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5 Tips for Multifamily Resident Technology Adoption

In today's episode, we dive into the crucial topic of implementing new technology in multifamily properties, a challenge many of us have faced. You'll learn five tips to ensure a successful multifamily technology rollout, from securing buy-in from leadership to celebrating every small win to keep your team motivated and engaged. Join us as we unpack the importance of comprehensive training tailored to specific roles, the power of identifying champions within your team, and the necessity of making the implementation process ongoing.

Listen to the episode below and subscribe to The Resident Experience Podcast for more episodes.

Mastering the Implementation of Multifamily Technology

Introduction (0:00 - 01:22)

The Challenge of Tech Adoption (01:22 - 02:57)
We understand it can be difficult to get residents and staff to fully onboard with new technology. Yolanda and Charles discuss the common obstacles property managers face, such as resistance from staff and residents, and emphasize the importance of alignment for successful multifamily resident technology adoption.

Five Key Steps for Successful Implementation (02:57 - 06:13)
Yolanda introduces five crucial steps for rolling out new technology effectively, starting with securing buy-in from leadership and building excitement. This section delves into the importance of comprehensive, role-based training and identifying champions within your team to facilitate smoother technology adoption.

Power Users and Celebrating Wins (06:13 - 07:30)
The discussion focuses on the significance of identifying power users and leveraging peer-to-peer coaching. Yolanda and Charles also talk about the importance of celebrating every win, no matter how small, to encourage adoption and keep the team motivated. 

Making Implementation an Ongoing Process (07:30 - 09:52)
Charles emphasizes the need for continuous engagement and support post-implementation to maintain and enhance the use of new technology. This section covers how ongoing training, coaching, and optimization are essential for sustained success.

Conclusion (09:52 - 12:00)
Yolanda and Charles wrap up the episode by summarizing the five key steps for successful technology implementation. They invite listeners to share their own success stories!

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We want to hear your good news! Have a recent multifamily win? Maybe you have a personal growth story. Whatever the good word is, let us know and we'll highlight it in the good news of the week.


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Episode Transcript

Yolanda Muchnik:
Hello and welcome to the Resident Experience podcast. I’m your host Yolanda, and I’m joined by my co-host, Charles Buggs. Charles Buggs, how are you doing today?

Charles Buggs:
Terrific, thank you for asking. I am so excited for our topic today. I think it’s an important topic because I’m extremely passionate about it and it kind of affects my job. But how to get residents to fully onboard when implementing new technology at your properties?

Yolanda Muchnik:
Yes, this is such an important issue that so many property managers struggle with. We’ve all been there or heard the stories. You invest in new software or systems with the hopes of increasing efficiency, but then you run into resistance from staff who are set in their ways or residents who don’t understand or buy into the product and it can really undermine your goals.

Charles Buggs:
Absolutely, absolutely. And I think when you talk about the lack of buy-in that can be there with the staff on the front line that are actually there to use the thing, it’s super hard to overcome that. And I think, you know, working on site for so long and being there when technology changes, it’s not always like a collaborative effort. Typically, it’s someone who sees a really good demo, purchases a solution to a problem that they feel we have, and then disperses that amongst the front line and we’re kind of taking the onus upon ourselves to look and use this thing in real time. Right.

So I think when we talk about lack of buy-in, it’s also important to note too that the industry on site is really going to be fighting fires all day, every day. Changing and pivoting a technology without the proper understanding from all parties can actually be a super hindrance to your business. So everyone getting aligned is crucial for success.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Complete agreement based on personal experience as well as decades of rollout experience. At Zego, we’ve pinpointed five key steps to successfully roll out new technology. So let’s dive into those and have a quick chat about them.

Charles Buggs:
I’m excited. Can we get into step one, please?

Yolanda Muchnik:
Yes, sir. So step one is a bit of a misnomer because it actually needs to take place before rollout even begins at properties. And that’s getting the buy in and building excitement amongst leadership and senior management. If they can’t effectively communicate the why behind an initiative, then it’s an intense uphill battle ultimately with the rollout.

Charles Buggs:
Absolutely. And it’s such a great point. I’ve seen situations where corporate has bought a really new fancy thing with a lot of bells and whistles, rolls it out. But the on-site leadership is a little lukewarm to its reception at best. And that lack of commitment and engagement can really help. I’m sorry, help can hurt and trip up the process being effective and successful.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Yeah. And, you know, as a leader, it’s important to not just talk about the technological specifications and features and functionalities. It’s important to call out how to make the day to day tasks easier or improve the resident experience. Ideally, you can share success stories or data from other properties that have adopted that technology to help.

Charles Buggs:
Absolutely. And I think what you just said was a perfectly set up segue into step two. Like we planned it, proper training, taking time to properly train into each specific user group is pivotal. And that goes from frontline regional all the way up to vps, making sure that they all have a little skin in the game and understand their role and how to effectively help their role. Using this new technology isn’t often a.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Big mess, 100%, especially as training isn’t a one size fits all thing. Leasing consultants will need different training than a maintenance team who will need different training than the property managers, right?

