An early adopter of Mobile Doorman, Trilogy uses its portfolio of custom apps to better serve residents while optimizing its business as a whole.

For Trilogy Real Estate Group (Trilogy) COO Girish Gehani, finding new ways to consolidate operations and create greater efficiencies for the firm’s onsite teams is the utmost priority. With a keen understanding of consumer trends, he knew his teams and residents alike relied heavily on mobile apps in all facets of their lives. He was determined to find a multifamily technology that could deliver the same convenience and control as consumer apps do. Enter resident apps powered by Mobile Doorman. 

An early adopter of the proptech, Trilogy launched its first Mobile Doorman app at the beginning of 2015, and currently boasts fully customized resident apps at all of their apartment communities.

“We were leveraging multiple technologies to deliver an exceptional living experience to our residents,” says Gehani. “However, because of the fractured nature of those technologies, it made it more difficult to operate efficiently. To improve our performance, we needed better processes; we needed a solution that could serve our residents while also optimizing our business.”

Technology or Personal Touch

While self-service technologies like voice control, smart home features, chatbots and artificial intelligence are gaining significant ground in multifamily and in the consumer market, Gehani wanted more personal connection. 

Trilogy and Gehani understood they needed to move forward with more technologies that today’s savvy renters desire but also needed to strike a balance between the automation of proptech and maintaining positive resident touch points. 

That balance was immediately found in its package management practices. The company’s practices were solely focused on human interaction. Utilizing a clipboard and pen, associates were manually tracking packages as they arrived and then going into their property management system (PMS) to send residents emails that their packages had arrived. They would often also have to follow up with residents on the phone, as packages weren’t being picked up. Once a resident retrieved his or her package, the onsite team then updated the board. The process was filled with resident facetime but the interactions were not always positive, quick or easy. 

“Everyone was talking about implementing package lockers but those felt like we would be stepping away from our residents,” says Gehani. “We wanted to build efficiency for our teams but not at the cost of a customer service opportunity.”

Utilizing the package management functionality within the Mobile Doorman resident app, Trilogy is easily seeing an 80 percent improvement in package turns. The open API between Mobile Doorman and Trilogy’s PMS enables onsite team members to quickly scan a package, which then prompts an automatic push notification to residents that they have a package. Residents are picking up their packages faster than ever before. 

“Prior to using the Mobile Doorman app for package management, we were effective,” says Gehani. “Now with the app technology in place, we’re also efficient. The significant time savings  affords our onsite teams an improved ability to deliver high customer service and refocus on leasing - the things that truly impact property performance.”

Data That Drives Asset Value

Beyond the consolidation of its package management practices and an improved ability to focus on customer service and leasing, Trilogy has realized other direct impacts to asset valuation and ROI. 

Trilogy’s resident apps from Mobile Doorman also include such resident-centric functions like move-in checklists, an RSVP feature for community activities and the ability to reserve common areas for personal events. 

As more residents engaged with these features, the more trends and operational benefits Trilogy has uncovered. The move-in checklist gives more visibility into areas on which the Trilogy maintenance teams need to focus. “It showcases where we might be missing things during the unit turn and how we can improve those processes to reduce the number of follow-up service calls,” says Gehani. 

Furthermore, the data generated regarding community-event RSVPs and how often residents reserve certain amenities has enhanced the company’s ability to fine tune its value-add and renovation projects. 

“The RSVP function gives us insights into what residents really want,” says Gehani. One Trilogy community, for example, has averaged seven events per month in 2019, making an in-app RSVP function almost a necessity. 

“Take the media room for instance. It simply wasn’t on our radar as a must-have amenity in our renovations. But the significant RSVPs for events that involved the media room at another property - 116 reservations alone - enabled us to identify it is an amenity that residents really wanted. We can now be comfortable with making that upfront investment, and we know the ROI will be there.”

Gehani also found additional ROI from a training perspective. Millennials, who represent a high number of new hires for Trilogy, already have an inherent understanding of the effectiveness of apps, shared Gehani. “It’s intuitive; you almost don’t need training,” he says. “There are fewer log-ins and platforms to learn and engage.” 

“There also are inherent resident benefits to using app technology - they can manage their apartment life in a single platform,” says Gehani. “Thankfully those benefits cross over to our operations as well. What we found with Mobile Doorman is a one-stop-shop, best-in-class solution that enabled us to maintain our personal connection with residents and find consolidated, money-saving efficiencies in our business."

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