Multifamily Workforce Pains Call for Automations, Workload Relief
We’re halfway into 2022. By now, reports of widespread burnout and resignations are old news across industries — multifamily included. What’s the actual impact on multifamily marketing teams, and what can be done to counter these multifamily workforce pains?
To help answer those questions, we’ve turned to recent reports by reputable industry watchers. To no one’s surprise, multifamily leaders say staffing and recruitment remain leading challenges, alongside higher costs and drops in revenue.
Here’s a roundup of recent findings:
Using research released by the NAA, multifamily leaders discussed what’s keeping them up at night during a session at NAA’s Apartmentalize conference.
“HR staff and recruitment continues to be the biggest concern followed by operational efficiencies and then maximizing revenue and profits,” said Paula Munger, assistant vice president, industry and research and analysis for NAA. “We hear it from our members all the time about how difficult it is to attract and retain talent,” she added: “Reducing staff turnover is also a challenge for many of our survey respondents.”
While there’s no easy answer or single solution to workforce pains, tech-driven efficiencies help. Donna Smith, president, Enclave Property Management, noted that if multifamily teams can find ways to make day-to-day operations more efficient, they can get more done with fewer people and free up dollars to increase salaries.
When asked about their marketing focus for the 2022 season, nearly 40% of respondents told Multi-Housing News that driving leads was still their top priority, while nearly 38% said they’re focusing on reputation management instead. Despite that difference, more than 84% of respondents agreed they’re seeing greater hiring competition for on-site positions.
“As for how companies are managing employee workloads in this competitive environment, a majority of them at 33% said they’re using automated leasing follow-up to lessen the burden on employees,” MHN reported. “The options between using chatbots, self-guided tours, and other methods each saw more than 22% each,” with some companies using various automation methods, including AI.
As stressors mount and job satisfaction dips,” rental owners and operators have reported up to 70% of their workforce resigning,” reads the 2022 Multifamily State of the Industry Report. Authors noted that the average cost of onboarding a new employee is close to $4,000, citing data from Bersin and Deloitte. “For multifamily specifically, properties can also spend $2,500 to $3,500 a month on salary for each staff member that manages on-site communication,” they added.
According to Rent’s report, four core multifamily marketing responsibilities have been impacted by staff shortages:
- Keeping up with the high volume of prospective renter inquiries
- Maintaining organized lead management across a variety of digital channels
- Finding focused time to develop multifamily marketing materials and campaigns
- Creating and delivering new digital offerings (e.g., virtual tours, online applications and on-demand support that renters have come to expect).
“Owners and operators can improve the workload for employees with technology solutions that save time and make tasks more efficient,” the authors suggested.
Earlier this year, Rick Haughey, vice president of industry technology initiatives for the National Multifamily Housing Council, anticipated that the growing need for remote management and workflow efficiencies would accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) across the industry.
“Getting the balance between high-tech and high-touch right is the current challenge, but the exponential nature of how this technology learns will likely lead to exponential advances in its usefulness and greater development,” he wrote. “Getting [technology[ systems to work together in harmony will continue to be a challenge as owners and managers continue to streamline their processes and systems.”
- Superhuman: How Leasing AI Supports Multifamily Teams
- 5 Ways Automation Helps Propel On-Site Team Performance
- Multifamily Marketers Use Technology to Retain Workers, Increase Efficiencies
- Peer Insights: Blending Automation and Human Touchpoints to Enhance the Rental Experience
- How CA Ventures Automates Lead Capture, Nurture and Conversion with AI
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