How DEELS Properties + Updater provide extraordinary value to residents

DEELS Properties, a renowned leader in the property management space, is committed to providing their residents with the highest quality of life. As a data-driven company, DEELS Properties was compelled to evaluate their resident experience from beginning to end.

Convinced that they could simplify the move-in of their residents, DEELS Properties turned to Updater to help them streamline this process. We caught up with Noam Hameiri, Senior VP of Operations for DEELS Properties, to find out how their close attention to detail, coupled with Updater, is providing their residents with the ultimate apartment community experience.

What value does Updater bring to your residents?

Renting an apartment is a stressful process. Not only is the applicant often facing the third or fourth largest financial commitment in their life (that is, after mortgages and student loans), it involves moving to a new home and sometimes even a new city or state. It’s stressful and can take a toll.

We wanted to devise a plan for how we, as a property management company, could make the lives of our new residents easier. We decided to analyze the full tenancy life cycle of our residents — from website visitors to past residents. We then addressed each of the interaction points between residents and us.

What we discovered is that making our move-in process easier could significantly decrease the level of stress our residents face. We think that the move-in experience determines the overall resident’s experience throughout the tenancy, and we must ensure that it starts off on the right foot. We were looking for a way to improve the move-in experience and reduce that move-in related stress, and then we found Updater.

Updater is a great example of a cost-effective tool that simplifies the move-in process, saves time for both our residents and our site teams, and helps us address all the potential moving needs of our residents prior to them joining us. The result is a faster move-in process, a reduction in move-in anxiety, and better overall resident satisfaction.

What were the process and time commitment like for your team when implementing Updater?

The Updater team made our lives easy and helped us a lot in terms of onboarding. There actually wasn’t that much for us to do. Our area manager provided Updater with the information they needed and then they set up each of our communities. Once we finished the implementation, it worked (and still does) like a well-oiled machine.

How have your teams benefited from using Updater?

The move-in process is more organized. Our residents go through their workflow in their personalized dashboards and it ensures that all necessary steps are accomplished. It’s a big anxiety reducer. It also minimizes the back and forth regarding our move-in requirements and saves our site teams quite a bit of time.

Compared to other tools you’ve implemented, in terms of ease-of-use and implementation, where does Updater fall?

Top of the list. We’ve implemented many systems. Not a single one has been as simple and streamlined as Updater.

What would you say to property management teams that are concerned that the implementation process might burden their IT team or staff?

Let the Updater team guide you, they know what they’re doing! There is no need for an IT person to get involved. It’s simple and easy to implement. I would say that if you can figure out how to use a GPS system in your car, you’ll be fine. It’s pretty straightforward.

How have your residents responded to Updater?

They love it. So far, we’ve had an amazing response. I’d attribute our impressive conversion rate to the fact that we’re very proactive in informing our future residents about Updater. We inform them that they’ll receive an email from Updater with a link that will guide them through the process. So far, we’ve only heard good feedback from residents.

How have you seen the industry change over the past decade?

I think that the multifamily industry is in a renaissance period — economic data support its continued growth. With that said, property management roles are in the midst of a revolution. We’re seeing more professionals who understand that property management is a very challenging profession. These same individuals are taking steps to be as well-informed and as educated as possible. Today, in order to succeed, property managers need to be proficient in marketing, sales, budgeting, basic financials, customer service and retention, legal, and even a little light maintenance. It’s an incredibly multi-faceted role.

What do you see as one of the greatest challenges currently facing the property management industry?

One of the biggest challenges, especially here in California, is affordability. It is very concerning that the rent burden for many residents is over 50% of their monthly income. I’ve even seen residents who pay upwards of 60%. These residents have a difficult time succeeding financially, not to mention saving for a down payment for a home. It is a cycle that is very hard to break.

What excites you about the future of the industry?

We exist in such a fast-moving industry that there are so many things to be excited about! The continued development in terms of knowledge, skill set and professionalism definitely excite me. Also, the overall development of technology, such as Updater, is changing and shaping the industry. For example, advanced property management tools such as those provided by Yardi, IoT (internet of things) and smart apartments and communities, virtual reality, and augmented reality are also fascinating technologies that will definitely shape our industry going forward. With everything we have at our disposal, the future of multifamily is limitless, and that is very exciting!