RPM Gone Virtual – Technology in the Age of C-19

When our operations were disrupted by COVID-19, Roscoe Property Management reacted swiftly and decisively to transform our way of working, and become a largely remote workforce, almost overnight. And despite the unforeseeable complications due to kids at home, pets and kitchen tables standing in for desks, we were pleased to find that we were well-prepared for the challenges of online leasing, resident and client communication, and team collaboration.

For the average employee at one of our corporate offices, the transition was fairly simple:

Step 1: Unplug laptop and ‘borrow’ peripherals – keyboard, mouse, docking station, monitors and maybe a snack from the breakroom.

Step 2: Return home and plug everything in.

Step 3: Get ‘nanny’ to spend quality time with kids (read: iPad), and exile the dog to the backyard.

For our onsite team members who needed to close their offices to the public and still lease apartment homes and serve existing residents, the picture was a bit more complicated. However, our investments in technology over the years uniquely positioned us for success in these difficult circumstances.

Leasing and Marketing

RPM has always adopted a paperless-office mentality in our efforts to both be environmentally conscious and efficient in our processes. The benefits of this approach have become even more apparent these days as our prospective residents are exploring our community and interacting with the leasing team almost entirely online. Prospective residents can navigate our community websites to find the perfect apartment home, apply online, pay their application fees and even electronically sign their lease agreement. We have also enhanced our technical tool kit to promote virtual online touring, facetime touring, and self-guided touring.

Resident Relations

Our residents are hyper-connected and savvy users of technology who expect 24/7 access to their account information and community team. We were one of the first property management operators to enable online resident portals where residents can make payments, submit and track work orders, and communicate with their community team anytime. Now more than ever, we are sharing news, updates and important information regarding the community via the resident portal. Staying connected with residents also means continuing to build community despite social distancing. Our onsite teams have never been more innovative in transforming their resident engagement efforts into virtual activities and programming such as online cooking and fitness classes, DJ’ed patio dance parties, and contactless social hours.

Support and Collaboration

As our onsite teams work to stay connected to their residents remotely, our corporate support teams are also evolving their approach to better serving our employees. All RPM team members have access to our online knowledge database where they can reference policy and procedure, download helpful how-to guides, and view short tutorials. They can also reach out directly to members from the support team, including Marketing, Training and Accounting, either by submitting a contact form in the Help Center or sending an email to an internal support email address. We’re relying on collaboration and engagement tools such as Sharepoint and Teams to connect with colleagues and whole teams, and share successes using our internal social media channel, Yammer.

Although we couldn’t have foreseen the circumstances that would have precipitated an adjustment to the approach of the entire property management industry, nonetheless we were prepared for it. RPM has always valued efficiency, innovation, and excellence in our operations. But these same tools and technologies are only facilitators; what has made us successful and effective is combining them with our exceptional, customer-service focused team. The technology supports our work, but it’s the people behind the property that make us RPM.


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Fair Housing

We believe all residents and prospective residents deserve to be treated equally and fairly at all times. We are committed to doing business in accordance with the Fair Housing Act. It is illegal to discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status (having one or more children), or national origin.

If you feel we have not met our commitment or obligations under the law, please contact us at please contact us at 512-480-9886 or use the contact form on our website. You can also file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development:

US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Washington, DC 20410
www.hud.gov
1-800-669-9777 (toll-free)
1-800-927-9275 (TTY)

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

We are committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. As part of our commitment, we will always make reasonable accommodations to our policies or modifications to existing premises, where necessary, to allow individuals with disabilities the opportunity to use and enjoy our properties and work with us.

 

If you feel we have not met our commitment or obligations under the law, please contact us at 512-480-9886 or use the contact form on our website.

AARPM is a home for innovation in the multifamily industry. Through our partnership with Zendesk, an industry-leading customer support software, we are able to provide all RPM team members with prompt and responsive support that enables them to manage the cutting-edge property management applications and programs that power our resident and client services.

Zendesk is a multi-faceted customer support tool used by 150K+ companies around the world. Using Zendesk, we have created a three-pronged support system: a robust self-help knowledge database, an intuitive support request ticket system, and detailed reporting on requests and resolutions.

Our “Help Center” knowledge base is a self-help hub for policy announcements, required forms, training materials, and more. We conduct rigorous analysis on monthly search topics and search volumes to constantly improve our library of over 500 articles. With approximately 6K article views per month, our team knows they can rely on the Help Center as their first stop for support.

At the heart of Zendesk is the support request ticket system. Based on the request type, received requests are automatically routed to the appropriate department for review and resolution. We receive approximately 1600 requests a month, 91% of which are responded to within 24 hours, and, on average, are resolved within 1 business day. Real Estate industry key performance indicators compiled by Zendesk indicate RPM’s support response time is twice as fast as other real estate industry clients also using Zendesk.

Tying together our data from the Help Center and the ticket system is our reporting suite. We review performance reports bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly both internally and with members of the Operations teams. Our Training department uses Zendesk data to identify immediate training needs of team members and gaps in current learning materials. IT and Application Management analyze the health of our software platforms and status of our pilot programs. Regional leaders can see the types of issues their teams are having, who is having them, and determine how best to deploy additional resources. Our responsive approach to reporting ensures we make data-driven decisions that continually strengthen our people, processes and platforms.

RPM’s investment in support technology keeps us on the leading edge of the real estate industry. Our commitments to efficient support, continual learning, and data-driven decisions engender a culture of innovation, where cultivating the people behind the properties, our RPM teams, is our primary concern.