How Multifamily Operators Achieve Data-Driven Portfolio Performance in 3 Steps

We analyzed billions of data points and found these three steps improve NOI. 

An intelligent “front office” platform can help attract better prospects, increase conversions, and keep residents in their communities longer. But, more than anything, it should also provide you with multifamily analytics to ensure you’re meeting your performance goals. Knock is wholly focused on the front office, and delivering an intelligent, comprehensive, and deeply connected platform that elevates property managers into high-performance, modern sales organizations.

What is a multifamily front office platform?
A multifamily front office platform is a technology solution that puts customer engagement at the forefront of interactions, ensuring marketing, leasing, and operations teams have modern tools that meet the needs of renters and owners, and importantly deliver growth. Multifamily operators use front-office software to attract better prospects, increase conversions, and to keep residents in their communities for longer.
Three steps to data-driven portfolio performance 
Based on Knock’s analysis of over 1 million units, we defined the stages of operational efficiency achieved through front-office technology, including CRM.

We (Knock) analyzed billions of data points from our 250+ customers and 1+ million units under service to find out what drives superior performance, and how property managers and operators can create value and drive NOI. The study resulted in a three-step journey. Multifamily operators realize

increasing value as they mature from one stage to the next.
  1. Modernize capabilities. This is the first step in the journey to data-driven portfolio performance. This means bringing in technology and tools that improve prospect experience and bring it up to par with other modern customer experiences. This also means integrating multiple tools into one – or streamlining your capabilities for one view of performance.
  2. Operational efficiency. This step is all about increasing productivity through automation and intuitive workflows that reduce redundant and manual tasks.
  3. Data-driven portfolio performance. This is all about NOI and holistic visibility to marketing, sales, and retention performance.

How do you measure data-driven portfolio performance? 

Knock’s tools dramatically improve performance while at the same time putting the data you need to analyze your progress at your fingertips. These are the metrics that help you determine the areas where you can improve and realize data-driven portfolio performance:

  • Replacement costs
  • More efficient marketing spend 
  • Team productivity
  • Improved economic occupancy  

Replacement costs

Implementing an intelligent front office platform requires a powerful CRM. Knock’s customer relationship management or CRM gives you the data to not only back up the decision to implement a new platform but to also improve your performance even more as you continue to use it. 

Wimmer Communities is a family-owned real estate firm that is a good example of just how much of an impact a powerful CRM can have in a short period of time. The team wanted a technology partner to help them innovate, stay flexible and stay competitive in renter experience including implementing new tools to schedule appointments online.
During rollout, COVID struck, and the Wimmer team was able to arm their onsite teams with the tools they needed to keep their teams safe and renters renting. One feature the Wimmer team used extensively was live video tours. Less than 24 hours after turning on Knock’s live video tours, many of their properties received at least one request to video tour.

Atlanta-based Carroll Property Management is another example. The firm was using a front office platform that couldn’t easily connect to prospects who showed interest in one of its 36,000-plus units. Additionally, the CRM wasn’t user-friendly, intuitive, or engaging. Worse yet, its reporting was unreliable. Even though operators had to learn a new platform when Carroll replaced the previous CRM with Knock, the return on investment made it worthwhile. 

Jennifer Christy, regional training manager for Carroll, says it really didn’t take much time to learn Knock’s front office platform because it was so intuitive. And, since they implemented Knock, Carroll found that responses were more than twice as fast (2.3 times as fast to be exact). Lead-to-lease rates have also increased 6.7 percent. Not to mention, the streamlined workflow and ease of use has freed team members to focus on quality communications and meaningful connections with prospects and residents. 

More efficient marketing spend

Today, marketing crosses many channels ranging from Craigslist and established websites like Apartments.com to Facebook and other social media platforms. An intelligent front office platform can track where your prospects are coming from, so you can better target your marketing spend. 

But the reports you need to make those targeted decisions on marketing spend are only as good as the data generated by your CRM. If you can’t get a good picture of where your leads are coming from, you can’t cut ineffective spending. That’s what Magnolia Capital found when they realized they couldn’t trust the data from its previous CRM solution.  

Not only was Magnolia Capital able to see where their leads were coming from and then spending their marketing dollars appropriately, but the company was also able to use data to increase its lead-to-tour conversion. Before Knock, Magnolia had a benchmark of 35 percent for lead-to-tour conversion. That’s a statistic most properties couldn’t hit, according to Mary Beth Thede, the company’s marketing manager. Now, every property is always at 35 percent, and some are even more than 40 percent. 

“Simplification was one of the main selling points for Knock,” she says. “I showed that we could have all that and decrease our marketing spend per unit with Knock, which was huge. It was clear that Knock thought strategically about how to build a CRM that is really easy for leasing teams to use.” 

Team productivity 

Using multifamily analytics, it’s easy to see what’s working and what’s not. Is your team responding in a timely manner to leads? Are they converting those leads into leases? Are there individuals who need a little extra help? This information can be invaluable when it comes to your NOI. 

For Aspen Square Management, an intelligent front office platform was a game-changer. Before implementing Knock, Aspen Square Management had four front office point solutions and gauged response times by gathering information from individual properties. Now, Aspen Square Management can see response times by property and employee through data generated by Aspen’s Knock front office solution. 

As a result, Aspen Square Management also was able to eliminate 30 percent of the data entry work its onsite leasing staff was doing because the Knock platform was so easy to use and intelligently automated. Leasing staff can now focus on converting leads to leases instead of simpler data entry tasks. 

“All of this together is elevating customer service, and it’s making it a lot easier for us to convert these prospects into tour and ultimately leases,” says Shelly Grimm, director of training at Aspen Square Management.

Improved economic occupancy

The rental property analytics available through Knock can also help you improve occupancy rates because you can see exactly where your shortcomings are. You can also easily monitor occupancies, something that was especially important when COVID hit. Pegasus Residential, which has properties in 34 markets throughout the southeast and Texas, says analytics were key to their year-over-year improvement in leases signed during the pandemic. 

“More than anything, it’s been the reassurance that we’re going to be able to help our prospects no matter what, whether it’s remote or onsite,” says Bevan White, vice president of marketing with Pegasus Residential.

The importance of multifamily analytics

Data can make a huge impact on your NOI, but to be meaningful, it has to be reliable. With Knock, you can rest assured you’re receiving quality information you can act on. Plus, Knock gives you the tools to create more than 1 billion report combinations, so you’ll always have the precise information you need to fuel your data-driven decisions. 

Discover how Knock can help you drive performance with more insights like these.