As working from home becomes more and more prevalent, the traditional office is teetering on the edge of necessity. Conference room meetings have been replaced with phone calls, texts, Zoom, WhatsApp, online collaborative platforms and software, and even podcasts.
Today, the possibilities of using technology to interact with your multifamily ecosystem are endless. Below are just a few of the tools we at Vive Funds use to communicate with our multifamily ecosystem, which includes investors, mortgage and real estate brokers, office staff, lawyers, inspectors, renters, and more.
While Zoom is frequently used for one-on-one or other small group interactions, it has almost unlimited potential for hosting meetings, lectures, and workshops, information distribution, and problem resolution mechanisms.
We frequently use Zoom to host sessions with our investors on the current status of projects and market trends we are seeing. We also discuss new projects where we will soon be issuing a call for funds.
WhatsApp can be used for multi-person calls, one-on-one interactions, and sending photographs and other documents. It's also a great tool to send out group messages to an ecosystem. Because it is encrypted end to end, it offers a secure form of communication. However, keep in mind that its effectiveness is limited to the quality of your wi-fi or phone connection.
3. Online Collaborative Platforms and Software
A wide variety of collaborative platforms and software are available that ensure seamless work collaboration and flow that can be extended to teams distributed around the globe. Each of the available platforms tends to excel in one or two aspects of a collaborative workflow environment. What you choose should match your needs. Here is a small tranche of available systems:
Slack allows you to stay organized with your tasks, and a centralized collaboration area allows for interaction with other teams in your organization. It also allows you to collaborate with other organization teams on collaborative projects. This has proved to be very useful when working on deals with many moving parts — investors, brokers, mortgage, lawyers, appraisers, etc.
Todoist is considered to be one of the best platforms for shared task management. When you have many players involved in a project, the probability of many hands doing the same “to-do” increases manyfold. The use of this platform can ensure this probability is minimized.
Asana is a great platform for workflow management. It is a complex though intuitive system — putting in the effort needed to learn how to use the platform is worth it.
If you are a “white boarder,” Miro is an excellent tool. Just like a whiteboard, this gives you a blank canvas and the many tools you need to fill it.
We participate in many podcasts as guests and hosts. This is an excellent tool that reaches a wide audience. It gives you “street cred” and has been the pathway some investors have used to find us. It is an excellent tool to showcase your expertise.
5. Text (SMS)
The world has been using texting, also known as SMS (Short Message Service), for some time now. Mass texts can be sent to your ecosystem with a few clicks. Old, but tried and tested.
6. Phone Calls
Many multifamily project managers consider phone calls an efficiency inhibitor. But a personal call has a connection that is hard to discount or ignore. I do call my investors from time to time and discuss various issues with them. Oftentimes, what we discuss has nothing to do with multifamily. But I like my investors to know I care for them as a person and not just as a dollar sign. I agree — to call all your investors individually takes time. It is worth the effort.
There are many other tools that may fit your organization better. Use what works best for you to enhance your productivity and ecosystem loyalty.
About the Author:
Veena Jetti is the founding partner of Vive Funds, a unique commercial real estate firm that specializes in curating conservative opportunities for investors.