Charles Buggs:
Absolutely. And it kind of scrolls up, and I always use like a bird’s eye view example of like, you know, if you look at the corporation and from like an eagle view and you look down, everyone, that kind of has to affect that altitude. Maintaining has skin in the game and also has to be successful in the tools that we’re implementing to all reach that goal. Right.

So being able to identify each individual role and training to that role. Success is pivotal, crucial, whatever good word we can come up with to describe that.

And I think being on the customer engagement side of things and looking back at some trainings I’ve hosted, I think the one thing I’ve taken away as, like, I guess will be advice and a best practice is the best trainings I’ve ever hosted are ones where I actually get into the system in which we’re training in not a deck, not like an example or a. An instance of it, but get into the system using the customer’s data, training the things that actually pertain to the role, asking questions more than I’m kind of directing and really figuring out what they’re already doing today. And how the new technology can help bridge the gap and make that process better.

Yolanda Muchnik:
I love that, and that’s why you’re so good at it. Okay. I think the third key step here is to identify power users and champions of the new technology right away. These are the folks who take it quickly and can, can mentor us others in terms of implementation and longer term use, right?

Charles Buggs:
Absolutely. And I love the fact that you brought that up because power users are so pivotal to being successful. Because even when you’re talking about, I don’t know, I’m not even gonna get specific what type of software. It doesn’t matter because a power user is everything to me. When I can get someone to really understand what the tool does and what it’s meant to do and can see how they can be successful in using it, it’s really, really game changing, because that person as a peer has way more influence over anybody else in their team to make them see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yolanda Muchnik:
If this is being a good solution, yes and yes. Peer to peer coaching like that goes miles further than top down training in a lot of cases. So the fourth step I’d like to recommend is to celebrate every win, no matter how small. You could do some fun contests or competitions to encourage adoption and get people fired up, for example.

Charles Buggs:
Yes. I think a big way to do that is using a little gamification, getting people into it by getting some stakes assigned to it where they’re competing against each other in a friendly way, maybe seeing what other people are doing. The real secret sauce is when they get to sharing how they’re using it, it pertains to their specific property. Excuse me. Because every property kind of has its own unique personality and its own market.

What works for some may not work for all, but overwhelmingly the success and the main steed of the mission should be shared, like you said. And I think no matter who or what level we’re talking to or training to, if we’re doing it right, they should be able to immediately go into that system and get some value out of it that pertains to their role. Full adoption.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Exactly. Little bit of positive reinforcement, gamification, it can go a long way in driving adoption. All right, so we have getting leadership in training, identifying champions, and celebrating wins. The fifth and final piece of advice is to make it an ongoing process. You’re not just rolling this technology out and moving on. You need to continuously revisit the technology, continue to train, and also find ways to coach, innovate and optimize.

Charles Buggs:
That is such a great point. And I think we’re seeing a lot of it now. Where before you were seeing people who were called like, you know, account managers and customers from success managers, now you’re seeing engagement managers, right. These people who are kind of help post sale to help things go on a successful path even after implementation has been done to the best of everyone’s ability. Right.

There is a term is an example I constantly use because I’m victim of this too, where you see this new thing like a peloton bike, you have all these delusions of grandeur, of how you’re going to use it every day and then you buy it and you think just that being in your house makes you a healthy person. And fortunately, that’s not the way that works. Being really good out the gate is important, but also maintaining that and being focused on it and realizing too that it takes work to get reward when it comes to technology.

So using it and using it effectively is a big part of it and it’s a continuous mentality of improvement that needs to be fostered.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Great point. And you got to find out what’s working and what’s not and then make adjustments and modifications as needed. Implementation is never really done. It’s an ever evolving cycle. And if you want to keep getting value from the technology, revisiting it continuously is important.

Charles Buggs:
Absolutely. Now let’s pause, take a minute, breathe. There’s a lot of information we’ve covered, but I do want to go ahead and recap the five steps so we’re all on the same page as we get close to wrapping getting commitment from leadership. One. Two, comprehensive role based training three, identifying champions and power users four, celebrating wins through technology and contests. Five, continually revisiting and optimizing the process for success.

I think every point we’ve covered is important in its individual way. All five of them together is going to make you a real, real potent mix of success for your organization and abroad. That’s the goal right?

Yolanda Muchnik:
That’s the goal. And to our listeners, we’d love to hear your own stories of success. Did you have a successful tech rollout? We’d love to hear how you crushed it by clicking the contact button in our bio. And we’ll be happy to highlight your win in our next good news segment.

Charles Buggs:
We love good news. Share good news, good news is what we’re about. I love saying good news. So give us some good news on this topic.