How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Centralizing Multifamily Operations

How to avoid the pitfalls of centralizing multifamily operations involves putting in place strategies to keep some personal touch

How to avoid the pitfalls of centralizing multifamily operations involves putting in place strategies to keep some personal touch in place plus risk mitigation.

By Mike Branam

 Multifamily property managers are increasingly turning to centralization as a way of streamlining operations and improving efficiency.

By adopting property management software (PMS) or cloud-based platforms, multifamily managers can easily and quickly centralize operations. Whole portfolios can be managed from one interface, procedures can be standardized, purchasing power increased and valuable data insights gained to inform business decisions.

Consolidating operations into one unified system offers many benefits to property managers, but the potential disadvantages to centralization need to be considered too, with strategies put in place to mitigate the pitfalls.

Preserving personalization

One of the most detrimental effects of centralization can be the loss of the “personal touch” for residents, as reduced staffing levels within multifamily buildings decreases face-to-face engagement.

This lack of personal interaction can negatively affect resident satisfaction, potentially affecting renewal rates.

To overcome this, property managers should find innovative ways to maintain a sense of community and connection. Virtual check-ins, community apps and personalized services can all help to bridge the gap. Organizing community events and leveraging social media for engagement can also encourage a sense of belonging among residents.

 Risk mitigation

Centralization often results in fewer onsite personnel and, while this is cost-effective, it can lead to significant risk.

The absence of full-time staff might delay the response to emergencies, such as water leaks or security breaches, so a risk-mitigation strategy is essential to overcome this problem.

Advanced monitoring systems, such as smart water-management solutions and access-management systems, provide real-time alerts to centralized property management teams, enabling a quick response even in the absence of onsite staff. The adoption of this property technology  in multifamily properties not only tackles immediate risk but safeguards both assets and resident well-being.

Asset protection: enhancing security and awareness

The shift to entirely remote management and the removal of teams within properties can catch the attention of bad actors, posing a heightened risk to multifamily properties.

The perception or reality of reduced onsite presence can make properties more attractive targets for criminal activity. To combat this, multifamily properties should adopt increased security measures, such as video perimeter-surveillance systems, video doorbells and access-control technologies. Educating residents about security practices and encouraging a community-watch approach can also boost these efforts, creating a safer environment for all.

A balanced approach

To successfully implement a centralized property management system, multifamily property managers must balance the operational benefits with the need for risk mitigation, the resident experience, and asset protection.

These goals can be achieved through strategic planning, investment in smart technology, and by maintaining the human element of property management. Using a phased approach when adopting centralization allows for adjustments based on resident feedback, ensuring a smooth transition.

By strategically moving towards centralization, property managers can significantly benefit from improved operational efficiency and nurture vibrant communities in multifamily buildings, while safeguarding assets to create an enjoyable multifamily environment for residents.

 About the author:

How to avoid the pitfalls of centralizing multifamily operations involves putting in place strategies to keep some personal touch
Mike Branam

Mike Branam is the director of multifamily sales at PointCentral, a property-automation platform for apartment owners and operators. PointCentral is a wholly owned subsidiary of, the leading platform for the intelligently connected property.


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