In this interview read about our awesome co-founder Evan Savar, MyResidentLinc and how custom mobile apps are the future for the multifamily industry.
Evan, what inspired you to start MyResidentLinc?
In short, what inspired me to start MyResidentlinc was the belief that an app is the future for what the multifamily industry can become. It’s no a longer a case of if, but when.
To give you a backstory, I grew up an Airforce brat, always moving from place to place every 2-3 years. Everywhere we moved, my Mom always had a saying that “it’s not the place that makes the person, but the person that makes the place.” So she really instilled in me the importance of building the community you want.
Then a few years ago I was living in an apartment and had never met anyone. I started to not only miss having a community but began asking myself what I was looking for in my community. I came to find out many of the things that would help me feel part of the community were already provided in some aspect by my apartment but I never knew about them. I thought there had to be a better way to learn about my community while managing all my living needs from my smartphone.
I was kinda surprised that the multifamily industry was slow to adopt the technology that we’ve all become accustomed to. After all, smartphones have changed the way we eat, shop, and travel, but the multifamily industry seemed slow to adopt the technology that would make apartment living more engaging for residents and efficient for staff.
Being someone who enjoys solving problems, I started to research why this technology didn’t exist. I found there were some apps that solved certain problems for staff and residents really well but these solutions didn’t fit together in one user-friendly property branded resident app. I set out to build a platform that would not only be flexible and adaptable enough but able to include the functionality suited to the individual property’s needs.
What is one thing you would like to fix about the multi-family industry?
I discussed this with Jason Hull, founder of Doorgrow, in an interview recently but ultimately everything in the multi-family industry is so fragmented. I would like to help everyone to work together and to move the industry forward.
What aspects of apartment living is MyResidentLinc trying to improve?
Residents want to manage all their apartment needs from their smartphone. We aim to make this process easier for residents and by doing so our mobile app platform directly impacts multifamily management companies bottom line—whether that’s through greater efficiency, increasing resident retention, or improving communication.
In my own experience, I found that apartment living was not simple enough. For example, if I had a problem and needed help I would have to get in my car and drive to have a ten-minute conversation with my leasing manager who was, as expected, always busy fighting fires and therefore too busy to answer their phones at times.
What is your favourite feature that you’ve included in your app?
I like the flexibility of our platform. We’re able to display certain functionality and features for different users.
For example, we had a client that wanted to better communicate with prospective residents. So they worked with us to create new functionality in-app that managed this process. Now when a prospective resident downloads their property mobile app, they’re presented with customized functionality with in-app features like Floor Plans, 3D Tour, Amenity Information and Video Testimonials. In addition, their phone number and email are stored in the back end for remarketing efforts.
Then once they become a resident, the user will have different functionality and features available to them.
Our platform is entirely flexible and customizable. It’s completely dependant upon what the property manager and executives want to implement across their portfolio. This means we’re always seeing amazing real world use-cases from our clients.
What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
We’re always including new features because there really is no cap on what we can include in our platform.
Our clients are always coming to us with new feature requests, and very rarely are we unable to implement what they want. The sky really is the limit because of how we’ve created the platform of MyResidentLinc. We understood from the beginning we needed to work with other talented developers and companies to offer flexibility that would drive change for the multifamily industry.
Recently, we had a client who owns a big property on the West Coast and employs 8 different leasing agents. They needed help with scheduling appointments, so we integrated with Calendly—which is a tool for scheduling appointments. We were able to pull in the information through the client’s app, and as a result, the leasing agents were able to half the time spent scheduling appointments and reduce the number of no-shows by 25%.
Any other examples you can think of?
Sure, two more come to mind.
We have a client, Four Turnberry Place, who was able to cut out 90% of their printing costs by using push notifications to communicate with residents. It’s also worth mentioning that the app helped Four Turnberry Place receive the highest Green Globes Certification ® on the west coast.
Another client of ours, Warmington Apartments, created a resident perks program, so if their residents take their app to local businesses, they can get exclusive deals and discounts for being a resident of that apartment. They have been able to secure relationships with over 50 local businesses.
How does MyResidentLinc help turn a property into a community?
At MyResidentLinc, we help property management companies to strengthen their community by providing a custom mobile platform to facilitate the process. From speaking to our clients we’ve found that getting residents to know one another and property staff directly impacts retention.
At the 2017 NMHC Annual Meeting, Ron Witten of Witten Advisors discussed this exact topic in his talk, ‘Hanging Onto Residents By Cultivating Real Community and Relationships.’ He shared some interesting statistics on how the number of people residents know in their apartment community directly impacts their plans to renew their lease.
If you could help your biggest prospective client understand one thing, what would it be?
As technology continues to be developed at the pace we’re used to, it’s important to have a mobile app. With that said, it’s more important to invest in a mobile app platform that can continue to innovate by adding functionality that keeps at the same pace of technology. Technology moves quickly and companies have to be open to working with other companies. If not, they’ll be left behind.
Let’s face it, creating your own custom mobile app for each and every one of your properties in your portfolio is extremely expensive, time-consuming, and requires ongoing support/updates. Not to mention the fact that technology will outpace its functionality in a matter of years.
What we’ve created is a platform that will allow multifamily management companies to innovate by including the features that their staff and residents use now and in many years to come.
Finally, how do you see the company growing?
Having a custom mobile app built on a future-proof platform is the future for all businesses, not just those in the multifamily industry.
We’re going to continue to listen to our clients and understand how we can help them by developing our platform to include the features that do the following:
- Improve how staff and residents communicate with one another
- Improve how residents manage their apartment needs
- Strengthen the business’ marketing and branding
- Complement existing software used by our clients
- Attracts and retains residents