Category: Blog Roll

Centralized Leasing: Stop Forcing Prospects to Do Business How We Want


Tricap Residential’s “Have it Your Way” with Centralized Leasing Sales Philosophy

Tricap Residential Group utilizes a unique approach to sales with centralized leasing, allowing its sales team to specialize in sales and build on those strengths.  Suzanne Hopson, President of Operations, and Jessica Eberbach, VP of People and Culture, sat down with Edge2Learn’s Pam Pederson to answer questions about this innovative ‘have it your way’ sales philosophy.

What is the background story of Tricap Residential Group’s leasing approach? 

Tricap has lifted much of the burden of resident engagement and accounts receivable and accounts payable off the onsite sales team’s plate to allow them to thrive in sales.  While this streamlining began in the pre-pandemic time, it has continued in our post-Covid world.  Their sales team is now working completely remotely.  This allows their sales team to meet customers in the fastest, easiest way possible and allows customers to benefit from a ‘have it your way’ sales process.

How has this change led to a better experience for prospective and current residents?

Experience has shown that most prospects find the communities online.  Most traffic is driven from internet sources. It is a much more satisfying experience for the prospect to be able to complete the entire sales experience virtually as well.  Enhanced features in the virtual sales presentation that make it almost as complete as an in-person presentation build a trusting relationship with the customer.  Customers appreciate the ‘have it your way’ sales philosophy and that sales agents can focus solely on their experience rather than being bogged down with other responsibilities.

What has been your messaging as you promote your operations strategy at national multifamily conferences and outlets?

Curiosity is high among people in the multifamily industry regarding how these strategies have been implemented and the success level.  People have lots of questions!  A few people are skeptical due to how different this model is from what they may currently be using.  Sharing ideas is beneficial for those asking questions and those answering them.

How do you encourage participation to generate new and innovative ideas using your Centralized Leasing module?

Tricap gathers weekly feedback from poll surveys on many different topics, such as benefits, policies, processes, and even core values.  Tricap Residential is an EOS (entrepreneurial operating system) based company, and that structure utilizes specific teams of employees, meeting to streamline and continuously improve their performance.  The sharing of ideas within and across teams is very much encouraged.  Great ideas are celebrated and rewarded.  Commitment to continuous improvement is part of Tricap Residential’s culture.  People feel free to share ideas and feedback.

What advancement advice can you pass on to our up-and-coming multifamily leaders?

Be open to change!  There has been enormous change during and since the pandemic, but change always happens and will continue to happen.  Companies can’t keep doing things the same way, especially when their customers have other expectations.  What is it going to hurt if you try something new?  Change may not work perfectly at first, but the experience of trying is valuable.  You won’t be able to grow personally or professionally if you aren’t open to change.

The transition to remote work for Tricap’s sales team brought many challenges.  Not everyone thrives in a remote work environment.  Remote work requires extra attention to maintain engagement.  Despite the challenges, it has been very worthwhile to equip the remote experience for success. 

How could you support this model in a small community?

Tricap has communities from as small as 32 to over 500 units.  This centralized leasing sales model works very well with communities of vastly different sizes.  Smaller communities are thriving with the centralized sales model because it allows specialized sales experts to work with customers rather than a single employee who is overwhelmed by other responsibilities. 

Are sales agents showing homes in person, or is the leasing process fully virtual, or is it a combination?

Tricap is fully remote in its sales process.  There are no in-person tours taking place currently.  They use a technology called Tour24 for on-demand property tours. Their specialized virtual tours have been very successful.   

Does this remote strategy also work for maintenance, or is that still handled in the onsite offices?

Tricap Residential is dabbling in “Maintenance AI” to see if they can successfully apply the same offsite strategies as they have done with centralized leasing.  Some preliminary work orders are now being handled remotely, especially issues that can be quickly resolved with just a phone call or video call with a resident.  Presently most maintenance team members still work onsite, but the remote model is a goal they want to pursue. 

How are you screening and entering leases in a virtual, remote environment?

