10 Issues We Realized on the tenth Annual AppFolio Buyer Convention

Final modified on October twenty sixth, 2022

This fall, we had been excited to welcome again AppFolio customers to Santa Barbara, California for the tenth annual AppFolio Buyer Convention. Greater than 800 of our clients joined us in individual to achieve recent views for his or her enterprise in a convention that featured an inspiring message from our keynote speaker, Suneel Gupta, a full day of in-depth product trainings, and two days of useful academic classes. For the primary time, we tailor-made the convention particularly for many who use AppFolio Property Supervisor and AppFolio Funding Administration. 

This yr’s convention theme, “The place business meets innovation,” confirmed AppFolio clients how they will put our highly effective platform to work to energise their enterprise and jump-start their futures. In honor of the tenth yr of the AppFolio Buyer Convention, listed here are 10 takeaways from this yr’s occasion:

1.) You by no means stopped, so we by no means stopped

To kick off the convention, Common Supervisor of Actual Property, Shane Trigg, gave a robust opening welcome, thanking you, our clients, for the resilience you’ve proven over the past two years. Navigating by means of a pandemic, sustaining good enterprise practices, and creating optimistic experiences on your residents was no small feat — however since you pushed ahead, so did we. 

“When it felt like the complete world stopped, you didn’t,” Shane mentioned. “We leaned into our values, embraced each worker, and located new methods to attach and take heed to all of you to proceed to ship the product innovation you wanted to quickly reply to and remodel your companies.”

He emphasised that over the past two years, you had been in a position to encourage your groups, adapt to challenges, and keep resilient within the face of uncertainty. Whereas the world round us continued to vary and evolve at a fast tempo, you stayed steadfast and completed your objectives: to allow operational excellence to free your groups to give attention to what issues most, to ship distinctive experiences on your clients, and to maximise your progress and assist you to attain your finest potential as a enterprise. 

Every quarter, we recap the most recent improvements and have enhancements made inside our software program geared toward serving to your enterprise make super strides. Check out what was launched within the first, second, and third quarters.

2.) The magic of AI

Discovered virtually in all places, AI is a robust device that may unlock your enterprise’ potential. Cat Allday, Vice President of AI and Product Operations, spoke on “the magic” of AI and the way it will help resolve actual challenges for your enterprise: “When expertise is actually working, it’s virtually indistinguishable from magic, and we’re arduous at work to ship moments of magic for you each day.”

The magic of AI lives by means of our merchandise, comparable to Lisa, the AI Leasing Assistant, which helps schedule prospect excursions; Sensible Invoice Entry, which fills in all invoice particulars from vendor invoices mechanically; and Sensible Upkeep, which may prioritize an pressing upkeep request out of your residents. Automation, insights, and proposals energy all of those improvements and extra — permitting you to make higher enterprise selections sooner than ever earlier than.

Within the session “Creating AI merchandise at AppFolio,” Cat and a panel from the AI crew mentioned what you must learn about AI and the way AppFolio continues to develop options for your enterprise: 

  • Incorporating AI into your day-to-day can take away many mundane duties and mean you can do issues which can be thought of “not doable”, comparable to deciphering and translating knowledge to make good enterprise selections.
  • The event of such merchandise follows a inflexible course of that features partaking with clients and reviewing and researching strategies from the person neighborhood to totally perceive your wants and issues and discover alternatives to use expertise to enhance your life.
  • Our growth crew of product managers, designers, and engineers then work collectively to craft progressive options which can be examined and validated by clients to verify they suit your wants and obtain your objectives. 

3.) Distinctive experiences for all

Retention of residents and workers is a key issue within the success of our business. One solution to obtain that is to include expertise in an efficient solution to present your residents and workers that empathy is a precedence in your enterprise. Within the session “Making empathy your secret weapon for smoother operations,” we discovered that sustaining a office tradition that meets workers’ wants can finally result in elevated income progress and profitability. 

