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Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022
Introduction to Property Technology Selection
Welcome to Multifamily Demo Day! With so many property-related technologies entering the multifamily space
every year, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the options. Additionally, not all tech is created equal. Every
supplier offers a different approach to solve problems faced by the multifamily industry. Each property management
company has unique needs, preferences, and values. Existing suppliers are continuously innovating to stay competitive
with new offerings. These factors work together to create a constantly changing list of technologies from which to choose.
When it comes to deciding which tech is best, there are no universally right or wrong answers.
A note from the author:
Hi Insiders,
Implementing an effective technology lineup can have an impactful effect on company success. However,
comparing tech options and selecting between them can be a difficult process. To support you through this journey, I
created several resources based on my experience. These references and worksheets can be utilized while identifying
your company goals and resources, during supplier demonstrations, and as you evaluate various technology solutions:
• Introduction to Property Technology Selection
o Define the Problem
o Identify Resources
• Effective Supplier Demos & Asking the Right Questions
o Tips for Effective Supplier Demos
o Questions to Always Ask in Demos
o Questions to Ask Each Service Type
• Considerations for Evaluating a Technology
o Avoid Analysis Paralysis
Each of these resources is available as a fillable PDF for easy, on-screen use and as a Word document for
modification to suit your needs. The worksheets are also available in Excel to pre-populate handy comparison pages while
you enter information.
I recently entered my 13th
year working in multifamily property management companies. This has allowed me to
work with owner-operated and third party managed communities while exposing me to varying residential, urban,
affordable, student, commercial, HOA, and new development properties. Over that time, I have had the opportunity to
create over 50 internal training courses, participate in nearly 100 vendor demos, and pilot or implement around 40 new
technologies. As a fellow multifamily professional with a passion for effective, streamlined solutions, I am excited to share
what I have learned through these experiences. I hope you find the resources helpful.
Have a great demo day!
Sarah Kendall
Director of Software Support
2
Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022
Worksheet - Define the Problem
To find a successful solution, you need both a clear problem to solve and an understanding of what resources are
available. This preliminary research within your company will add clarity to the entire technology selection process.
Define the Problem
In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the
problem and one minute resolving it.” Taking time to understand the problem from all angles is essential. It’s important to
identify your stakeholders and speak with them to learn how the issues are impacting their jobs. Their insights will show
the ripple effect across the company and help identify specifically what is not working – allowing you to strategically solve
the real issue instead of treating the symptoms of it.
An example ripple effect: An inefficient invoice processing workflow can take too much of On-Site Management’s time to scan,
code, and approve invoices. Unreliable mobile performance can delay Regional Manager or other approvals. These delays can
cause cash flow issues with accounting commitments, increase the time it takes to complete accruals and financial reporting,
make AP teams spend time on research to find high priority invoices and prevent duplicates, and add expenses when
emergency payment processing is needed. Late supplier payments can cause interruptions in service, resulting in difficult unit
turns or repairs for maintenance teams, which then impacts unit availability and resident satisfaction.
Initial Questions
• What is your current understanding of the problem?
• Why is it important to find a solution? ____________________________________________________________
Reduce Expenses Increase Revenue Save Time Simplify Workflow
Data & Reporting Standardization Replace Supplier Easier Communications
Modernization Reduce Waste Legal & Compliance Employee Satisfaction
Other: _________________________________________________________________________
• Why are the company’s current resources and technologies insufficient to solve this problem?
• Which technology solutions has your company tried before to solve this problem? What happened?
• Does this problem affect some properties or departments more than others? Why?
• What would successfully solving this problem look like? How would success be measured?
3
Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022
Who is affected by the problem or impacted by possible solutions?
On-Site – Concierges Property Managers Assistant Managers Leasing Consultants
Maintenance Managers Maintenance Technicians Groundskeepers / Porters Housekeepers
Compliance Teams Senior Care Teams Student Teams Other
Corporate – Accounting ( Property, Investment, Construction, Corporate, AP, AR) HR / Payroll
Regional Managers / VPs Asset Managers IT / Software / Tech Marketing / Training
Financial Analysis Reporting / Data Analysis Affordable Compliance Legal / Risk
Project Managers Development / Construction Supplier Compliance Transitions
Investor Relations Client Relations Administration Other
These groups are your stakeholders. Their input is essential to understanding the problem and understanding which
solutions would be successful. You can gather stakeholder insights through a survey or preferably, if time allows, speak
with 1-2 people from each group. See below for some discussion prompts to aid in these conversations.
Stakeholder Discussion Prompts
• What is your experience with this process and problem?
• Which parts of the process work well and which do not?
