Last week at NAA, PayLease participated in the session, “Tech Takes Over: Strategies for Onboarding New Communities”. If you couldn’t attend this jam-packed session, here were the top 5 takeaways.
1. COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Communication with all involved parties is crucial to the success of any acquisition or disposition. Maintain an internal shared document that contains all the pertinent information such as, contracts to be signed, staff details, data collection requirements, and any other related tasks. Host weekly phone calls with the team to touch base and stay on track. Lean on your vendors to bridge gaps between the buyer and seller, and to keep all involved parties connected.
2. RELY ON YOUR VENDORS
Rely on your vendors whenever possible, but especially for online payments, the utility transfer process and final meter reads. Utility transfer can be a complicated process, especially when there is
a change in ownership, and your vendor can handle this on your behalf. To ensure uninterrupted service for your residents, give your vendors as much advanced warning as possible to allow for
proper testing before the new systems go live.
3. NOTIFY THE RESIDENTS
Most transitions are not communicated to the resident until the sale is final and the new staff is in place. After that, communication is key! Send email blasts, text messages, print materials, and organize a “Meet the Staff Night” during the first week. It’s important to keep the residents informed without alarming them.
4. IMPLEMENT YOUR ‘STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES’
Implement the critical systems as standard procedure with all properties. Critical systems include accounting software, online payments, payroll systems and credit reporting system. It’s ideal to have your systems in place on day 1 of the transfer. The less critical systems can be implemented anywhere from 30 days to 6 months after the sale. The sale process is stressful on the site teams and you want to avoid overloading them with new systems all at once.
5. KEEP THE PEACE
Keeping residents happy during an acquisition is critical for the buyer and seller. The most important thing is to ensure there are no interruptions to the resident’s interaction with the property, especially when submitting an online payment or maintenance request. Residents should be given ample notice about any changes, along with their login information in a timely manner.