Meet Updater: Jake Johnson, Regional Director of Sales, Multifamily

Jake Johnson, Multifamily Partnerships, Updater

Please help us welcome Jake Johnson to the Updater team!  Jake began with Updater in 2016 and is based in Holly Springs, NC. While some people picked up bread-making during the pandemic (cough-cough), Jake one-upped everyone (me) and began competing in Triathlons.  He is working towards completing his first Half Ironman later this year. 

Q: Tell us about your experience prior to coming to Updater

A: Like many, I started my career leasing apartments part-time in college and, following graduation, moved into a full-time Sales/Marketing role.  Once you commit to that, you’re a lifer. 

I’ve had some interesting journeys along the way.  Some luck and some a result of tenacity, but mostly due to the supporting cast I had around me. 

One of my most influential stops was an opportunity to join a (then) small-time housing operator with a big vision. After meeting with the founders of the company, I took a leap of faith that changed my life forever and joined Cardinal Group.

This firm would grow from a small scrappy team to one of the largest and more influential companies in our industry.  I was provided an opportunity to help enhance the leasing & marketing experience for our on-site teams and their residents. And was lucky to work with other partners in the tech space who shared our passion for challenging the status quo.  And one of those more innovative tech partners was a company called Updater. 

I jumped at the opportunity to leverage my experience helping communities move from pen & paper to an entirely digital experience made possible by SaaS platforms.  This adventure provided the opportunity to meet some of the brightest operational minds.  I hitched myself to internal mentors that were like-minded and interested in the future of technology in our space. 

Luckily, said mentors had an enthusiasm to solve a gap in the resident and on-site experience as it relates to the moving process.

Q: What is your best piece of moving advice?

A: Moving is like hosting a wedding.  Something inevitably will go wrong, but, if you’ve prepared properly in advance, you’ll be able to shake it off and laugh about it later. 

So my advice, proper planning prevents poor performance. Oh, and an optimistic outlook goes a long way. 

Q: What feature/ piece of tech are you most excited about at Updater?

A: This is less about an individual feature and more about how each Updater step works in concert to improve the experience. 

I’ve been fascinated recently by quantifying resident & on-site team levels of happiness.  I firmly believe the two are synonymous and are leading indicators of success.  They’re also a major competitive advantage and a direct reflection of your brand. 

Updater allows for this rare opportunity to take a mundane, stressful, overlooked aspect of the resident life-cycle and turn it into an opportunity.   

You get one shot at a first impression with move-in.  Why not knock it out of the park and offer an experience to the resident that reminds them of why they chose to lease with you?  Not to mention the hours we’re going to save on-site teams handling inbound calls, form collection, data entry, and more. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at Updater? 

A: Let’s face it, moving sucks.  No way around it.  My favorite thing about working at Updater is the collection of people we have rowing in the same direction.  We all have a moving horror story; the ability to relate and provide a new experience through technology is incredibly exciting. 

Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the multifamily industry?

A: From a technology standpoint, proptech is moving at a blazing pace.  This is really cool and much needed, the issue however is that so many solutions are disjointed.  Integration is integral, but challenging (and can be expensive).  To have the best of breed in service through technology, we need systems to operate openly with the end goal to best serve clients and their residents.