When Supplier Partners Speak Multifamily’s Love Language

by Demetrios Barnes

The multifamily industry used to be lampooned as being way behind the curve when it came to technology. But in recent years, it’s been exciting to see apartment owners and operators embrace new technologies.

Across the country, multifamily operators are implementing cutting-edge solutions that enhance the resident experience and improve operations. The pandemic – which has compelled many operators to begin offering self guided and virtual tours – has accelerated the growth of technology in multifamily.

But as operators adopt new solutions and systems, they often come to realize that working with supplier partners without strong multifamily backgrounds can be a frustrating experience.

It’s Not Me, It’s You

One of the challenges of working with supplier partners that don’t come from multifamily is they don’t truly understand what goes into leasing and operating apartment communities. They don’t appreciate all the nuances of the industry and the day-to-day challenges faced by onsite associates. They don’t know the multifamily workflows.

Smart home technology, self-guided tours and even package management solutions demand a deep, comprehensive understanding of the industry to operate effectively.

Just as important, these supplier partners may not understand the need for integration with other solutions. The lack of integration – those actually driven by open APIs and not just parallel interfaces – among multifamily technologies and systems has long been a sore spot for operators. 

The inability of many multifamily solutions to “play nice” with other technologies can result in redundant data entry, data loss or duplication of effort, creating inefficiencies across the board. 

Familiar Faces

Operators don’t have to be stuck with these problems.

There are a growing number of multifamily supplier partners founded by people who not only understand the multifamily industry but have personally worked in apartment operations. These vendors are developing solutions with – and only with – rental housing in mind. These companies understand the considerable demands placed on onsite associates and the vital need for systems that are efficient, intuitive and easy to adopt.

These supplier partners get that multifamily is a 24/7 business and that operators need 24/7 support. And they know that a solution needs to not only solve one problem – it needs to integrate seamlessly with all the other technologies a community is using.

The apartment industry is no doubt entering a new era. It’s embracing technology more than it ever has – and it’s exciting to know that operators can work with partners who are creating technologies specifically tailored to the rental housing experience.

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