Listed below are some key takeaways from this session:

  • Customer support is synonymous with being fast, clear, and type.
  • When your workers really feel understood and supported, their engagement and efficiency improves. Moreover, when a buyer feels heard and understood, their expertise is that a lot better. 
  • You might have a possibility to offer nice customer support throughout a resident’s journey. Making an awesome first impression and speaking clearly and truthfully helps save useful time, reduces any confusion, and finally “wows” your residents.
  • In some unspecified time in the future, a resident could resolve to half methods with you, so it’s vital to make sure that the ultimate a part of their expertise is sweet as properly. Doing issues like beginning the renewal course of early or discovering different methods to be useful within the shifting course of can depart the resident with optimistic, lasting impressions that can lead to future referrals. 

4.) Innovation you may rely on

The largest announcement made throughout the convention revealed the most recent improvements rolled out for AppFolio Property Supervisor. Our worth of “Listening to clients is in our DNA” couldn’t ring extra true as we listened to what was most vital to you thru our on-line person neighborhood suggestion board. We acquired 107 concepts with shut to twenty,000 votes. 

These thrilling improvements will assist get rid of your busywork:

  • Financial institution Feed: Our good accounting device mechanically imports financial institution transactions and simplifies reconciliations, serving to you retain cleaner books whereas liberating your crew to realize extra.
  • Sensible Guarantee: This program tracks protection of your models and means that you can add legal responsibility protection to uncovered models and move the price on to your residents.
  • Automated Administration Charges: To scale back manually calculating or creating administration charge payments, now you can arrange automated recurring expenses, together with proportion or flat charge charges, and may pre-set future charge modifications.
  • Refunding safety deposits on-line: As a substitute of monitoring down mailing addresses or reducing paper checks, now you can refund your residents electronically.
    • Moreover, Apple Pay is now an out there cost technique for residents. In just some clicks, they will pay their hire proper from their telephone.
  • AppFolio Stack™: Connecting the business’s finest proptech options with our easy-to-use platform, supercharge your enterprise with our rising record of integration companions, which now contains Lead Easy, zInspector, PetScreening™, Opiniion, Homebase, 30 Strains, and ShowMojo.
  • Quick Time period Leases: Introducing StayManager, a brand new solution to handle your short-term leases straight by means of AppFolio Property Supervisor.
  • Inexpensive Housing Subsidy Toolbox: New capabilities, together with bulk subsidy receipts, pre-payments, and case supervisor monitoring, supply larger assist for project-based Part 8 and enhance current LIHTC and Housing Alternative Voucher capabilities.

We couldn’t be extra excited to ship the brand new improvements you’ve been searching for. Check out what else was launched in our Fall 2022 Showcase.

5.) Creating happier cultures

Staffing continues to be a dominant and demanding matter in our business, however are we on the opposite aspect? Stacy Holden, Sr. Director, Trade Principal, offered insights on the topic, stating that we’re nonetheless competing for prime expertise, even throughout a number of industries. In line with Gartner, 65% of workers are rethinking the place work suits inside their lives. 

Stacy went on to say that individuals are reevaluating and reprioritizing how they spend their time, eager to do issues which can be extra significant and purposeful. “All of us need our groups to dwell their finest lives, however creating the perfect work surroundings at present is so vital, particularly if we need to preserve the rockstars on our groups,” Stacy defined. 

Partnering with the Institute of Actual Property Administration to conduct a survey of your friends, we discovered that property administration workers say that 40% of their time is spent on busywork. As an business, we’ve to vary the way in which we do enterprise — and that’s the place expertise is available in. In a last remark, Stacy drove residence this level: Let expertise do what expertise is sweet at so your individuals can do what they’re good at. Your crew expects expertise at present to allow them to give attention to what issues. 

6.) “The sport of now,” as advised by Suneel Gupta

Attendees at this yr’s occasion had been in for an inspiring and relatable keynote from Suneel Gupta, bestselling creator of Backable and CEO of Rise, a breakthrough wellness firm. 

He wasn’t shy about sharing his personal enterprise failures, letting the gang realize it’s okay to put on your failures in your sleeve. “Individuals who lose momentum or fizzle out very not often run out of time or expertise. They virtually all the time run out of power,” he mentioned. “It’s not that they don’t have nice concepts or the assets to pursue it, they simply merely don’t have lots of fuel within the tank. They grow to be exhausted.”

