Calendar icon May 18, 2023

What is A Triple Win and How Do I Achieve One?

The Triple Win = long-term growth and success

What is a Triple Win?

A Triple Win is a simple but effective concept in property management in which everyone benefits. There are three parties that are involved in a property management transaction: The investor, who owns the property and is seeking a high return on investment. The property manager, who manages the property for the investor and is seeking to grow a successful business. And finally the resident, who lives in the property and is seeking a great living experience. A Triple Win is the concept of each party accomplishing all of these things at once. 

Solutions like Resident Benefits Package (RBP) and Investor Benefits Package (IBP) spring from this value-generating mindset.

Why is it important?

The Triple Win is a relatively new idea in the PM space, but it’s quickly becoming the cornerstone of industry-leading businesses. This is because property management as a whole is becoming commoditized. The service of managing properties is getting harder and harder to differentiate from other providers. This trend eventually ends in a state called “perfect competition”, where consumers (in this case investors) don’t perceive differences between the offerings of different companies and are likely to select the cheapest option. Throw in the growth of property management software that investors can operate themselves, and the need for a basic property management service in the future rapidly declines. 

Not surprisingly, the key to success in the future is to provide something better than a basic property management service. This is where the Triple Win comes in by providing real tangible value to all parties to create an experience that cannot be matched by old-school companies and software. 

The Triple Win is important because companies that fail to evolve with this changing industry will be left behind and eventually go out of business. Creating a Triple Win is a fool-proof way to ensure the evolution of your business. 

How do I create a Triple Win?

Pt. 1. The investor

JWB Real Estate Capital was one of the first property management companies to identify the long-term value of the Triple Win. The business is built around the idea of helping real estate investors achieve the highest possible ROI, and it does this by creating a Triple Win that keeps ROI high for investors via low vacancy rates and other costs. 

This concept has led to a number of practices that help achieve that goal including some that actually subtract from JWB’s short-term profit. One of these is the long-term lease, which cuts the income JWB receives from tenant placement fees pretty dramatically. However, this creates a lot of value for the investor, whose vacancy and tenant placement costs are much lower. JWB also works closely with their clients to create a detailed plan for real estate investment that’s designed to maximize the investor’s ROI. It’s a property management company, but a lot more than property management is going on here. That’s the key.

It’s this excellent experience JWB provides that drives business from long-term investors, which adds sustainability to the business model. It’s differentiated and it creates unique value, so the short-term profit decrease is offset by the growth and retention of clients that understand the benefits of working with JWB can’t be matched by any old run-of-the-mill PM business. 

Auben Realty has built their literal company structure around experiences that create a Triple Win. They employ Investor Experience Managers and Resident Experience Managers to enable clear communication and quick action on the needs of both other parties. Again, this is differentiated and creates unique value that an investor won’t typically realize from a scaled company that is still operating with a basic service. 

Creating a Triple Win for the investor is about creating value. Ask yourself right now, “what am I doing to help my clients achieve maximum ROI?” and, “what am I doing to make communication as easy as possible and streamline the real estate investment experience for my clients?” The value they perceive from you simply managing their properties is dying, so you need to create value beyond that in order to build a business that’s worth the cost to employ. 

Pt. 2. The resident

So what about the resident side of this? Recall that JWB’s long-term lease decreases vacancy costs for investors. Vacancy doesn’t just create costs though, it’s unrealized profit if nobody is paying rent. So vacancy, not surprisingly, is the number one thing your investors want to avoid, meaning resident retention becomes a priority. This is why resident experience has become a key term in property management. The best way to decrease vacancy is to provide a resident experience so great they don’t want to leave the property. 

"So traditional property management, we’re focused on the investor. That’s our client. The resident pays rent. If you don’t pay rent, we’ll find someone else who can. We wanted to kind of think outside the box there and say ‘okay, the resident is important in investing because if we can decrease vacancy and reduce turnover and keep the residents happy, they’ll stay in our properties for long periods of time and ultimately increase the investor’s return as well.’” - Auben Realty CEO Phil Vera

Providing an exceptional resident experience is challenging, but this is really where property management companies can differentiate themselves and create something that commoditization can’t touch. You can’t really commoditize an experience, and a devoted team of property managers that can create such an experience for residents will decrease vacancy rates to a point where investors have no choice but to work with a professional PM if they want to maximize ROI. 

