Centralization in Multifamily: An Interview with Michael Lightfoot

As the multifamily industry continues to evolve, centralization has become a major topic of discussion among professionals in the industry. We sat down with our Co-Founder and CEO, Michael Lightfoot, to gain a deeper understanding of this trend and its implications.

Why Centralization?

Centralization in the multifamily industry has become a hot topic, and for good reason. 

“Something about COVID made a lightbulb go off around the idea of centralization. That is when it really began to catch wind. Like retailers, property managers were on the front line. They had to be there for their customers, and that presented a challenge. It was the first time that people really began thinking about how to reshape traditional on-site processes,” says Lightfoot.

It started to become clear that centralized systems made it easier to manage multiple properties from one location, automate time-consuming tasks, and improve communication with residents. This new business model also offered the potential for cost savings and increased efficiency, making it an appealing option for multifamily organizations.

Centralization in the Industry Continues to Evolve

As we look ahead to the future of centralization in the multifamily industry, there is still plenty of room for growth and development. “As we think about reshaping some of the services properties are delivering, there is an opportunity to bring them to one central place,” notes Lightfoot. “The actions you go about day to day as a property manager have a big impact on the broader portfolio, so if you have each property running a slightly different process and enacting slightly different policies, that can create challenges.”

He believes that by streamlining processes and creating a portfolio-wide view of resident data, property managers can gain deeper insights into their operations and make more informed decisions. “Centralization of on-site processes creates an opportunity to really zero in on your problems, reduce costs, and maximize property managers’ time.”

The Challenge With Centralization

“The challenge with the single experience created through centralization is that you need to account for a lot of different use cases across all your properties,” Lightfoot says. “You need to be flexible and accommodate all the processes that were once decentralized.” 

One example of this is payments, where residents want the ability to pay in various ways. “With payments, it is not one size fits all,” Lightfoot explains. “People want to be able to pay their way. You have to be able to offer many different options when you attempt to centralize payments, or it won’t work.” These challenges must be overcome to ensure that centralization provides the benefits it promises.

Not to Fear:
Centralization is Not Replacing On-Site Teams – It’s Helping Them

While centralization can provide numerous benefits to property management companies, it is important to remember that it does not replace the need for on-site teams. Lightfoot emphasizes the importance of face-to-face interactions at the site level, which can help maintain good relationships with residents and provide a positive experience. “There are things that do need to be on site. Certain things need to be face-to-face, and that is incredibly important both for residents and for companies trying to maintain a strong positive reputation,” Lightfoot says. “Other things such as payments, receivables, decisions on policy… there is no reason those need to be managed at the site level.”

It is important to strike a balance and make the most of on-site interactions while delegating tasks that can be centralized. “We need to think a little bit more about making the most of those face-to-face interactions at the site level and how those help the business, and which tasks are best left for centralized headquarters where you can be very effective in driving the process,” Lightfoot explains.

Where Domuso Fits Into the Story

Domuso has been working on centralization of rent payment in the multifamily industry and is uniquely positioned to help in this area. We provide “a consistent, brand-positive experience that offers residents flexibility in the process. Domuso removes many of the complexities related to a property’s financial management by integrating with multiple backend platforms, making the process of centralization smoother,” Lightfoot says. “Our approach is more than just technology – it involves bringing implementation tools and a vision to help clients get to 100%.” 

This allows the company to meet the market where they are and provide valuable support for the centralization efforts in the industry

Key Takeaways

  • Centralization can help multifamily organizations gain deeper insights into their operations and make more informed decisions.
  • Streamlining processes makes it easier to manage multiple properties from one location, automate time-consuming tasks, and improve communication with residents. 
  • Technology will not replace on-site teams but rather give them more time to focus on the needs of the resident.

As you consider your business goals for 2023, we encourage you to think about the benefits of centralization for your organization. If you are interested in learning more about how Domuso can help you centralize your rent payments, please contact us today. We look forward to helping you take your business to the next level.

Ready to chat about how Domuso can help your organization? Request a demo today.

Request Demo

Discover the Domuso Difference.

Lines. Lines.