Managing new construction in multifamily is an undertaking that comes with a unique set of opportunities and challenges.
With hundreds of critical decisions to be made, the value in onboarding and even using certain amenities during construction can be easily overlooked.
While it may seem daunting to try to select multiple supplier partners early on in a build, the benefits can certainly outweigh the costs.
Let’s take a look at a few of them:
One of the top amenity trends in new construction is dedicated coworking space.
And for good reason.
Upwork estimates that by 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, equivalent to roughly 22% of the workforce.
Your future residents are going to need spaces where they can comfortably work.
One essential takeaway from the e-book is that thoughtful FF&E and design aesthetics are critical in creating great coworking spaces, but technology is non-negotiable.
Where is your money best spent? Here are four smart tech investments:
WithMe falls into that category, offering elevated printing and coffee amenities with perks for residents and on-site teams.
PrintWithMe’s all-inclusive packages make budgeting easy, while outsourced technical support and auto-shipped supplies reduce the burden on property management teams. Residents love having 24/7 access to reliable printing and live support if they ever run into issues.
SipWithMe also boasts budget-friendly, all-inclusive pricing and outsourced technical support. Residents love being able to order 20+ roast-to-order beverages in the comfort of their own building.
You’re going to need a printer and a coffee machine.
Why not maximize your ROI, ensure a seamless rollout and alleviate the stress of lease-up by onboarding WithMe amenities during construction?
Plus, you can advertise that your building will offer free coffee and free printing! And what prospective resident wouldn’t love that?
According to a report by Multi-Housing News, flexible coworking spaces are at the top of multifamily renters’ wish lists in 2023. And it’s no wonder – more renters than ever are working from home.
In September 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 17.9% of Americans (27.6 million people) were primarily working from home – a staggering increase from 2019, when only 5.7% worked from home.
As remote work and hybrid work models only continue to increase, multifamily property managers have been challenged to act quickly to accommodate residents' work-from-home needs.
In this WithMe webinar, host Jonathan Treble, founder and CEO of WithMe, Inc., brings together a panel of multifamily design and property management experts to discuss lessons learned and best practices for creating amazing coworking spaces in multifamily properties.
During this discussion, you'll learn from the following multifamily professionals:
Along with lessons learned and best practices, we cover:
Catch the full webinar here:
As of May 2023, 11.9% of full-time employees in the United States were exclusively working from home. Another 29.4% were working in hybrid models.
Upwork estimates that by 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, equivalent to roughly 22% of the workforce.
The numbers don’t lie. Remote work is here to stay.
So what does this mean for the multifamily industry? It means residents will continue to need more places where they can comfortably and efficiently conduct business.
Chicago is no exception. Tamina Sheikh, senior regional property manager at Chicago’s Lincoln Property Company, says, “In my properties, we see a revolving door in common spaces. It’s not the same people every single day, but I would say, on any given day, it’s about 20 - 30% of the property that is working from home.”
To cope with this increased demand for remote work space, multifamily property residents have started getting creative with where they conduct business (think golf simulators and mail rooms). This is forcing properties to create flexible communal spaces that are comfortable for both work and recreation.
According to Sheikh, “I think it’s still very important to have robust amenity offerings, but it’s also crucial to think through how somebody might work from each of those individualized spaces. Because they will.”
How exactly are properties making existing amenity spaces flexible? Here are three examples:
As a more permanent solution to the need for dedicated coworking spaces, many properties are investing in full retrofits of outdated business centers or underutilized amenity spaces (theaters are a common one).
If a retrofit is in your future, consider these key investments as you build your budget:
Thoughtful FF&E and design aesthetics are critical in creating great coworking spaces, but technology is, frankly, non-negotiable. Where is your money best spent? Here are four smart investments:
To help reduce the burden of vendor management, it’s advantageous to work with platform companies that offer multiple solutions.
WithMe falls into that category, offering elevated printing and coffee amenities with perks for residents and on-site teams.
PrintWithMe’s all-inclusive packages make budgeting easy, while outsourced technical support and auto-shipped supplies reduce the burden on property management teams. Residents love having 24/7 access to reliable printing and live support if they ever run into issues. It’s been a huge hit at The Paragon in South Loop.