The industry-leading method for resident experience is RBP by Second Nature. Ancillary income programs like RBP can help create a fantastic resident experience by offering real valueIt takes all the work out of creating and managing a great resident experience. RBP is a suite of services that property managers can purchase and add to a rental agreement for the express purpose of creating that unmatched experience. Every single one of these services is managed externally for you by Second Nature. You don’t have to do anything. It’s so simple to implement, it’s not even plug-and-play. It’s just... plug. 

Resident Services within RBP by Second Nature include things like Rental Rewards, which make residents feel valued by management and also incentivizes on-time rent payment for the investor. Programs like identity protection and credit building are great tools that many residents wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Even one-call utility setup creates a great resident experience, as getting all the utilities working for a property can certainly be a hassle, and efforts to make settling into their new home easier are rarely lost on residents.  

Pt. 3. The property manager

Happy residents and happy investors lead to happy property managers. RBP creates a great resident experience that ladders up to the investor’s experience, all of which benefits the PM in the end. That’s the Triple Win in a nutshell. The PM is focused on the needs of the client and the resident, and everybody wins as a result.

This is the future of property management. External pressures on the industry have made it so. Creating a Triple Win creates value that can’t be realized in any way other than working with a professional property manager. That’s how you escape the grasp of commoditization and technological innovation, and companies that don’t orient themselves towards a Triple Win will be left behind.

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How to Optimize Operational Frequency with Processes and Software

Property management software is currently helping property managers establish efficient and reliable processes at a higher rate than ever before in the PM industry. With that development in the proptech industry has come the development of tech for self-managers that has changed the capacity of the accidental landlord. Thus, the demand for efficiency at scale has risen in order to separate the professional from the amateur, and the establishment of processes that allow such a thing has become a critical topic for professional property managers. Optimizing property management processes Carter Fleck of Triton Property Management, a growth-oriented firm out of northern Virginia that is approaching 300 units with larger goals for 2024, joins us to share his expertise on process definition. Fleck is the General Manager responsible for operations and strategic growth, and he has been developing effective processes to ensure efficiency at Scale at Triton, and in the process, he has garnered an understanding of how to do so. “A lot of failing,” says Fleck. “In the early days, we were getting a lot of good and bad feedback, but typically the bad feedback is what you adjust off of.” Fleck believes that assumptions are the enemy when it comes to defining procedures and sourcing software for your PMC. “The image that we use is if you're going to build a sidewalk before people even start walking on a field, it's kind of dumb. You have to see where people will walk first, and then you'll build a gravel path. So number one, you see where they walk, see where their intentions are in the grass, then you build a gravel path. And then eventually, once that walkway is established, that's where you build your processes and procedures.” The analogy is a visualization of the concept that you have to see how people operate before you can establish processes to make how they operate more efficient. Fleck encourages the negative experiences of process breakdown and cites them as the only way to really nail down what your processes should look like. “Over time, between the tenants giving feedback and owners giving feedback, we adjusted our processes. It's a mix between figuring out where the owners walk and where the tenants walk, and then building paths that align.” Fleck details an example of how Triton adjusted its process after an assumption it made got challenged: "We had an assumption that payment plans were helpful for residents," says Fleck. "And so the way we handled delinquency is we would reach out to them and would be like, ‘you need to pay this. Do you have a payment plan option?’ And they would always say yes. Our process was we'll put you on a payment plan, we'll invite you to a payment plan, you'll accept the payment plan, and then we'll monitor the payment plan. That in itself was a lot of work, but we thought it was doing well. But some of the owners that we had managed for mentioned that another property manager doesn't allow any payment plans. And if you're not fully paid up by the end of the month, then the eviction process starts if you’re over $500 due. So we're like 'alright, well, we'll serve you in that we'll change our processes.' And we did, and our delinquency percentage shrunk significantly. So, consistently, by the end of every month, we're around 5% APR. Whereas with payment plans we're like 5 to 10%.” Fleck obviously credits seeing the assumptions in motion as what prompted the need for process iteration, and he firmly believes that making too many of these assumptions is one of the biggest mistakes growing property management companies make. Like any business experiencing growth, process definition is critical to achieve efficiency at larger volumes. What Fleck is essentially advocating for is processes based on what you know, not what you think, and there is a big distinction. Managing property management software Fleck has installed both general and tech-based processes, and cites that understanding of how people interact with processes as the key in both areas. "They don't focus on user experience. That's really important. Number one, how the tenants like the tech, but specifically how the people who are using the tech are gonna adopt it. So when we were choosing a rent inspection software, we had so many people recommend one, software and I, we almost pulled the trigger on it. But then I was like, let's do a trial run on both these two. And we chose the other one because it was way better user experience for property managers. So user experience, both for us and for residents." Tech is a tool that is ultimately as good as its users, and if it's not used correctly or at all, its potential is wasted. An over-reliance on technology can actually go hand-in-hand with an under-reliance, as both often spring up from a lack of understanding of how to choose, implement, and manage it. In this vein, Fleck can't recall many property managers who operate with too much tech. As long as you're not purchasing redundant software and you've done and continue to do your due diligence, tech-based process can make your business more efficient. "I more often find myself having that conversation," says Fleck. "When I'm talking to property managers in my sub-market, who aren't connected with like a NARPM, who aren't connected with like a Crane group, or who aren't connected with a Second Nature, aren't connected to the tune of what the property management industry is doing and the cutting edge of it, I'm just like, 'you could save so much of your time and you could scale this so much more if you only even if you just had tenant Turner, or if you had LeadSimple.'" No matter what your story is a property manager, if growth is in the cards, so is process and technology refinement. Hopefully, Fleck's experience in these areas can help you stay efficient and organized as door counts grow.

