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There’s so much transformation happening in the multifamily industry, and last week’s Aparmentalize 2023 conference demonstrated quite how much technology is driving that change.

The PointCentral team was out in force at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta last week to soak up all the latest trends at what is the largest multifamily trade show of the year, organized by the National Apartment Association.

As you would expect, technology emerged as the overarching theme throughout the conference. It is transforming the way the multifamily industry delivers for residents and is also helping to tackle the ongoing staffing challenges faced by property managers. From smart home automation to digital leasing processes, technology solutions is revolutionizing the resident experience, enhancing convenience, security, and overall satisfaction.

Here are our three key takeaways from Apartmentalize 2023…

Takeaway 1:

Centralization was a common theme in many of the sessions, and this topic dominated one of the best-attended slots on the first day of the conference. Centralization is revolutionizing the way multifamily property managers can oversee operations at scale. This, in turn, is making it easier to deliver a superior service to residents. Centralization is driving efficiency and eliminating unnecessary complexities, and this is having a positive effect on staff retention too.

Technology and centralization make multifamily property management an efficient and rewarding career path. This is largely down to the way time-consuming  tasks can now be automated, freeing up staff time so they can focus on the resident experience, typically the part of the role they most enjoy.  These solutions not only enhance productivity but also empower property managers to allocate their time and resources more effectively. With intense competition for hires persisting across the industry and retention remaining a big pain point, it was perhaps unsurprising that staff satisfaction and well-being were the focus of more than half a dozen sessions in Wednesday’s lineup.

Takeaway 2:

Predictive maintenance was also a topic worth noting. When property managers are responsible for significant numbers of units, it’s all too easy to either under-maintain or over-maintain the key technologies they have installed, such as HVAC, water systems and smart locks. Neglecting maintenance can lead to equipment failures, decreased energy efficiency, and unsatisfied residents, while excessive maintenance can result in unnecessary expenses and operational disruptions.

To address this challenge, careful planning and monitoring are essential to do this efficiently — something we’re very familiar with, as water management, smart thermostats and HVAC monitoring are central to the PointCentral platform. By leveraging predictive maintenance technology and data analytics, property managers can proactively identify maintenance needs, anticipate potential issues, and schedule maintenance in a timely manner.

Takeaway 3:

The importance of self-guided tours to multifamily property managers was emphasized by Scott Moore, CTO of multifamily property manager and developer of Cortland. Scott revealed that, of all the bookings made through their online platform to tour apartments, 69% of them were made after business hours. This illustrates how much additional revenue multifamily property managers could be missing out on if they don’t use a tool that helps prospective residents shop apartments at a time that suits them. Property managers recognize the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences and leverage technology to accommodate potential residents’ schedules.

Self-guided tours have become a key part of the customer journey in the multifamily sector, and are also helping to protect communities from fraud using integrations like PointCentral’s partnership with CheckpointID. The added advantage is that, with self-guided tours, prospective residents concentrate on the features they’re interested in — such as the gym or pool — and skip everything else. This shortens viewing times to around 20 minutes, which means that property managers don’t need to allow an hour for each tour, and can accommodate more viewings at peak times. Multifamily property managers who offer this solution position their communities to meet the needs of modern renters and gain a competitive edge.

Alongside these big talking points, other technologies still believed to be having a big impact on the resident experience were smart locks, virtual tours, and mobile apps for tenants and property managers. Data analytics remains a key component of many of these innovations, particularly when it comes to intelligent buildings, water conservation, and resident satisfaction.

Next year, Apartmentalize is heading to Philadelphia, and we’re looking forward to being there.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about how to leverage after-hours inquiries, it’s worth reading our complete guide to virtual and self-guided tours.