Enhancing Multifamily Tenant Engagement and Experience: Insights from Industry Leaders - MD2

In an ever-evolving rental market, delivering an exceptional tenant experience has become a top priority for property management professionals. At a recent panel discussion during the Blueprint conference, four industry leaders shared their perspectives on multifamily tenant engagement and the challenges they face in today’s fast-paced environment. This article delves into the valuable insights offered by the panelists – Daniel Berlind, Obo Coza, Susan Gerock, and Michael Mints – as they explored innovative solutions to enhance tenant experiences.


The Current Landscape

The discussion kicked off by addressing the formidable challenges property managers and landlords are currently facing. With rent growth surging at an unprecedented rate, property managers have had to find ways to balance profitability and tenant satisfaction. 

Tightening budgets further compounds the issue, making it crucial to find cost-effective solutions that don’t compromise the quality of service.

Daniel Berlind, CEO and co-founder of Snapped, set the stage by explaining the core focus of his company: “Snapped is a document verification software. So what we do is we determine the authenticity of financial documents.” He highlighted the importance of trust and accuracy in the tenant experience, which begins with ensuring the legitimacy of financial information.


Innovative Solutions

The panelists then shifted their focus to the innovative solutions they have developed to tackle these challenges head-on.

Obo Coza, co-founder and CEO of VAN, explained the role of technology in their approach: “We build an end-to-end platform that sits on top of the property management software and is integrated to all the points solutions.” By seamlessly integrating various solutions, VAN aims to streamline property management operations and improve tenant experiences.

Susan Gerock, Chief Information Officer for Elm Communities, underlined their commitment to tenant satisfaction: “We are really passionate about the tenant experience.” Elm Communities has made community building a cornerstone of its strategy, fostering a sense of belonging among residents and enhancing overall satisfaction.

Michael Mints, Founder and CEO of MD Squared Property Group shared insights into their company’s profile: “We’re a New York City-based property management firm specializing in multifamily management with about 4,500 units under management and primarily once again in the New York City market.” This local expertise allows MD Squared to tailor their services to the specific needs of tenants in the competitive New York City rental market.


Multifamily Real Estate: The Ups and Downs

The discussion opened with a reflection on the multifamily market’s recent history. At one point, it seemed like a surefire investment with rent growth rates soaring at 20-25%, while interest rates remained at historic lows. Everyone appeared locked into their multifamily assets. However, this favorable climate didn’t last. Interest rates began to rise, and the anticipated rent growth didn’t materialize as expected.

Michael Mints added to the discussion by pointing out a significant challenge: “The opportunities for acquisition have slowed down since the Fed started raising interest rates. It’s a very challenging environment out there with the cap rates the way they are today.” This slower pace of acquisitions has put pressure on property management to find ways to maximize returns within tighter budgets.


Innovative Strategies in a Budget-Conscious Era

In the face of tightened budgets and increased competition, the panelists have employed innovative strategies to enhance tenant engagement and ultimately improve their net operating income (NOI).

Michael Mints further highlighted the financial impact of tenant retention: “The cost of turning over units is a lot more than people think.” He elaborated on the expenses associated with tenant turnover, emphasizing the value of keeping tenants in place.

To gain a deeper understanding of these insightful strategies and the discussions that took place, we encourage you to watch the complete panel discussion

In the video, you’ll hear firsthand from these industry leaders as they share their experiences and offer practical advice on improving tenant engagement and satisfaction.


Final Thoughts

In an increasingly competitive rental market, providing an exceptional tenant experience is a challenge and a necessity. The panelists at the Blueprint conference demonstrated that by embracing innovative solutions, leveraging technology, building communities, and prioritizing communication, property managers can navigate the complexities of the current market while delivering the quality of service that today’s tenants demand. As the industry evolves, these insights will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of multifamily tenant engagement and experience.

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