SipWithMe also boasts budget-friendly, all-inclusive pricing and outsourced technical support. Residents love being able to order 20+ roast-to-order beverages in the comfort of their own building.. Not only has SipWithMe helped to elevate the resident experience at 6 Class A properties in Chicago, it’s also reduced their coffee expenses by 49%!
When you’re ready to invest in elevated printer and coffee amenities for your remote workers (and the rest of your deserving residents), click here to schedule a conversation with us!
CHICAGO, December 16, 2020 (Newswire.com) - With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing millions of Americans to work from home, apartment renters are increasingly in need of printing services, and they're willing to pay for the convenience of having those capabilities in their communities, according to a recent survey of over 500 apartment renters. PrintWithMe, the leading self-service wireless printer tech, offers this amenity to apartment renters in 49 states.
The November 2020 survey conducted by Satisfacts, titled Working From Apartments: What Residents Say They Need, sought to gain a better understanding of renters' remote working and distance learning requirements and preferences. When asked which apartment amenities would best accommodate their current needs, 50% of respondents listed printing services - second only to faster internet options (54.5%). On an overall value scale, respondents rated faster internet service and printer/copier/scanner services almost equally.
"It is always important for apartment operators to stay up to date on resident sentiment, but especially when we see such a dramatic shift in resident needs and priorities, as we have during the pandemic," said Lia Nichole Smith, Vice President of Education and Performance at ApartmentRatings and SatisFacts. "Residents' needs aren't the same as they were 10 months ago, especially for those who are now working or schooling from home. It's vital for operators to reach out to learn what those current needs are, and reassess what they're doing to accommodate residents."
PrintWithMe Founder and CEO Jonathan Treble said renters are leaning heavily on their apartment communities to make working and schooling from home feasible.
"We're seeing a transition in renter preferences, away from design and space and toward function and convenience," Treble said. "Apartment residents who now find themselves working or studying from home still require the equipment and capabilities that were previously provided at their workplace or educational institution. It's not surprising to see internet strength and printing capabilities top their list of necessities because those are the technologies that employees and students utilize on a regular basis."
In fact. 51.8% of survey respondents said that their printing needs have increased or held steady in 2020, despite moving to at-home settings for work or school. The survey showed that 57.4% of residents print more than 10 pages each month, and another 47.1% said they would use a community printer often or daily, if it was available, compared to only 12% who said they would use a co-working space on a daily basis.
"The survey certainly reflects what we're seeing at the property level," said LuAnne Acton Ross, Partner and Executive Vice President for JMG Realty. "Residents feel better about working from the comfort and safety of their own homes, rather than in a shared amenity space. But they still have a need for a reliable printer, scanner, and copier. We have seen a dramatic increase in our printer usage since the start of the pandemic, and with more of our residents planning to continue working from home post-pandemic, we expect that the trend is here to stay."
Property management companies are quickly realizing that a paperless business model isn't feasible for either their teams or their residents. Fortunately for operators who are thinking long-term, renters are also agreeable to paying for the amenities that allow them to work or conduct coursework from home.
Faster internet service (49%) was the top amenity that survey respondents were willing to pay for. Coming in second, at 40.8%, was wireless self-service printing, copying, and scanning. Conversely, only 13.9% of respondents indicated that they would pay for more co-working spaces.
The multifamily budgeting season can be stressful, and this year, COVID-19 has not made it easier. After analyzing data from multiple studies, here are our top five insights to help you plan for the 2021 fiscal year.
Every year during fall and winter, property managers and owners nationally bury their heads in excel and balance sheets in an effort to anticipate and account for expenses that are ahead next year - this is known as multifamily budgeting season. And while most property managers and multifamily executives are no stranger to budgeting for the future, the real conversation this year is “How do you budget for a future that seems so unpredictable due to COVID-19?”