• How does this impact other parts of your job?
• What have you tried or seen others try to fix this problem?
• What obstacles are stopping this from being changed?
• If you could fix one part of this problem, which is most important?
• In a perfect world, how would this work?
• If we need someone to test solutions, how comfortable are you trying something new and giving feedback?
Key Takeaways from Stakeholder Feedback
Subject Matter Experts (Name + Position)
Throughout this process, identify who would make valuable observations and contributions in supplier meetings – these
are your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Keep a small, yet experienced team involved in supplier demos. There should be
representation from several stakeholder groups and those supporting implementation.
__________________________________________ __________________________________________
__________________________________________ __________________________________________
__________________________________________ __________________________________________
__________________________________________ __________________________________________
4
Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022
Worksheet - Identify Resources
Now that you understand the problem and the perspectives of Stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts, the last step
before scheduling demos with suppliers is to know what internal resources you have.
Decision Makers
Resources are distributed by the decision makers of your company. Consider who needs to approve the final solution, cost
and how it is budgeted, timeline of implementation, priority compared to other initiatives, and policy changes? Do they
want to be involved in demos, be presented with options to choose from, or receive occasional updates?
Decision Maker Level of Involvement What They Approve
_____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy
_____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy
_____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy
_____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy
• Who will sign the contract with the supplier? ______________________________________________________
• Do they want a temporary fix or long-term partnership? _____________________________________________
• What is their expected timeline to start a pilot? ____________________________________________________
• Is the company in a position to overhaul any related workflows? _______________________________________
Budget Availability
• Are there funds in property budgets to pay for a solution? ___________________________________________
• Are there funds in corporate budgets to pay for a solution? __________________________________________
• Would it replace an existing tech budget? _________________________________________________________
• Would the cost of a solution be covered by staff count being reduced? _________________________________
• Is it expected to pay for itself in bad debt, expense savings, vacancy reduction, etc.? _______________________
Properties to Pilot
Find out which properties may be available to pilot a solution – this can vary depending on location, staffing, seasonality,
property size, resident preferences (ex. interest in smart home tech?), what competitors are offering, and more. Always have
at least one strong property team pilot a product. It’s beneficial to diversify the property types (ex. market and student) and
on-site staff strengths during a pilot to understand how the solution will work in various situations.
Property City/State Unit Count Type
_____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________
_____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________
_____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________
_____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________

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Multifamily Insiders [Demo Day} Introduction to Property Technology Selection

  • 1. 1 Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022 Introduction to Property Technology Selection Welcome to Multifamily Demo Day! With so many property-related technologies entering the multifamily space every year, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the options. Additionally, not all tech is created equal. Every supplier offers a different approach to solve problems faced by the multifamily industry. Each property management company has unique needs, preferences, and values. Existing suppliers are continuously innovating to stay competitive with new offerings. These factors work together to create a constantly changing list of technologies from which to choose. When it comes to deciding which tech is best, there are no universally right or wrong answers. A note from the author: Hi Insiders, Implementing an effective technology lineup can have an impactful effect on company success. However, comparing tech options and selecting between them can be a difficult process. To support you through this journey, I created several resources based on my experience. These references and worksheets can be utilized while identifying your company goals and resources, during supplier demonstrations, and as you evaluate various technology solutions: • Introduction to Property Technology Selection o Define the Problem o Identify Resources • Effective Supplier Demos & Asking the Right Questions o Tips for Effective Supplier Demos o Questions to Always Ask in Demos o Questions to Ask Each Service Type • Considerations for Evaluating a Technology o Avoid Analysis Paralysis Each of these resources is available as a fillable PDF for easy, on-screen use and as a Word document for modification to suit your needs. The worksheets are also available in Excel to pre-populate handy comparison pages while you enter information. I recently entered my 13th year working in multifamily property management companies. This has allowed me to work with owner-operated and third party managed communities while exposing me to varying residential, urban, affordable, student, commercial, HOA, and new development properties. Over that time, I have had the opportunity to create over 50 internal training courses, participate in nearly 100 vendor demos, and pilot or implement around 40 new technologies. As a fellow multifamily professional with a passion for effective, streamlined solutions, I am excited to share what I have learned through these experiences. I hope you find the resources helpful. Have a great demo day! Sarah Kendall Director of Software Support
  • 2. 2 Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022 Worksheet - Define the Problem To find a successful solution, you need both a clear problem to solve and an understanding of what resources are available. This preliminary research within your company will add clarity to the entire technology selection process. Define the Problem In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” Taking time to understand the problem from all angles is essential. It’s important to identify your stakeholders and speak with them to learn how the issues are impacting their jobs. Their insights will show the ripple effect across the company and help identify specifically what is not working – allowing you to strategically solve the real issue instead of treating the symptoms of it. An example ripple effect: An inefficient invoice processing workflow can take too much of On-Site Management’s time to scan, code, and approve invoices. Unreliable mobile performance can delay Regional Manager or other approvals. These delays can cause cash flow issues with accounting commitments, increase the time it takes to complete accruals and financial reporting, make AP teams spend time on research to find high priority invoices and prevent duplicates, and add expenses when emergency payment processing is needed. Late supplier payments can cause interruptions in service, resulting in difficult unit turns or repairs for maintenance teams, which then impacts unit availability and resident satisfaction. Initial Questions • What is your current understanding of the problem? • Why is it important to find a solution? ____________________________________________________________ Reduce Expenses Increase Revenue Save Time Simplify Workflow Data & Reporting Standardization Replace Supplier Easier Communications Modernization Reduce Waste Legal & Compliance Employee Satisfaction Other: _________________________________________________________________________ • Why are the company’s current resources and technologies insufficient to solve this problem? • Which technology solutions has your company tried before to solve this problem? What happened? • Does this problem affect some properties or departments more than others? Why? • What would successfully solving this problem look like? How would success be measured?
