are the most frequently asked questions we get at Funnel, all in one place


MAY 11, 2023, TAMPA, FL Funnel Leasing, the only Renter Management Software platform is powered by a renter-centric data architecture, that allows multifamily property management companies to operate with greater flexibility insulating their businesses from the current multifamily market, creating role specialization, driving an engaged employee experience, and crafting a modern renter journey that aligns with the needs of renters today. This creates a margin win for the companies, a win for teams, and a win for renters. 

The following are some of the most common questions about the new operating model and the platform that provides it: 

What is the new operating model?

The new operating model is happening because there is a need for multifamily property management companies to run with greater efficiency through role specialization, centralization, AI, and automation. Which in turn provides the best experience for renters. 

How do I know the old/current operating model is broken?

Symptoms of the broken model include that properties can’t stay staffed, and talent retention is a constant struggle for operators. Plus, with the old operating model, business operations are built around the constraints of property-centric software solutions that make data transparency impossible. Renters are unhappy and take far too long to get meaningful responses. The feedback is clear: this isn’t working. When clear career pathing for teams through specialized roles is backed with AI and automation, then companies give their teams a hand AND run their business with greater efficiency.

What does centralization mean?

We define centralization as any effort to move away from individual property-based leasing and operations teams and move toward a new more efficient operating model to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. You may call it role specialization, standardization, shared services, or automation.  

What’s the difference between Renter Management Software (Funnel) and Property Management Software (PMS)?

Property Management Softwares were initially developed as accounting software (what they’re best at), and then eventually had renter-facing functionality added onto them. A PMS is architected around the properties, which presents challenges, and shortfalls with clean data management. Renter Management Software is architected around the renter as the source of truth. Renter Management Software takes care of front office business needs from listing, to initial inquiry, through leasing, resident onboarding, and renewals.

How does Funnel help with the new operating model?

Smart multifamily marketing and operations leaders (like you) use Funnel to centralize operations and automate manual workflows to create a flawless renter experience. At its core, Funnel is a CRM and automation platform for multifamily operators. Funnel is a single platform that manages renters from inquiry through renewal allowing operators to save time, reduce costs by centralizing operations, mitigate staffing concerns, and insulate businesses with AI and automation.

What does “renter-centric” mean? Why does it matter with the new operating model?

Renter-centric is the philosophy that renters are the most important and valuable part of your business. There are three components to it at Funnel: 1) the core architecture of our software, meaning that for each renter there is only one guest card, no matter what. This is because our software is built with the individual renters (not the property) as the source of truth. 2) It’s also coded into our company ethos that nothing is more important than the renter. And finally, 3) all of our products are focused on serving and improving the renter journey, nothing else.

What’s unique about the way Funnel solves multifamily’s toughest challenges?

Funnel’s single guest card renter-centric architecture is a core defensible differentiator for the software platform. This single guest card architecture unlocks the operational flexibility needed to leverage the new operating model. In the traditional model, teams are structured around the property portfolio. In the new operating model, teams are structured around the specialized roles they master to create exceptional renter experiences. This flexible structure is impossible without a solution architected around the customer, the renter, instead of the physical asset, the property. 

We are also fortunate to call 8 of the 25 largest owners and managers in the multifamily space partners (and we mean their entire portfolios). 

Speaking of tough challenges, the multifamily industry is constantly turning over staff and dealing with staffing shortages, how can Funnel help? 

After leveraging Funnel Essex Property Trust realized 35% time savings, and on average when leveraging Funnel’s AI solution properties save 4.7 hours per week. Staffing shortages are happening because teams are stretched thin, and burned out. Funnel’s robust solution is the helping hand teams need to take care of the follow-up, scheduling tours, and routine tasks that are thrown their way. This frees onsite leasing teams to focus on high-value interactions and the parts of their job they love. Camden insulated their business from staffing challenges by leveraging Funnel and was able to give their teams Sundays off. 

