BYOD model driving the latest multifamily tech transition

Originally featured in Multifamily Insiders on April 10, 2020

As the apartment industry continues to trend toward the use of mobile devices for essential day-to-day operations, the focus is shifting toward the devices themselves. The challenge is selecting a device that all team members feel comfortable using, and which facilitates the greatest ease of implementation.

So why not let them use their own mobile devices?

Associates already utilize their smartphones and personal devices to stay connected throughout their workday, and they often tap into that same technology to complete work-related tasks like viewing email, websites and documents. That’s why industry leaders are readily implementing personal device agreements and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to streamline their operations.

The solution for the coronavirus era

Right now, change is the name of the game in the industry as owners and operators scramble to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing directives. As more and more leasing and corporate offices close their doors in an effort to limit person-to-person contact, switching to a BYOD system couldn’t be a timelier move. If management teams have associates using their own devices, they don’t have to worry about distributing technology to team members who are now working remotely. Concerns about device sharing don’t come into play. As the industry makes the unprecedented switch to mobile and remote platforms, BYOD programs solve many of the problems that currently need to be addressed.

Tech proficiency boosts productivity

Fortunately, the benefits to a BYOD program aren’t specific to a pandemic. The positive correlation between associate productivity and their proficiency with the technology they use to do their jobs is compelling. Under a BYOD program, because associates have already mastered their devices, training times are minimal and the implementation process is almost seamless. And team members won’t shy away from using their devices, which ultimately improves reporting and documentation.

Device costs shift to associates

While corporate IT departments struggle to keep up with hardware updates and upgrades, most personal devices already come equipped with current technology and associates regularly upgrade their devices to stay in line with the latest trends and offerings. BYOD policies also largely transfer the upfront device costs from employers to employees, who typically receive a stipend, resulting in significant overall cost savings for owners and operators.

Associates report greater satisfaction

Despite absorbing some of the cost, associates generally express greater satisfaction with technology when they’re free to use their own devices rather than those supplied by the corporate IT department. And the freedom to carry only one mobile device, rather than separate devices for personal and work use, eliminates the juggling act often required of leasing associates and maintenance personnel. Some BYOD systems include functions that limit work notifications when an employee is off the clock, so that work doesn’t follow them home.

Rewards easily outweigh concerns

The benefits that multifamily operators will experience by implementing a BYOD system easily overshadow any potential downsides. Concerns over corporate data and information security are effectively addressed by the ability to immediately turn off access to former employees when they leave the company. The gains in terms of productivity, cost savings, mobility and associate satisfaction, as well as the plug-and-play nature of BYOD implementation, make the transition to a BYOD program an essential move for organizations looking to operate at the forefront of innovation.

The migration to BYOD programs will mark the next step in the evolution of multifamily technology. And owners and operators who are adopting the BYOD model now are helping to create a stronger, smarter and modernized workforce equipped with the necessary tools to adapt to the ever-changing industry.

SightPlan, in collaboration with leading policy management provider The Strategic Solution, developed a complete BYOD policy package specifically for the multifamily industry. The policy is free to property management companies looking to increase their use of mobile technology in key operational capacities and establish a toolset that evolves alongside continually changing industry needs.

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