Tricap utilizes Entrata, which makes the entire process seamless.  The application process, income verification, and credit check through signing the lease are done electronically and flow smoothly.  Entrata also enables identity verification if a prospect later wishes to take a self-guided, in-person tour. 

Are you still building traditional clubhouses with office space for onsite team members, and if not, where are your onsite teams working?

Tricap still uses amenity spaces, including offices for some onsite or hybrid (onsite/remote) employees.  Public areas are now called “Community Hubs” and include workspaces for residents who work from home, as well as community team members.  In communities without clubhouses, technology such as remote access and video screens allows interaction between residents, prospects, and staff. 

How did centralization affect your staffing model onsite?  Was it initially a reduction in staff?

Despite initial concerns, accountability and clearly defining roles and responsibilities were key to implementing this strategy.  Tricap uses the “Cultural Index” technology to refine hiring practices and job descriptions.  Matching the skills and strengths of their people to their roles and responsibilities is the key to success.  Let people do the most of what they are best at! 

How is your leasing or property management team structured using both in-person and remote positions with centralized leasing?

Sales positions are fully remote.  Sales team members can be anywhere in the country, which opens up many opportunities for hiring and increases the pool of candidates.  Engagement managers are generally within the market of their community, even if they work remotely. 

Many thanks to Tricap Residential for their insights into their fully remote sales philosophy that allows flexibility not only to their teams but also to the customers in the ever-changing multifamily landscape. When prospects and employees have a voice and can ‘have it your way,’ sales become a win-win proposition. 

Suzanne Hopson

Suzanne Hopson, President of Operations
Tricap Residential Grop

Jessica Eberbach, VP of People and Culture


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Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With almost 40 years of experience and a commitment to increasing industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce corporate liability risks and employee turnover.

Embracing Change in Multifamily


Andee Myatt has over 25 years of experience in property management, so she is very familiar with embracing change in Multifamily!  She has worked at every level, from leasing consultant to Executive Vice President with powerhouse companies. She has great experience and perspective on our industry.  Andee sat down with Pam Pederson to discuss how we can not just survive but thrive in this rapidly changing environment.

How do you define change in multifamily?  To observe change in our industry, all we have to do is show up for work and look around!  Change is everywhere, perhaps, especially in this industry.  Successful people in the multifamily industry thrive in a rapidly changing, sometimes even chaotic, environment.  That is not to say that change is always comfortable or easy.

What advice do you have for a Multifamily company implementing major changes?   Begin communicating on transitions and changes early in the process, not after the project is ready to be rolled out.  Vet any changes with team members early and get their input.  Make sure the changes you plan to implement actually make progress toward your goal.  Embracing trends brings no benefits if you don’t have buy-in and participation at the property level.  Make sure goals are clear and well-defined, rather than merely announcing them.  Be ready to answer the question, “what problem does this solve?”.

What are some examples of what not to do when implementing change?  We have all seen changes implemented that sounded great on paper but just “didn’t go” when rolled out to the participants.  An initiative to have employees charge expenses to their own credit cards rather than company cards seemed helpful on paper.  Employees could even keep the reward points they earned for the charges on their loyalty credit cards.  It was not considered that everyone does not have the required level of available credit on their accounts, and they may not want to raise their personal credit limit. An initiative to automate or digitize ongoing contacts with prospects may be loved by management.  But seasoned onsite staff may have a “low tech” method of keeping up with those contacts that is proven and effective.

How have you utilized change management in Multifamily?  Every team member is really a change manager.  Even at the property level, embracing and accepting change can make for a better move-in experience.  Good changes in multifamily have resulted in improvements for our employees, as well as our residents and prospects.  Changes in Fair Housing practices have made enormous strides in making sure everyone feels welcome.  Electronic (paperless) and other green initiatives have been very successful throughout the industry.  Though change is not always welcome, it is sometimes scarier to be at a company where nothing ever changes.  Make sure you don’t gain a reputation as being “that person” who always rejects changes before even giving them a chance.