  • 3. 3 Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022 Who is affected by the problem or impacted by possible solutions? On-Site – Concierges Property Managers Assistant Managers Leasing Consultants Maintenance Managers Maintenance Technicians Groundskeepers / Porters Housekeepers Compliance Teams Senior Care Teams Student Teams Other Corporate – Accounting ( Property, Investment, Construction, Corporate, AP, AR) HR / Payroll Regional Managers / VPs Asset Managers IT / Software / Tech Marketing / Training Financial Analysis Reporting / Data Analysis Affordable Compliance Legal / Risk Project Managers Development / Construction Supplier Compliance Transitions Investor Relations Client Relations Administration Other These groups are your stakeholders. Their input is essential to understanding the problem and understanding which solutions would be successful. You can gather stakeholder insights through a survey or preferably, if time allows, speak with 1-2 people from each group. See below for some discussion prompts to aid in these conversations. Stakeholder Discussion Prompts • What is your experience with this process and problem? • Which parts of the process work well and which do not? • How does this impact other parts of your job? • What have you tried or seen others try to fix this problem? • What obstacles are stopping this from being changed? • If you could fix one part of this problem, which is most important? • In a perfect world, how would this work? • If we need someone to test solutions, how comfortable are you trying something new and giving feedback? Key Takeaways from Stakeholder Feedback Subject Matter Experts (Name + Position) Throughout this process, identify who would make valuable observations and contributions in supplier meetings – these are your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Keep a small, yet experienced team involved in supplier demos. There should be representation from several stakeholder groups and those supporting implementation. __________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________
  • 4. 4 Multifamily Insiders | Demo Day Resources 09/2022 Worksheet - Identify Resources Now that you understand the problem and the perspectives of Stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts, the last step before scheduling demos with suppliers is to know what internal resources you have. Decision Makers Resources are distributed by the decision makers of your company. Consider who needs to approve the final solution, cost and how it is budgeted, timeline of implementation, priority compared to other initiatives, and policy changes? Do they want to be involved in demos, be presented with options to choose from, or receive occasional updates? Decision Maker Level of Involvement What They Approve _____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy _____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy _____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy _____________________________ ________________________ All / Selection / Cost / Timeline / Priority / Policy • Who will sign the contract with the supplier? ______________________________________________________ • Do they want a temporary fix or long-term partnership? _____________________________________________ • What is their expected timeline to start a pilot? ____________________________________________________ • Is the company in a position to overhaul any related workflows? _______________________________________ Budget Availability • Are there funds in property budgets to pay for a solution? ___________________________________________ • Are there funds in corporate budgets to pay for a solution? __________________________________________ • Would it replace an existing tech budget? _________________________________________________________ • Would the cost of a solution be covered by staff count being reduced? _________________________________ • Is it expected to pay for itself in bad debt, expense savings, vacancy reduction, etc.? _______________________ Properties to Pilot Find out which properties may be available to pilot a solution – this can vary depending on location, staffing, seasonality, property size, resident preferences (ex. interest in smart home tech?), what competitors are offering, and more. Always have at least one strong property team pilot a product. It’s beneficial to diversify the property types (ex. market and student) and on-site staff strengths during a pilot to understand how the solution will work in various situations. Property City/State Unit Count Type _____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________ _____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________ _____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________ _____________________________________ ______________________________ __________ ____________