He went on to say that in enterprise, there are many conversations round “monetary runway” — that’s, whether or not we’ve the capability to get a venture, crew, or concept off the bottom. However what’s not often talked about is that if we’ve sufficient emotional runway — do we’ve sufficient fuel to do the issues we need to do? Suneel gave us 3 ways to construct and protect our personal emotional runway to be a greater chief, contributor, and creator and have a much bigger impression on the world round us:

  • Flip outsiders into insiders. Embrace others in your issues and options.
  • Observe rhythmic renewal. Utilizing the 55/5 mannequin, for each 55 minutes of labor, take 5 minutes for relaxation, as this helps energize us, increase productiveness, and spark creativity. 
  • Construct your circle. Excessive performers by no means do issues alone and virtually all the time have a circle of individuals they are often susceptible and sincere with. This features a collaborator, coach, cheerleader, and critic.

7.) Inexpensive Housing at AppFolio

Inexpensive housing continues to be a scorching matter, and throughout the opening session, AppFolio innovation leaders had been excited to share methods we’re investing in reasonably priced housing capabilities. Whether or not you settle for LIHTC or Housing Alternative Vouchers, our latest instruments assist your processes and compliance wants.

Within the in style “AppFolio, reasonably priced housing, & you session, attendees discovered about options that may assist assist reasonably priced housing efforts. Our Subsidy Toolbox contains all the required capabilities in AppFolio Property Supervisor to extra simply handle and account on your backed residents. Inside the toolbox, you’ve got entry to handle your subsidy program, create subsidy receipts, monitor subsidy G/L, and get visibility into your Sponsored Tenant Ledger. You possibly can be taught extra about our reasonably priced housing options right here.

8.) Funding Administration classes

Along side the primary convention, we held a separate convention tailor-made to AppFolio Funding Administration clients. Over two days, funding managers had the house to:

  • Join with their fellow normal companions and the AppFolio crew to be taught actionable methods to strengthen their enterprise.
  • Leverage capabilities by means of AppFolio Funding Administration to extra effectively handle capital, outperform, and overdeliver.
  • Study concerning the newest traits, progressive options, and enterprise outlooks to allow their groups to drive portfolio progress.

Nat Kunes, SVP of AppFolio Funding Administration, shared the imaginative and prescient of Funding Administration and unveiled new and never-before-seen options and providers launching within the coming months, which embrace instruments to streamline investor verification and asset administration.

All through the day, clients participated and joined in on quite a few classes, together with “Insights throughout property varieties,” the place panelists throughout completely different asset courses shared their distinctive and differing views on how they’re working in and navigating the challenges offered in at present’s market.

Our Funding Administration occasions had been a complete success, and we are able to’t wait to host extra sooner or later.

9.) Serve a brand new market with short-term leases

One other thrilling mainstage announcement was StayManager™ — a solution to develop and handle your short-term portfolio. Via intensive analysis on trip leases, company housing, and different kinds of furnished short-term stays, our crew has discovered that current software program options don’t resolve the issue, aren’t simple to make use of, and trigger double knowledge entry. We additionally discovered that those that handle short-term leases sometimes use 4 or 5 software program options simply to satisfy the core wants of their enterprise. 

AppFolio StayManager™ is purpose-built for short-term rental administration spanning from a single evening to a couple months. Launching to our full buyer base in 2023, StayManager™ is an all-in-one answer for managing reservations and availability calendars, tax configuration and belief accounting, housekeeping operations, and extra. With direct integration with Airbnb, we make managing your short-term portfolio really feel seamless and magical. Study how one can carry your short-term leases onto the platform you belief right here.

10.) Collectively is healthier

After being away for 2 years, it felt good to be again collectively. Judging from the grins and optimistic suggestions we acquired, this yr’s occasion was successful. We actually loved reconnecting with our clients, sharing the most recent improvements and business traits, and offering insights and finest practices into how one can maximize your expertise funding now and sooner or later. 

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