Having been born out of a property management company, we at RentVision understand the challenges that come with keeping a healthy occupancy at your apartment community.
As every property experiences unique changes in demand at different times of the year, we know there's some months where you feel like your team is firing on all cylinders, and other months where it just feels like a constant struggle to meet your goal.
We set out to eliminate that by providing predictive metrics that give your team the ability to forecast future demand changes, thus giving you the time to take the right actions in advance to stabilize your community's occupancy.
In our previous blog post, we discussed how our predictive metrics give your team control, even as demand changes. Controlling your vacancy not only affects your community's bottom line, it also enables your team to function at high levels. Predictive data provides a roadmap towards success—a purpose which brings everyone together to try and achieve.
In this blog, we'll discuss three ways Future Occupancy Projection and Future Occupancy Target unify your team:
Action supersedes guesswork
Teammates feel balanced
Victories become visible
1. Action supersedes guesswork
There's nothing worse than when an unexpected vacancy crisis occurs and no one has any idea how to properly fix it. A sign of a dysfunctional team is when every attempt at a solution feels like guesswork. Nobody is on the same page, and the problem only persists.
Not knowing the right thing to do to solve a vacancy problem only leads teams down a road of blame and resentment. Meetings will begin to sound like this:
- "The marketing team should've created more advertisements and spent more money."
- "The leasing team should've conducted more tours."
- "If only the maintenance team scheduled their time more efficiently, we'd have had those units turned around faster."
Future Occupancy Projection and Future Occupancy Target enable your team to forecast and eliminate impending vacancy dips before they ever occur. When you're able to know what's coming down the road in your community in the next few weeks, your team can develop the right plan and begin taking the right actions—rather than guess what should (or should have) been done.
For example, this is typically the time of year when demand begins to wind down for many communities, especially ones located in cities with colleges. With predictive metrics, communities are warned in advance that this change is impending. When that's the case, everyone on those teams—the property manager, the leasing agent, the maintenance tech—can get together and develop their game plan in advance.
When action supersedes guesswork, your team has unity of purpose. Team meetings will sound more like this:
- "Our Future Occupancy Target will increase to 96%, but our Future Occupancy Projection will only be 91%. If we lease four of our units in the next 21 days, we'll be in a great spot!"
- "Let's schedule our vendors now so that as soon as these units become unoccupied, we'll have ample time to set aside for the maintenance crew to turn them around and get them ready for touring."
- "Let's update our rent special on the homepage of our website, and keep it there until we meet our goal. We should also feature that floorplan that's open right now."
2. Teammates feel balanced
Teams that aren't prepared for vacancy crises may inadvertently create unfavorable working conditions for their members.
Property managers or owners who set unattainable occupancy goals, and have no actual plan of attack for when changes in demand occur, create office atmospheres where everything becomes about attaining numbers, no matter the cost.
Leasing agents have to stay late to conduct that extra tour or else they won't qualify for their compensation bonus, or the maintenance foreman has to come in over the weekend to catch up on work so he can get through the next week. When no one can seemingly figure out how to properly react to changes in demand, team members will likely see their workload change dramatically.
Circumstances like these will quickly lead to burnout.
Future Occupancy Projection predicts changes in occupancy, so you're not caught off guard. Future Occupancy Target takes your community's seasonality and sets a realistic, healthy occupancy goal year round. When paired together, these metrics not only impact your team's decision making, they also bring a sense of balance to your team member's responsibilities.
The leasing agent knows exactly how many tours he or she needs to conduct in x-amount of time. The maintenance foreman can streamline the schedule for the next three or more weeks, lining up vendors and other staff to make sure the work gets done on time. These are the types of working conditions that build unity within your team because everyone is on the same page.
A telling sign that teammates are balanced is when your community is at a healthy occupancy and your staff are locking up the office doors at closing time.
3. Victories become visible
Let's look at a real-life sports story that demonstrates how this takes effect within your property management team. For 29 seasons, the Kansas City Royals major league baseball team were perennially found near the bottom of the standings. But in 2014, the Royals shocked the baseball world by earning a wildcard spot in the playoffs and eventually falling one run short to the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 of the World Series.
That taste of success, though, only fueled the team even more. In 2015, the Royals returned to the World Series, where they beat the New York Mets in five games for the franchise's first title since 1985.
In his book More Than A Season, Royals' general manager Dayton Moore said, "The fact that our players had performed well in the playoffs and were one win from a World Series title, we knew the hunger to get back on that stage would fuel them in ways they'd never experienced before."
When the Royals began to win, it only motivated the players to want to win more. The data provided by Future Occupancy Projection and Future Occupancy Target can create this same mentality within the management team at your apartment community, too.
When a leasing agent can see that they met or exceeded their goals for the week, it fuels them to come back to the office on Monday and do it again. When the maintenance crew can see that their turnaround efforts are resulting in more leases, they'll feel motivated to continue working hard and helping their crewmates.
When property management teams know when changes in demand are coming, and can make the right preparations in order to achieve a healthy occupancy, goals become more attainable and victories become more visible.
Future Occupancy Projection and Future Occupancy Target weren't designed to solely help your community just achieve maximum revenue. While the data does affect your bottom line, it also impacts your team.
When applied, these predictive metrics allow your team to take the guesswork out of solving a vacancy crisis, empowering your teammates to work towards a common goal. It also brings balance to each member, as they know exactly what's expected of them. Finally, the data is a roadmap towards success, giving your team motivation to do the work that achieves it.
We are now introducing the Future Occupancy Projection and Future Occupancy Target metrics to our clients. If you're interested in learning more about how these predictive metrics can benefit your community, reach out to your RentVision Strategic Advisor, or fill out the form below to set up a free consultation.