Multifamily budget season is always a challenging time—‘tis the season when property managers are asked to polish their crystal balls, peer into the future, and map out a successful financial path for the coming year. Does predicting the future sound easy? Spoiler alert: It’s not!
One common pitfall many property managers fall into is not leaving enough room for technology in their budgets—it just hasn’t traditionally been a priority in multifamily. According to a February 2023 LinkedIn survey of over 450 multifamily professionals, 52% still conduct move-in inspections using pen and paper.
But, with the rapid rise of AI, an emphasis on automation, and the industry-wide call to centralize operations as much as possible, turning your back on technology is no longer an option. By keeping room in your budget for technology-enabled services and PropTech software, you’re setting your teams up for a more efficient, profitable 2024. Let’s explore how.
1. Emphasize Maintenance: Over 40% of Line Items Are Maintenance-Related
Maintenance lies at the heart of multifamily budgeting—more than 40% of expense items are directly related to maintenance. It’s essential not to create your budgets in a vacuum and to involve onsite team members who will be impacted by the choices you make.
While maintenance teams are tasked with keeping your communities neat and tidy, their internal processes are usually a mess. By creating a line item for property maintenance software on your annual budgets, you grant your teams access to a tool that allows them to complete inspections, manage maintenance requests, and communicate with external vendors in one central place.
Happy bonus: When you create your 2025 budget next year, you can access 2024’s physical inspection results—making it even easier to create the following year’s budget based on real data.
2. Unlock Portfolio-Wide Visibility, From Daily Operations to Major Projects
What’s the #1 item on every multifamily owner’s wishlist? Understanding what the heck is going on across their portfolio at a glance. Wouldn’t it be great if, when you presented the budget for 2024, you told your asset owners that would be the year they get full portfolio transparency? (Answer: Yes, it would.)
By budgeting for tools that track capital projects and renovations, you can get a holistic perspective of your property’s needs—from understanding where you stand on property renovations to sharing essential updates with stakeholders.
Happy bonus: Having a clear idea of all the upcoming CapEx projects and renovations gives you the visibility you need to budget accordingly.
3. Offer Alternate Solutions to Staffing Woes
Finding top talent has always been a challenge, but in recent years, it’s been especially difficult to fill maintenance roles. Between the physical demands of the job, being on-call after hours and on weekends, and the fact that many technicians are aging out of the role, the average property is running at 85% staffed.
Rather than assigning a budget for hiring new technicians (and tackling the challenge of recruiting this rare talent), reallocating that money toward employing a remote maintenance technician service can be a game-changer. Solutions like Happy Force give residents real-time access to experienced, remote technicians 24/7, saving your onsite teams the headache of late-night wake-ups and saving you the nuisance of hiring new techs.
Happy bonus: Your residents will be feeling the love, too, with additional maintenance support around the clock. Happy residents = higher renewal rates = healthier budgets.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is This Multifamily Budget Season
Everyone’s talking about technology and the monumental impact it will have on multifamily—but what are you actually doing to experiment with it and see how it can create new efficiencies at your communities?
Who knows? Hopefully, prioritizing technology in your 2024 budget will put a smile on your face, and you can rest assured that next year, you’ll have accounted for products that will improve your everyday life at work.
Ever since she was a kid, Ebby has always loved reading, writing, and storytelling. After graduating from College of Charleston in 2018, Ebby started a career in marketing for start-ups and scale-ups and never looked back. She's thrilled that she now gets to share HappyCo's stories across formats and channels for a living.