Multifamily corporate teams are in full swing evaluating their budgets. That means taking a closer look at next year’s multifamily budget and expenses – trying to anticipate and account for every dollar. So, what proptech tools should be included as line items in those budgets? Well, it can vary.
Multifamily budgets vary greatly from property to property based on a number of different things. Top considerations include:
- What is the state of the property – is it new development, a lease-up, or stabilized?
- What is the size and location of the property?
- What are the amenities?
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In the end, most of us are looking to optimize our multifamily budget during property budget season. With that in mind, there are proptech tools considered foundational that you may not have had in past property operating budgets but should consider adding them in. Take for example, virtual leasing technology.
Empowering On-site Teams
True, we may have a slightly biased opinion on why you need to include virtual leasing and video technology in your multifamily operating budget. However, that slant also means we have plenty of data and reasoning to back why one of the most increasingly foundational proptech tools needs to be in multifamily budgets for 2022.
One of the main reasons is that this technology empowers your on-site teams to use video for marketing, leasing, resident engagement, operations, and maintenance efforts. In many cases, teams are already using video to connect with their prospects. For some, that means pulling out their smartphones and recording or doing a tour via FaceTime all on their own. With FaceTime, there are a few too many gaps and risks such as lack of reporting!
There’s potential for trouble if properties lack formal processes, procedures, and systems to manage how teams are using video. There is no built-in compliance or control over how on-site teams are using video, what they are shooting, or how they are talking about and filming the property. Not to mention the big compliance issues – are the videos Fair Housing compliant? Or do they factor in accessibility with WCAG? If not, that could lead to big legal trouble down the road.
The Leasing Process Has Changed
Another reason video leasing should be included in your multifamily development budget is to keep up with changes in today’s leasing process. The leasing process has changed. Today’s on-site teams must be equipped to provide the touring and leasing experience prospects are looking for no matter what the experience looks like.
Some prospects are looking for a 100% in-person touring and leasing experience with multiple visits to the property for tours with a leasing agent. Some may want the independence of a self-guided tour. Still, other prospects may want a 100% virtual experience where leasing agents send them videos to engage with on their own time. Or maybe prospects want a live virtual tour with an agent walking them through the property, seeing exactly what they want to see, and building a relationship that way. More than likely, it’s a combination of the above.
If leasing teams aren’t equipped to provide different types of leasing experiences, they will lose prospective residents to their competitors who are. And, multifamily properties providing different types of tour experiences are growing.
Virtual leasing is one of the fastest-growing categories in multifamily real estate. As such, it needs a specific and intentional line item for that technology in the budget for an apartment building looking to stay competitive.
Even more so, teams should really budget for a built-for multifamily leasing platform to easily and efficiently allow their teams to provide high-quality virtual leasing and video experiences. Plus, this type of proptech equips the corporate teams to have some visibility and control over what the on-site teams are doing when it comes to video and the virtual leasing process.
Developing multifamily budgets and the multifamily budgeting season isn’t getting any easier. However, in today’s environment, virtual leasing and video are a must. Finding space in your budget for this proptech will mean higher lead-to-lease ratios and an improved bottom line and ultimately, be a big time and money saver for your team.
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