Back to Blog List

Topics/Previous Posts

Lessons learned and future hopes after an extraordinary year

To better gauge business sentiment from a “boots on the ground” perspective, AppFolio reached out to several property management leaders to find out what they’ve learned from the past year, and what they anticipate for the future. Here’s what they had to say:

Acknowledging people and teams who stepped up boldly

Shane Gillman, Vice President at Gates Hudson, Fairfax, VA, says, “Our ‘people’ are exceptional. Without their hard work, resilience, and dedication, none of our successes during the past year would have been possible. Take care of your people and everything else will fall into place.”

Tony Sousa, Regional Manager at Embrey Management in San Antonio says, “Some associates perform better in crisis, while others shrink back. You want the courageous ones on your teams. Our properties led in March/April of 2020, and we plan to lead again in reopening and making progress back to normal, ahead of the pack.”

Maintaining strong relationships with residents, prospects, and staff

While technology maximizes the employee and resident experience, it’s important not to forget the nature of property management is “face-to-face.” Technology is a supplemental — but very powerful — tool. Dana Pate, Senior Director at RangeWater, Atlanta, says her teams have done all they could to maintain a “true, interpersonal connection” with residents, prospects, and staff members.

“We continue to work to ensure that our prospects, residents, and even our team members continue to feel the human element, even during our drive to incorporate more technology,” Pate says.

“The efficiencies of introducing tools like AI and self-guided tours into the leasing process cannot be ignored, but a true interpersonal connection can never be replaced. Instead of using these tools to lessen staff, we’re repurposing time they’d generally be using to complete basic tasks to more experiential services our RangeWater team delivers so well. Because of this, we’ve seen an increase in ratings and reviews among our communities.”

Embracing change and technology

Technology will likely make things easier this year. Companies are implementing artificial intelligence, process automation, marketing intelligence platforms, and prospective resident tour options such as self-guided tours so they can execute more efficiently.

Elaine De Lude, Vice President, LIVEbe, Washington, D.C., says, “Keeping your teams nimble is paramount. Partnering with supplier partner companies investing heavily in research and development enables easier adaptation to changing times, and the chance to adjust quickly and lead organizations with forward-thinkers. You need to make sure that your industry partners, and your companies, are ready for what comes next in tech. For us, we’re trying to determine the best way to keep our high-touch customer approach while leveraging self-guided tours.”

Learning through experience

It’s been a very difficult year, but at the same time it’s been a highly illuminating and educational experience, on both a personal and professional level. The property management professionals we heard from had much more to share, and you can read the full article on AppFolio’s blog here.

Paul Bergeron is a freelance writer who has covered the multi-family industry for nearly 20 years.

Leave a Comment

Back to Blog List

Our site uses cookies to improve your visiting experience. Please view our Cookie and Privacy Policy.
Got it