Calendar icon April 19, 2024

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Why offer a tenant benefits package?

In the residential real estate sector, like everywhere else, residents and property investors alike are getting younger – and with this generational shift comes expectations for a certain level of convenience and support. To put it bluntly, today’s residents want their needs proactively anticipated. It’s something they're willing to pay (and stay) for. That’s where a tenant benefits package comes in. In this article, we’ll explore what a tenant benefit package is, how it improves the experience for both property managers and tenants, and crucial mistakes to avoid. Before we get into the details, we want to give a shoutout to our very own “Resident Benefits Package” – which is how we refer to the benefits comprised in the “tenant benefits package.” “Tenant” is not yet a legacy term, but we here at Second Nature are trying to evolve it. That’s because, in our experience, property managers work hard to make renters feel like they’re not just parties to a contract – they’re residents. On one hand, this is just humans being humans, but on the other hand, it also encourages them to invest in care for their new home and add value to the property. Ready to get started now? Build your Resident Benefits Package today. What is a tenant benefits package? A tenant benefits package is typically a bundle of services, conveniences, and provisions offered by a property manager on top of the basic lease agreement. They represent a triple-win situation for property managers, residents, and property owners, as they enhance the overall rental experience, generate additional income, and protect the real estate investment. It might include conveniences such as online monthly rent payment options, or portals for submitting maintenance requests and tracking their status. It could also include various financial perks, such as credit rating improvements that are contingent on on-time rental payments, or discounts on nearby services such as fitness centers. It might also include amenities ranging from move-in concierge or utility set-up services, to identity protection services, to HVAC filter delivery. The cost for resident benefits packages is typically included in the lease and added as a monthly fee, with the fee being dependent on the specific benefits. Indeed, the benefits contained in a tenant benefits package will vary depending on the property manager and the type of rental property. The overall goal is to provide tenants with an enhanced quality of life while simplifying the experience of renting. At Second Nature, we pioneered the only fully managed resident benefits package, in response to PMs who wanted to make their business stand out. Our RBP includes an array of services and supports for residents, from filter delivery to credit building to maintenance. Why should property managers offer a tenant benefits package? Beyond the triple-win considerations mentioned just above, there are compelling and concrete reasons why property managers should offer tenant benefit packages. We'll turn to these now. Ancillary revenue Some tenant benefit packages include optional services or add-ons that can generate additional revenue streams for the property manager. This might include things like renter insurance or HVAC filter delivery. Resident experience Tenant benefit packages deliver numerous savings and value to tenants, beyond the value they would get if they were obtaining the same benefits "à la carte." Additionally, by offering additional services and conveniences, benefit packages can make tenants feel valued and more satisfied with their living experience. For instance, maintenance hotline requests, tenant portals, and air filter replacements all make life easier. Add-on services like identity theft protection can offer a sense of security. And discounted renters insurance coverage, utility concierge services, or other perks can save tenants money. Decrease tenant turnover and vacancy rates In a competitive rental market, tenant benefit packages can be a major differentiator toward boosting retention rates and reducing vacancy rates. Properties that offer these packages can also attract a wider pool of qualified tenants, and potentially command higher rents. Note that certain benefits in the package, like online rent payments and maintenance requests, can automate tasks and free up the property manager's time. This allows them to focus on more value-added initiatives. How does the tenant benefits package improve the tenant experience? Tenant benefit packages