Wait, will AI just replace my team? 

AI will amplify your teams’ impact. AI is geared for timely responses (even after hours), and answering routine frequently asked questions. This will free your teams to focus on the high-value portions of the renter journey that AI doesn’t do well: staffing tours, answering very detailed questions, and building relationships with renters and residents. 

The current multifamily market

The following are frequently asked questions about the current multifamily market, and how Funnel can help insulate companies in competitive markets. 

Can I really get my leasing agents to adopt Funnel? 

Leasing professionals quickly come to view Funnel as their new work BFF. Our AI and automation take many routine tasks off of their plate, schedule tours on their behalf, and create workflows so that they can either focus on taking care of high-value follow-up or excellent in-person customer service. Our new MyQueue enhancement prioritizes tasks for agents (based on management company settings) so that new agents can hit the ground running from day one, taking care of the most important tasks fast. 

Essex Property Trust realized 35% task time saved after adding Funnel. Camden Property Trust gave their teams Sundays off, creating better work-life balance and less burnout for valuable team members.

Will AI devalue our brand experience? 

Consumers expect self-service, streamlined, and helpful shopping experiences. Finding their next home is no exception. AI provides the instant answers that renters demand, plus AI delivers brand consistency at scale. While it can take a lot of training to build a branded experience with your human leasing team members, AI will provide on-brand answers no matter the time of day or night. (Plus, our data shows that, on average, AI-handled leads tour at a higher rate.)

Funnel seems great, I just don’t have the bandwidth to change now.

Any change worth making takes some time and energy. However, the multifamily industry is poised at the brink of a huge shift: Operators are plagued with staffing challenges, rising costs, and sinking demand. To keep business margins healthy they’re moving to a new operating model which is powered by role specialization, centralization, AI, and automation. Early movers earn a huge advantage. 

How can Funnel help with softening demand and weaker markets?

Funnel’s renter-centric architecture, AI, and automation ensure that your team can work smarter, not harder. Because there is only ever a single record for each renter, there is no duplicate follow-up from team members at separate communities. This architecture when layered with our AI solution, is your leasing team’s new BFF, saving them time, and ensuring that every lead is nurtured in a meaningful conversational way.

My occupancy is already high, why does the new operating model matter? 

Respectfully, occupancy isn’t the only indicator of business success. Funnel can help your company operate with greater efficiency, garnering better overall margins despite consistent occupancy. Additionally, if you have long-time renters who love your brand, you can begin recognizing this and building a loyalty program with Funnel’s renter-centric architecture that is impossible to achieve in other property-centric solutions due to the inherent data duplication that plagues that software structure. 

What results have companies experienced after adding AI and automation? 

Funnel partners who have added AI, and automation have given their teams a hand and allowed them to focus on high-impact activities while automating many of the administrative tasks. This created a self-service apartment shopping experience for renters by allowing them to get their questions answered and tours booked. With Funnel, Cortland saw that 69% of their tours booked with automation were booked after hours. 

What results have companies experienced after centralizing? 

Funnel has been lucky enough to partner with some of the leaders in centralization. After adding Funnel and centralizing our partners have realized $4-5 million saved on a full-year basis (Camden Property Trust) and 35% task time saved (Essex Property Trust).

Funnel’s unique product architecture and offering allow companies to operate how they’ve always wanted to instead of how their software made them. Learn more at



About Funnel Leasing

Funnel exists so multifamily operators don’t have to pick between antiquated monopolies or single solution challengers. After decades of the status quo, operators are no more efficient, and renters still dread the process of leasing an apartment. We fixed that with an independent platform that turns the entire business model on its head. Renter Management Software is a new category of connected tools built around the renter. The software delivers a consistent, connected experience from first inquiry through years of renewals. All this while simultaneously saving operators quantifiable money through the smaller, and happier teams that only a renter-centric platform can enable.

Media Contact:

Funnel Leasing

Alex Howe, VP of Marketing