A crucial aspect of budgeting is about managing expectations of variable stakeholders, from ownership to your staff and residents. For the past few months, the conversation around the “new normal” for multifamily has dominated the headlines in forums, news sites, and webinars. It is easy to be carried away by the transformational and expensive COVID-19 ideas we could implement in the multifamily landscape (for example, implementing hospital-grade ventilation throughout apartments), but realistically, we need to ask ourselves the million-dollar question: “What exactly do existing residents and prospective residents need and want for the next year, and in the long-term?”
In times of uncertainty, we turn to data. Our team at PrintWithMe has pulled together our top five takeaways for the 2020-2021 budgeting season after reviewing the data and insights from leading multifamily surveys to guide your thoughts and decide on the year ahead.
Rent payment is one of the most important revenue sources for management companies and there has been serious, steadfast concern throughout 2020 about whether residents will be able to afford their rent as the economy slows due to COVID-19. While the NMHC Rent Payment Tracker had reported that 86.8% of households made a rent payment by October 13th, 2020, 42% of renters said they are unsure if they are going to make rent in the next 90 days.
It is crucial that we empathize with the residents whose livelihoods may have been severely impacted due to COVID-19 by providing them with resources to help them make rent payments. Other than potentially waiving late fees, property managers can also consider gathering resources online about rental assistance for their residents who might need them and creating cheat sheets regarding these resources for easy reference.
These are stressful times and residents are more likely to renew their lease if they know that their management cares deeply about them and their families regardless of their financial position.
Lia Nichole Smith, the VP of Education and Performance at SatisFacts, said that their studies also demonstrate the shift in residents’ expectations in the frequency and consistency of communications they’ve received from their property staff.
“When [on-site] offices are still closed, residents don’t think anybody’s working because they can’t see their on-site staff and they can’t see their dollars at work,” said Smith
When you’re budgeting for 2021, Smith recommends adopting creative ways, such as slipping a letter at their resident’s door, posting regularly on social media, and sending email updates to keep their residents engaged especially when it comes to COVID-19 related communications.
For digital communications, properties should consider investing in apartment mobile app communication tools, which allow residents and staff to network socially and communicate directly with each other safely online. Explore new multifamily app technologies that enable digital guest check-ins, digital amenity bookings, and virtual resident events. For non-digital communications, plan for the costs of printing additional papers, flyers, and posters that can help with resident education.
A recent survey from SatisFacts also notes that residents are very aware of a community’s social media efforts, and lack thereof.
“Residents are willing to pay more for a place that, to the outside world, looks like they’re celebrating their residents on social media in a positive way,” said Smith.
Fortunately, communicating with your residents via social media, including Instagram and Facebook, is made increasingly simple by using existing social media templates across the internet.
According to the World Economic Forum, a whopping 98% of people surveyed said they would like the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers. However, while we know that the majority of the working population is growing to embrace the transition to working-from-home, 86% of residents are not sure if they will continue to work-from-home after the pandemic concludes, according to the COVID-19 National Renter Study by SatisFacts.
Nonetheless, noting most people’s significant desire to remain in a work-from-home environment, property managers should consider factoring into the 2021 budget new work-from-home solutions to support their residents. The good news is that these new solutions do not have to be expensive, like installing phone booths or buying copper-based gym equipment.
Based on an internal study with SatisFacts, which will be made public in the coming weeks, we found that the top 2 amenities that could increase productivity for residents working/schooling from home are faster internet options (56.4%) and wireless self-service printing, copying, and scanning services (52.6%) - like PrintWithMe.
“Anything that makes working and schooling from home easier for residents will be crucial for at least the next six months,” said Smith. “I think a WiFi extender will make a great renewal gift.”
As you analyze new resident amenities that support working remotely, we suggest you look into the following factors:
According to the COVID-19 National Renter Study by SatisFacts, “Making certain residents feel connected to where they live will positively impact future renewal decisions. In a time of such uncertainty, renters are looking for stability; and they are craving to connect and feel a sense of belonging.”
“Residents want to see if their management has really stepped up their game to go above and beyond for them,” said Smith. “They are willing to pay more for a community that they can vouch for and that they will be confident in recommending their best friend to stay at the same building.”