How can we combat the stress of change in Multifamily?  Know and use the tools that are available to you – both virtual and human.  Educate yourself on self-care and how to manage your own stress.  No one can be responsible for your mental health but you, so take responsibility for it!  Nurture professional and personal friendships that make life better for you so you have someone to turn to when the stress becomes too much.  We are passionate about what we do but still must step back sometimes and take ownership of our own mental health.  Trust yourself in what you need to thrive.  Be honest about what you can do and what you can’t do.  Keep a positive mental attitude, so you are a good influence on those around you, and you will also help with their stress levels.  Having everyone in the office take a ten-minute break to go outside and pick up the trash can shake up the environment in a positive way. 

Enduring significant change can even affect the mind and body, similarly to we experience grief.  The stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, and Acceptance.  Significant change may require us to go through those same stages before fully embracing new initiatives and practices.  There are some ways to make progress through this grief-like process easier:

Prepare for Change 

  • Define OCM strategy and key drivers.
  • Recruit a change management team.
  • Design and build a sponsorship model.

 Plan and Implement Change

  • Develop change management plans, define metrics, and identify risks.
  • Execute plans.
  • Review progress and report to stakeholders.
  • Celebrate Achievements

Continuously Improve

  • Capture key metrics.
  • Survey organization.
  • Analyze results.
  • Create and execute corrective action plans.                           

Change in multifamily is unavoidable but not unendurable.   Planning well before changes are implemented, accepting feedback with grace, and taking good care of yourself can smooth the process for you and your teams.  Keeping a good mental attitude will make periods of change easier for you and for those around you.  Be willing and eager to accept changes!

Andee Myatt

Multifamily Executive


Read more like this from Edge2Learn

Click here to access additional Leasing Training Resources


Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With almost 40 years of experience and a commitment to increasing industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce corporate liability risks and employee turnover.

Cybersecurity Awareness in Multifamily


Cybersecurity Awareness may not be on our minds all the time, but it is definitely on the minds of the “bad guys.”  Cybersecurity is not something about which we can afford to be uninformed or complacent.

Why is Cybersecurity Awareness important to me?  All of the tools used to combat cybersecurity threats (firewalls, encryption, antivirus software, etc.) are not enough to overcome an individual employee who is not informed of and alerted to the threats. It is critical to understand the dangers:

  • There is an ever-increasing sophistication of cybersecurity threats.
  • Help protect yourself and your assets.
  • Downtime and recovery.
  • Company and public image.
  • 43% of cyber attacks affect small businesses – including PROPERTY MANAGEMENT!
  • You can have the best security in the world, but nothing will give you 100% protection.  In this case, your staff is the last line of defense.

What knowledge and skills are needed to be a “Human Firewall” for cybersecurity awareness?  A firewall is a network security device that monitors traffic to or from your network.  It allows or blocks traffic based on a defined set of security rules.  To be a “Human Firewall,” you need:

  • A stop-and-think mindset… and common sense.
  • Basic understanding of how cyber attacks take place.
  • To recognize the tell-tale signs of an attack, so you don’t get tricked.

Common Pitfalls – Malware, Phishing, and Social Engineering

  • Malware and ransomware are software intended to harm your computer and systems.
  • Social engineering is a social technique used to illicitly obtain information or money via email or phone.  This is the most common form of attack in 2022.
  • Cyber attacks are highly profitable.  These attacks are now an $8 billion industry.

One serious threat is web attack scareware.  They trick you into calling “Microsoft” and paying money to fix a fake issue.  They want remote access to your computer to “fix” the issue.  Web pages may look similar to real pages and want your login information, such as for Office365 or Facebook.  Checking any box on an online ad may trigger a deceptive report of malware on the computer.

Scareware can happen even if you have good security software installed.  It can originate from streaming podcast sites or web advertisements.  Be extra cautious!   Don’t click anything!  Ctrl-Alt-Delete is your friend!  Kill the task as soon as you suspect any problem.  If that isn’t possible, hold down the power button on your computer to power cycle your computer.  If scareware is still present after you reboot, call your IT support team. 

