Cutting the Cord Isn’t Just for TV: Why you don’t need all the things

Male hand holding TV remote control.

Last year my family decided to cut the cord to save money. We were spending a ridiculous amount on a popular satellite TV provider but realized most of our TV consumption was done on Netflix. Another service we were paying for.

We sort of eased into cutting the cord by switching to the lower cost streaming option from our satellite provider. The process was working well for us. Ultimately, we were saving money and enjoying the entertainment content we had. Then The Handmaid’s Tale came out. I watched the entire first season during my free trial of Hulu, and then there was season two. And let’s not forget the series finale of Game of Thrones. Or Disney+. We started adding streaming services left and right while still seemingly saving money.

When our current streaming providers, yes providers, removed the NFL Network from their programming line-ups, that was the catalyst for us to finally re-evaluate if we needed all the things. Because at this point, we weren’t really saving that much money any more, and the process to find a show or channel was simply overwhelming and frustrating.

So, what does this have to do with multifamily? The entire thing got me thinking about what is actually necessary in our lives (or business) and what is just “extra.” Do we actually need access to everything or do we want access to everything because it is new and exciting?

As renter demands evolve and as we start to see the proliferation of proptech like smart home, apps, chatbots and AI within the industry, operators are starting to take a closer look at what products and solutions are needed to optimize business and what just might be new and exciting.

But how can you effectively ensure you are implementing the right products and services for the long-term and not just piling on? Here are some suggestions to consider:

  • What’s the end goal? This one should be obvious. Renewals. Resident satisfaction. Improved operations. Streamlined leasing processes. Why are you truly looking to implement this technology? Is it just because it is new and exciting or will it actually deliver positive changes to your overall business objectives?
  • What pain point does it solve for? There is no shortage of pain points within multifamily. But when determining if you need that new proptech service you must identify the pain point it will solve for. Are you struggling with conversions? Is there a high number of competitors in your market and you need a competitive differentiator because you are losing residents? If you can’t clearly see a positive impact, then maybe it isn’t the right service.
  • What will the impact be on my teams’ day-to-day operations? It is important to remember that not all technologies are created equal. Ask any supplier partner you are considering for success metrics but don’t just take them at face value. Dig into the data, closely evaluate it. Engage them to help onboard and continuously train your associates on the solution. Be sure to have open discussions with your teams on if this is something they would use or if they have any concerns that it might have a negative impact on their day. Also keep in mind that change is hard and there might be significant hesitation from the onsite teams.
  • Is this something residents want and have shown to use? By closely monitoring what technologies consumers are using in their daily lives and how they are building their lifestyles can be a very strong indicator of how renters will react and interact with a new technology you plan to implement. For instance, the industry was very hesitant to leverage social media for promotion and interaction with residents. Today, it is a common practice to include all facets of social media in a marketing plan as well as a tool to engage with residents.

I get it – new technologies and solutions are fun. They offer the promise of streamlined operations, increased ROI and resident satisfaction. And I am sure they all do deliver on that. But, just like my family and our excitement over streaming services, it is important to evaluate what exactly you need versus what exactly you want. You don’t need all the things; you need all the things that serve your business.

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