The budget that may usually be set aside for residents' activities and in-person events could be reallocated to curating fun virtual events, thoughtful and safe gifts, and digital streaming fitness classes.
“I always suggest the ‘Take One, Give Two’ concept,” said Smith. “When you take one amenity away from your residents, you have to give them two in return. For example, if you’re announcing the temporary closing of your fitness center, you should consider providing online fitness classes or virtual fitness memberships so that your residents don’t feel like they are losing.”
The key here is to help your community stay connected while apart by offering gathering opportunities that are social-distance-friendly.
To summarize, as you create your annual budget for 2021, make sure to consider 1) providing rental assistance resources, 2) communicating regularly and effectively with your residents, 3) strengthening your community virtually, and 4) investing in important, affordable, and easy-to-implement resident amenities that help your residents work and school from home. Good luck!
During COVID-19, many of us are working from our home offices. Here are our top tips to reinvent your new office to better work for you.
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed office culture globally. While many professions still require frontline workers to be onsite, including most healthcare, factory, grocery, and restaurant workers, many other industries have already shifted completely to remote working. These industries even include companies that were traditionally “office-centric” and are now seeing the benefits of a remote workforce.
Employers are not the only ones experiencing and embracing the shift either. According to a Gallup poll, half of Americans who now work remotely said they want to continue doing so even after restrictions on business.
However, as companies allow employees to work remotely (and many have even announced their permanent transition into a remote-first workplace), it is time to invest some thought into reinventing our makeshift home offices.
While home offices of the past might have been a luxury, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a workplace that helps you to work your best.
Here are a few tips and ideas we put together to help you rethink your workspace at home:
If you live in a metropolitan area, you are most likely to be living or cohabitating in a small apartment or a room. While it might feel impossible to fit a desk into an already-cramped space, there are some creative ways to include a new surface area dedicated to work.
For example, this moveable, window-mounted standing desk by Deskview takes up zero floor space and lets you take advantage of the incredible window view, especially if you live in a high-rise building.
The balance has also put together a list of various types of desks you can consider depending on your living space in this article.
Photo courtesy of Deskview.
If you don’t yet have a designated work area or desk, chances are that your office supplies are also scattered throughout your apartment and you can never find them when you need them. Having things organized within your reach also helps free up headspace so that you can focus on being productive.
To help save you some time, here’s a checklist of Home Office Essentials we put together so that you no longer have to put your meeting on hold as you scramble around to find a piece of paper for notetaking.
We seldom consider the environmental footprint we can create when it comes to designing conventional office spaces. Now, we get to be more intentional about curating a workspace at home that is both pleasant and environmentally-conscious.
A few simple ways to make your space greener include:
Today, remote workers are no stranger to video conferencing and Zoom meetings. Most of us did not have a video conferencing background in mind when we move into our current space but the times have changed.
If you’re still taking your meetings with wet towels or a kitchen in your background, here’s a pro tip–buy a portable green screen or simply find a white background and then apply one of these Zoom backgrounds from Unsplash.
Lighting and a quality webcam are key to getting crisp video–a simple selfie ring light like this one and an affordable webcam will definitely help you stand out from the (virtual) crowd in your next webinar.
It is much harder to create separation from work when we are basically living and working from the same environment. However, it is crucial that we create boundaries that minimize distractions when you need to stay focused and encourage us to step away from work when it comes time to relax and play.
While not everyone has the luxury of dedicating a separate room for work, there are many innovative divider ideas to help create those mental boundaries which are equally impactful.
From adding a rug to create separation to repurposing a closet, designing a functional working nook only takes creativity. Check out this article by Apartment Therapy on how to fit your workspace into a small living room.
The remote work culture is only here to stay. We hope that this article can help you make the best out of the new normal and enjoy the flexibility and many other perks that come with it.
Comment below and let us know if you have any tips on how to make your space work!
Kenny Nguyen, a Marketing Associate at ZRS Management, shines a light on the company’s dedication to its people-first approach amid uncertainties and the success that follows.
In the midst of a global pandemic, where information and events can change dramatically day-to-day, it can be anxiety-inducing to attempt to predict the future of the multifamily industry.