Ransomware is a $2 Billion a year industry.  It can install software that monitors and records your keystrokes.  It will encrypt your files and hold them hostage until you pay a fee in Bitcoin to have your files unencrypted.  The average cost to unencrypt files is $2,500.   Even backups can be encrypted, so it is a very serious event.  There are few firewalls or antivirus programs that protect against ransomware.  These criminals even have “friendly” tech support numbers to call to assist you in paying the ransom.

There can be physical cybersecurity threats as well.  Is someone looking too closely over your shoulder?  Make sure no one is “tailgating” you – going through a door behind you when they should be using their fob to get in.  Make sure you lock your computer screen as soon as you step away.  Always ask vendors for credentials and verify the purpose of their visit, especially if they are working on telecom, door access, or other amenities with technology.

Cellphones and mobile devices are vulnerable as well.  iPhones tend to be easier to secure, but that is no guarantee.  Use your own cell phone network rather than free Wi-Fi.  Keep your phone updated for the best protection.  Never “jailbreak” a phone, as that invites trouble. 

Property management companies are often phishing targets, and they need to know everything about cybersecurity awareness.  Hackers often learn the organizational structure of your company from your own website.  They study your vendors and processes, then use stolen information from the dark web to create realistic signatures and emails.

Common types of phishing seen by property management companies include:

  • Fake emails from executives or regional managers to property staff asking for “favors”’
  • Fake emails from your IT department saying your credentials are expired.
  • Fake invoices from vendors with suspicious attachments.
  • Fake documents are being sent from a property scanner.
  • Fake voice mail attachments.
  • Extortion emails.  These are rare but effective!

Be on the lookout for emails with fake sender domains.  An email from a Hotmail or similar email address should trigger extra caution.   Anything other than “.com” is cause for concern.  Strange country codes or domain names are a big red flag!  Bad grammar is also a dead giveaway of a dangerous email.  If you hover over a bad link, it will reveal the destination, which will not be the real company site.  If an email is portending to be from someone within your company, but it comes with an “External Email!” warning, that is a tell-tale sign.

The Latest Threats and Trends for Cybersecurity Awareness in 2002

  • Adobe Sign Scam:  This is where legitimate systems other than Office365 are used to distribute phishing emails.  The attacker gets access to the address book of the company and also gets access to Adobe Sign.  It creates a document that looks like a DocuSign asking for a signature to receive an ACH payment.  It includes a link to view the document, redirecting to a fake Office365 login page, where they steal your credentials.
  • Text Message Scam:  The attacker obtains a database of users at a property management company which includes their cell phone numbers.  They then create fake texts from the CEO or management asking for favors.  These databases are widely available on the web and can be purchased through the dark web or through legitimate data mining companies specializing in the multifamily industry.  The attacker can learn the organizational structure from the company website or from a mailing list.  Report these messages as junk and don’t reply.  Use a template to send announcements to your staff.   

What can you do to improve your cybersecurity?

  • Think before you click! 
  • Use passwords and password managers like Lass Pass.
  • Use two-factor authentication.
  • Separate business and personal emails and passwords.
  • Utilize security software.
  • Keep your OS and programs updated.
  • Use encryption.
  • Be the human firewall!
  • Call your IT or CTS anytime you have doubts.

Password Security Tips:  Passwords offer some protection, but they are not foolproof.  Keep your passwords private.  Don’t write them down.  Use a password of at least 12 characters, including a combination of letters, numbers, and unusual symbols.  Don’t use dictionary words.  A strong password should look random.  Long phrases or sentences following these rules work, too, such as Th1$IS@n3Xample!  Change your password regularly – every 30, 60, or 90 days.

Passwords are like underwear!  Never share them with others!  Don’t leave them out for everyone to see!  Change them regularly!

Cybersecurity threats are rising, but you are not defenseless against them.  Be alert and vigilant.  Don’t ever get careless about threats.  Listen to your own instinct and act on any doubts. 

Cybersecurity Awareness

Travis Street

President | CEO

CTS Multifamily IT Solutions


Read more like this from Edge2Learn

Click here to access additional Leasing Training Resources


Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With almost 40 years of experience and a commitment to increasing industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce corporate liability risks and employee turnover.