can significantly improve tenant satisfaction in several ways, by making life easier, more convenient, and potentially more affordable. For instance, if an online portal (a baseline feature for most property management software) is included for rent payments and maintenance issues and requests, this eliminates the hassle of writing checks or waiting on hold to speak with someone about a clogged drain. In other words, tenants have the peace of mind of knowing they can manage their tenancy 24/7 from the comfort of their own devices. Some packages might include features like filter delivery services or regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance. This frees tenants from having to remember these tasks – and ensures their apartment is well-maintained. Certain packages might also offer "verified vendor" services – in other words, a vetted vendor network that can help provide a more secure feeling to residents when service providers are on-site. On the financial side of things, a benefits package might offer discounts with local suppliers for various goods and services, or on a renters insurance policy obtained through the property manager (with applicable waivers for residents who have their own insurance). This can save tenants money on a necessary expense. Some packages also help residents with their credit scores via credit reporting and credit building services, so they can transition from renting to home buying when the time is right. The idea is that the credit reporting program reports on-time rent payments automatically to all credit bureaus, helping residents build their credit simply by paying their rent on time. Some benefit packages include resident rewards programs that represent a powerful and positive incentive for on-time rent payments, including gift cards or cash. As far as living perks go, packages sometimes include added benefits such as access to fitness centers or community events. This provides tenants with additional spaces to relax, socialize, or stay healthy. Packages can include security deposit alternatives that serve to provide a means for residents to be financially liable for damages without having to pay a significant lump sum upfront, such as pure insurance, surety bonds, and ACH authorization programs. Ultimately, tenant benefit packages create a more professional and responsive image for the property management company, which helps tenants feel valued and allows them to experience a smoother, more stress-free rental experience. What are the mistakes to avoid when offering tenant benefits packages? Property management companies should take care to avoid certain pitfalls when implementing tenant benefit packages to ensure they are providing true value to tenants as well as delivering profitability to the PM company itself. For instance, it's important to ensure that the services you're offering are actually relevant to your target renters. For example, young professionals might appreciate discounts on gym memberships, while families might prefer pet-sitting services. You should also take care to clearly communicate what's included and not included in the package to new residents. Don't oversell the benefits – focus on how they genuinely improve the living experience. It's also very important to set realistic expectations for response times on standard maintenance requests, emergency maintenance requests, or virtual concierge services. Likewise, be clear on all available payment methods, as well as rent due dates, late fee structures, and any associated payment processing fees. If your package includes services from third-party vendors, ensure that these vendors are reputable and reliable. Research their customer service record and responsiveness to ensure a smooth partnership and a positive experience for tenants. Above all, regularly monitor the usage of different benefits within your benefits package. This can help you refine your offerings and ensure you're not spending where spending is not required. Looking for a Resident Benefits Package? If you’re looking for a “plug and play” resident benefits package, Second Nature’s RBP is the way to go. Designed to be easy to implement and simple to use, all the services it includes are managed by Second Nature – which means there’s no day-to-day upkeep required from the property manager: Second Nature keeps it running. It’s a simple way to grow your business and create great experiences that residents will pay and stay for. Learn more about our fully-managed Resident Benefits Package.

Calendar icon April 2, 2024

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