However, to ZRS Management, a company honored as one of the Top Workplaces by Multifamily Leadership for four years in a row, the only tangible and unfailing solution appears to be more fundamental and closer to heart. Though it may not always be obvious the solution is to treat each other with kindness and compassion.
Today, the world is changing rapidly. There is less space for micro-management but an increased need for trusting leadership. To help demystify this, our team at PrintWithMe virtually interviewed Kenny Nguyen this week, a Marketing Associate at ZRS Management, to learn about the guiding principles the company has put in place to attend to the needs of their employees, renters, and prospects.
While the financial repercussions of the outbreak dominated the news front with overwhelming concerns over rent collections, Nguyen said that their properties are seeing more renewals and more leases being signed in the past weeks.
He attributed the success to the ZRS leasing team’s emphasis on being as human as possible when it comes to virtually walking through the leasing process with prospects with patience and compassion.
“We never really know who our prospective renters might be,” said Nguyen. “So, offering that sense of human touch is really important.”
Instead of relying solely on software and technologies to give tours to prospects, a majority of their leasing consultants are encouraged to take an active role in giving virtual tours via video conferencing.
During each virtual tour, consultants show clients the details of the properties, amenities, and the actual apartment homes, down to the specific details like kitchen finishings. This kind of human interaction is incomparable to simply clicking through a simulated tour, where no questions can be answered.
He also shared a unique story about a leasing consultant’s dedication to helping a couple whose husband is based in Oklahoma and wife in Puerto Rico. The consultant had to navigate through time differences and utilize the proper tools so that they could all view the property together. The consultant handled all questions and concerns flawlessly and was able to successfully encourage the couple to lease an apartment.
Listening is a trait that Nguyen emphasized throughout the interview. “We’re always actively listening,” Nguyen explained when asked what training and support the company is providing to their on-site teams to handle unforeseen scenarios.
“We are always paying attention to what’s going on around us in our landscape and trying to create an ecosystem of communication that is responsive and quicker to implement changes than we used to,” said Nguyen.
He also told us that, since the outbreak, ZRS has been conducting daily updates and weekly briefings with its executives for feedback which had successfully built rapport among the staff.
“This kind of exchange and communication are going to continue running well past COVID-19,” said Nguyen as he spoke about how the regular meetings and teamwork had contributed to the success and the effectiveness of many marketing campaigns since.
It is inherently difficult to foresee a global crisis like what we’re experiencing now. Luckily, for ZRS, the commitment to strong values and building a team of sensible and creative people is at the core of the company.
“We select candidates that have empathy and a sense of urgency for others. These are foundational skills of any ZRS team member, company-wide,” said Nguyen. “In addition, we believe in having great ‘soft skills.’ From their first day and thorough their career, a ZRS associate is taught soft skills such as building rapport and actively listening to expertly handle any situation,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen said that the marketing team at ZRS is aware that every property and every on-site team has their own unique needs. Instead of trying to absorb and relay all the information they could possibly gather, they have stepped up as the facilitator of ideas.
Nguyen said that he is fascinated by the exchange and support he had witnessed among teams. Through an internal communication platform called the “Idea Exchange”, employees from leasing consultants to property managers are encouraged to cultivate creative ideas, share their unique experiences, and voice their concerns.
“We think when the staff is encouraged to collaborate, it helps them connect easier, discuss ideas, and then go from there,” said Nguyen.
Other than encouraging an organic exchange of ideas, Nguyen said that ZRS is also very intentional when it comes to distributing information and knowledge to their leasing consultants. Led by Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Brown, the marketing team began hosting a weekly virtual leasing class for their leasing teams with an objective to discuss topical issues and to provide relevant training and tools.
“The class has become so popular that we’ve had literally hundreds of people tune in on a weekly basis,” Nguyen said with surprising enthusiasm. “So much so that we actually had to set a cap in terms of how many people could attend because it would freeze up the Zoom call itself.”
The company has also reinforced their “Open Door Policy” for employees to always feel encouraged to reach out whenever they need to, and look out for each other–whether it is about their job or anything concerning their personal well-being.
