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Building Relationships First - Why We Took a Different Approach to Fundraising

DSC_6352111 (1)Raising capital for a startup is never easy -- but completing Nestio’s strategic funding round earlier this month was deeply fulfilling. In fact, raising this last round of $4.5 million felt like the most natural thing in the world.

That’s because several of our long-standing clients are now also joining us as investors. Over the past couple of years, we’ve built relationships with some of the most storied names in the real estate industry, and we are fortunate that many of them are customers. These include Rudin Management, The Moinian Group, The LeFrak Organization, The Lightstone Group and The Durst Organization.

 We meet with our customers regularly to talk about how our platform can help them better manage hundreds of thousands of units and facilitate hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions. We’ve also had an opportunity to get to know the people who make these companies such fantastic organizations. Their feedback has been critical in helping us create and refine a product that’s having a measurable impact on the real estate industry.


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Nestio Spotlight: Adam Harris, VP of Sales

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Earlier this year, Adam Harris joined Nestio as VP of Sales from Rainmaker LRO, a revenue management software utilized nationally by the multifamily industry.

Adam's multifamily experience brings tremendous value to our team and our clients. Having spent time on the management/operator side with AG Spanos, Associated Estates and Archstone, Adam understands the everyday challenges and provides supportive strategies to increase efficiency. 

We sat down and discussed  his past, present and future, and what this means to our multifamily industry partners. 

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Tech Spotlight: Building a Foundation

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As this is the first Nestio blog aimed directly at SaaS learnings, I felt that the topic should be in line with the foundation we are building. Throughout my experience at various startups at different stages in funding and growth cycle, as well as working closely with professionals at other companies, the fundamental element consistent across the board is building a solid foundation early on which will help you massively as you expand. Having a solid foundation also aids in mitigating any growing pains experienced along the way.

When I say “building a foundation”, this does not end at implementing a few processes here and there. It means that on every identifiable level, set yourself up with a solid foundation to build upon. There are always going to be changes, pivots, improvements in technology, edits to the tech-stack, and unexpected issues to address, but being able to make those changes without having to start over, or build on top of something that was weak to begin with, will make those changes much easier.

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What Today’s Rental Prospects Expect

what-todays-prospect-expect.jpgProspects don’t turn to leasing representatives for unit information as they have in the past; they do much of the leasing research process online themselves. Researching historic rental prices, amenities, neighborhoods, unit layout, floor plans, and reviews have helped them whittle down their list to a select few properties. By the time they arrive at your door, they likely already know whether they’re interested in renting the unit or not.

Today, prospects meet with the leasing representative to try and confirm whether their decision to move forward with the property they like is the right decision. In many ways, this makes the multifamily marketer’s job easier, as long as they play by the new rules.

Here’s some 2018 takeaways:

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The Biggest Marketing Mistakes That Are Costing Multifamily Operators Millions

costing-multifamily-operators-millions.jpgCompanies like Google, Amazon and Zappos have raised the customer service standard, and as a result, today’s consumer expects a full experience in their purchase journey. If these forward-thinking firms have shown us anything, it’s that providing customers stellar service with a successful, effortless experience based on positive emotion is critical to staying relevant to today’s Internet-savvy, socially connected customers.

Multifamily operators and marketers must understand that the experiences created by these companies have fundamentally changed the expectations of their prospects, and must adjust their marketing approach to meet the demands of the 2018 consumer. Relying on old methods may still yield some results today, but they’re eroding your competitive edge and costing you millions of dollars in lost opportunities to both drive revenue and reduce marketing spend.

It’s time to leverage the strategies that have transformed these firms into the successful marketing masterminds that they are and apply them to the multifamily industry. No matter what geographic market you’re in, you’re competing with Amazon’s digital experience, in the eyes of your customers.

These marketing tips will help you understand today’s modern customer and their expectations. Let’s start the leasing journey by walking in the prospect’s shoes.

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3 Ways Leasing Agents Can Have Greater Influence on Renter Decisions

3 Ways Leasing Agents Can Have Greater Influence on Renter DecisionsThe selling world has undergone more change in the last decade than ever before. A quick study of best practices in the sales world shows that the best practices of the 80s, 90s, and even the aughts are no longer useful, and the multifamily industry is not immune from needing to adapt to these changes.

The cause for all of these changes is led by the demands of prospective renters. The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) has empowered prospects and changed what leasing agents need to do to be both trusted and valued. Prospective renters are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and cynical than ever before (that’s the bad news). They’re also more confused and overwhelmed (that’s the opportunity).

While the role of sales is changing, there are still many opportunities for leasing associates to be relevant, influential and valued by prospects. Here are three of them:

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3 Takeaways for Multifamily Executives from Zillow’s 2017 Consumer Trends Report

zillow-report.pngOur friends (and partners) over at Zillow recently released their 2017 Consumer Trends Report. While the entire report is interesting and insightful, I highly recommend that every operations and marketing executive in this multifamily industry put some time aside to review the section, Renting in America.

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What is Unit Level Data (& Why You're Losing Money if You're Not Using it)

What is Unit Level Data (& Why You're Losing Money if You're Not Using it)Multifamily marketing has always been challenging. Today, more than ever, property management companies and owner/operators must learn to distinguish themselves in a crowded and competitive market.

Prospects conduct more of the leasing journey on their own and have more information at their fingertips than ever before. A recent report from our partner Zillow showed that today renters contact 4.5 properties and only submit applications to 57% of them.  Additionally, nearly a third of renters spend 2 ½ months searching for their new apartment.

With renters spending more time and doing more research on the web, your online presence is critical to drive qualified foot traffic to your properties, and to support the prospect through their decisions process. Yet a fundamental problem with the multifamily industry is it still looks at marketing in the form of the floor plan. The way to separate yourself is to think of the world in the form of the actual units being rented.

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Nestio Welcomes Ben Rubin as VP of Product

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We’re thrilled to announce the latest addition to our leadership team! Ben Rubin recently joined Nestio as VP of Product from The Orchard, which is the largest distributor of music and video by volume. His experience there has made him an expert in building technologies that enable best-in-class distribution of media and information across a huge variety of platforms.

Ben approaches Product Management with the customer in mind first, which means he fits in perfectly with the rest of the team here. We sat down with him to discuss how tech is evolving the multifamily industry, and to learn more about what brings him to Nestio.

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3 Tips to Market Hard-to-Move Units

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 1.10.42 PM.pngYou are a regional manager and this morning you see the report that you dread. Unfortunately, the number of units on the “days on markets” report is growing. You’re confused and a bit frustrated. The overall portfolio is doing extraordinarily well: rent growth remains strong (sure, not as good as last year, but still quite good), occupancy levels are fine and you’re meeting budget.

Those hard-to-move units are the thorn in your heel. What can you do to fix this problem and get back on trend so fewer units are showing up on your days on market report? While there are a variety of reasons that units may be difficult to move, we’ve identified one of the most prevalent for multifamily professionals. The issue is what we call ‘outlier units’.

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