Just a week ago, we journeyed to the land of big hair, BBQ and cowboys to attend the National Apartment Association’s Assembly of Delegates meeting in Fort Worth, TX. If you aren’t familiar with the NAA Assembly of Delegates meeting, it is essentially a large business meeting and gathering of all NAA and NAAEI boards, committees and task forces. In order to attend you must be an NAA member, but that’s it! We decided to attend to take part in the conversation of how we can work together to further improve the multifamily industry. And we did just that. We attended as many committee meetings as we could fit in our schedule, soaking up all of the information we could listen in on. We especially liked the technology committee meeting and wanted to share with you some of the topics that were discussed there.
There is a big focus on digitizing the lease process and forms across all NAA member apartments. There are over 2,100 forms in leasing across the apartment industry so the task at hand is an enormous undertaking. In order to change over all of these forms, the leaders of this task force are asking property management software companies specifically to integrate with Blue Moon Software using their API so the process is quick and succinct. The goal is save properties time, money and increase ROI with the click and lease program. More info: https://www.bluemoonforms.com
Multifamily Information & Technology Standard (MITS)
MITS is a multifamily industry effort to standardize data standards to streamline technology systems integrations. MITS was founded in 2002 but there is still a lot of effort going into this and continues to be a hot topic among the apartment industry. The goal of MITS is to improve productivity especially with time-consuming tasks such as manual entry of information or correction of data that was incorrectly transferred between platforms. The benefits to apartment staff with MITS will be increased productivity and reduction of data entry errors as systems integrate and work seamlessly together. While the property owners can benefit from lower costs associated with integrations. However it does cost technology providers to partake in the MITS program and not all are participating in the project, so there is still work to do to have 100% compliance across the industry.
It’s no surprise the amount of package deliveries are skyrocketing. Rather than shopping, residents are ordering everything from clothing to groceries online to be delivered to their apartment. It is very convenient for a resident but is a logistical nightmare for property staff. There are new technologies such as package lockers to help with this time intensive problem. But the contracts are typically long and their service is an additional cost to properties. So property management companies are getting creative. Some are even choosing to not accept package deliveries to garden level apartments at all. This continues to be a hot debate and companies are desperate for an affordable solution.
** We completely understand the struggles of package deliveries and we are here to help. So we designed a messaging feature for Apt. App which allows property managers to notify one or multiple residents in just three clicks that the resident has a package waiting for them.
With the vast amount of technologies used across the apartment industry, there is an overwhelming need to address cyber security. However coupled with that need is an enormous amount of fear that the more personal information a company acquires, the more they are at risk for an information breech. This is stifling to technology and property management company growth and is a real issue. Cyber security has become the white elephant in the room and measures must be talked about to ensure information continues to be secure and companies can continue to grow and flourish.
In all of the committee meetings we attended, tactics on improving and empowering the resident experience were only briefly touched on. It was by no means a core focus of any of the committee meetings, in fact it was brought up that in the past they have focused too much on the resident experience and too much money is being spent on amenities and smart home technology. We have to agree that amenities and smart home technology can overwhelm a budget. However there are other ways the apartment industry can support the resident experience. Speaking as an apartment resident myself, open communication with staff, prompt responses to requests, intuitive technology, and feeling part of the community can go a long way. We believe at Apt. App that every apartment industry meeting should have the resident as the core focus each and every time. Because without the resident, there would be no apartment industry.
Overall our participation at the NAA Assembly of Delegates meeting was well worth the trip and we are more motivated than ever to do as much as we can to foster the growth and development of the apartment industry. We are looking forward to attending more of these meetings in the future and we encourage you to do the same!