A pressing topic Nguyen and his team had observed prompted them to rethink the importance of ownership over ideas and creativity: How can we create a sense of community when we are not physically present with the residents?
To tie it back to the emphasis on creating a genuine human connection with everyone, ZRS is impressed by the creative ideas and over-the-top community-building efforts that came from individuals from each property who know their residents best.
“The resident ideas that our teams have come up with are outstanding,” Nguyen said as he applauded the on-site teams for the thoughtful and wide-ranged initiatives they’ve implemented, from virtual events such as cooking challenges to pool-side concerts and sending personalized, uplifting videos to residents. He also said that he was surprised at the popularity of virtual bingo, and how some properties created ceremonies for recent high school and college graduates.
Some property managers had gone above and beyond to send customized gifts to celebrate significant milestones with their residents who are welcoming a newborn or adopting a new pet.
“In a time like now, it is so important to create a sense of bond, that the apartments aren’t just a place where you live; it is a community made of people and local organizations you want to spend time with,” Nguyen said.
Although their reopening strategy remains fluid due to the unclear circumstances of the pandemic itself, the health and well-being of their employees and their renters are the priority.
Nguyen said that ZRS is doing everything they can, such as keeping up with state guidelines, communicating directly with transparency, and providing all the resources and protective equipment education their staff may need. However, they always stay true to their people-first philosophy and he reassured that ZRS is overly passionate for their employee’s well-being.
Special thank you to Kenny Nguyen for sharing his insights from ZRS on the multifamily industry during COVID-19.
To learn more about ZRS, visit them online at www.zrsmanagement.com.
Property Managers, here is PrintWithMe’s list of the top four resident amenities services to prioritize when reopening during COVID-19.
We know that reopening apartment amenities after the state-by-state COVID-19 lockdowns will not be as easy as a flip of a switch. Apartments across the country are already making temporary, as well as permanent, new changes to their resident amenity services to protect everyone’s safety and health.
Prior to COVID-19, shared amenity spaces were designed to encourage in-person interaction; they were the key to fostering a neighborly community among the residents and the on-site staff. Unfortunately, we are now challenged to rethink the utilization of these common areas in order to support social distancing and to function as essential amenities crucial to renter’s new routines and lifestyles.
Here are our top four amenity services we recommend Property Managers prioritize during this careful reopening phase:
We want to have trust in our residents that they will be social-distancing themselves responsibly when amenity spaces reopen. However, property managers need to stay one step ahead of any possible mishap and help facilitate the measures needed to ensure the safety of their residents and on-site teams.
One obvious solution is to manage occupancy limits. Smart software like Amenity Boss allows property managers to customize occupancy and time limits for each amenity. Residents can reserve and check into the amenity using a contactless amenity pass system.
This can avoid overcrowding of amenity spaces and guarantee fair opportunities for residents to use their amenities.
Protecting residents’ and employees’ safety is paramount in combating the pandemic. The regular cleaning routine is no longer sufficient when the stakes are now much higher. Property managers need to develop a set of sanitization protocol that includes frequent cleaning rotation and pays special attention to high-touch areas.
To help relieve the on-site team from the burden, Spruce has recently launched a full line of service that include sanitization and disinfection of amenity spaces. Residents can also schedule a decontamination cleaning service for their own apartments using the Spruce app.
They also ensure that their employees are properly equipped with appropriate PPE while providing complete health checks for their employees prior to arriving for service.
Communication is key to making sure that you and your residents are on the same page especially when you reopen the amenity spaces. It is crucial that you relay the updates and guidelines clearly to your residents using every communication channel available such as updating your residents via email and placing appropriate signages throughout the community.
Using design software like Canva makes creating graphics for your messages easy and consistent. Whether it be signage outlining the hours of operation or a social media graphic that announces the reopening stages you recently implemented, Canva has a template for all your graphic needs.
They can even print and ship flyers or posters directly to you after you’re done creating the design.
The pandemic has forced the majority of the workforce to transition into working from home and this new norm is likely to stick around pass COVID-19.
Residents who are new to the remote working environment are tasked with great challenges such as limited space in their apartments; the lack of convenient printing options shouldn’t be one. Without access to their regular office printer, PrintWithMe has seen a recent uptick in printer usage since the shelter-in-place was put in order.
PrintWithMe’s printing process is entirely digital and contactless. Residents print via email using their own personal devices from the comfort of their own homes without having to log into a public computer or physically interacting with the printer.
Interested in getting PrintWithMe for your apartment community? Get in touch with our team today for more information.
This sums up our top four innovative amenity services for you to consider as you discuss your reopening strategies with your team.
Do you know other services you think would benefit our readers? Comment below!
Exclusive Interview with the CEO of TFLiving, Devin Wirt, and Senior Marketing Manager, Emily Smith.
All stakeholders in the multifamily landscape have adapted, pivoted, or witnessed dramatic changes to their businesses within the past few months; TFLiving is no different. However, their mission to provide affordable, meaningful, and thoughtfully-curated experiences stays the same.
TFLiving is an app-based amenities platform that offers a range of services to residents including fitness classes and events customizable to fit the needs of every community and add unique values to all its residents. They are currently in 29 states, more than 100,000 units, working with over 300 active properties including those managed by nationally-renowned property management companies like Bozzuto and Greystar.
Since the outbreak, the company shifted its focus completely from being a marketplace for on-site and in-person amenities into a virtual community where residents can still connect and interact with their neighbors while safely social-distancing. All TFLiving employees are also all working from home.
Devin Wirt, CEO of TFLiving, is also working from home and has been experiencing the full effect of being in isolation.
“We want to bring the social aspect back to people’s lives,” said Wirt.
TFLiving decided to use their proprietary app technology as a means to deliver social experiences directly to their residents who were staying at home. Instead of having to search for quality content on the internet themselves, residents can now simply log into the TFLiving app and tune into their latest events or fitness classes that had been designed to suit the needs of their community.
Emily Smith, Senior Marketing Manager at TFLiving, told us that their team had only two weeks to build an intuitive platform from scratch with technological capabilities to host live virtual activities.
“It truly took every single person on the team involved to make it happen,” said Smith. They have since hosted colorful live events such as piano concerts, fitness lessons, and cooking classes; the possibilities are endless.
Virtual Yoga Class at Home. Photo Courtesy of TFLiving.
The live events hosted by TFLiving resemble the essence of in-person events where human interactions and connections are formed within the apartment community. For example, residents can have realtime conversations using built-in chatrooms, strengthening the bond with familiar faces of their neighbors, instructors, and event hosts. These are qualities that residents simply can’t experience if they are merely attending a public Facebook live event or a regular online workout class.
Their new approach has been very well-received by both residents and the property managers. Additionally, with reopening strategies pending, TFLiving is confident that in-person events won’t be going away. They do foresee themselves expanding into a hybrid service accommodating the evolving demands of the residents.
TFLiving is also working closely with every client along the way on varying protocols, in addition to, developing their own operational standards and abiding CDC guidelines.
“The collaboration with our clients has just been wonderful,” said Wirt.
While the reality we now live in is sometimes unnerving, TFLiving makes sure that they keep the team spirit high through wall sit challenges, lunchtime gatherings, and trivia nights.
“I feel so much more connected to my coworkers than I normally would because of the circumstances we all have that requires we communicate much more often now,” said Smith.
Wirt gave credit to the entire team for their efforts to stay connected and have fun at work.
“At the end of the day, we are still people,” said Wirt.
In April 2020, our team at PrintWithMe surveyed over 400 apartment residents nationwide to better understand their needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. With residents staying at home more than ever before, our aim was to understand how multifamily apartment managers and service providers can help residents during these unprecedented times.
The 400+ multifamily residents that were surveyed live in apartments that currently offer the PrintWithMe amenity and many of the survey responses offered qualitative feedback.
Here is a summary of the findings:
We hope this information is useful for multifamily apartment property managers that are working incredibly hard during these times to support their residents.
Stay well and learn more about PrintWithMe at www.printwithme.com.