The Download

Talking Tech. Taking Names.

October 12, 2018

Digital Ecosystems Pave the Way to Unify Integrations for Multifamily Communities

Twenty years ago, software companies were building products in isolation, creating closed systems that were unable to communicate with other platforms. Today, with the emergence of SaaS (Software as a Service) models, software has begun to integrate for the mutual benefit of the client and progression of technology offerings. Hence, the digital ecosystem was born.

The concept of a digital ecosystem was established by a group of European researchers who created the model to advance the development of information and communication-based technology products in competitive, highly fragmented markets. The key to the concept’s success is that each party involved in the digital ecosystem adds value to the initial platform.

There are many companies who have utilized digital ecosystems to dominate their markets. Amazon, who we rely on for everything from big ticket items to discounted essentials, depends on a complex network of external vendors that sell products within their ecosystem. Amazon’s ecosystem is so efficient that it has single-handedly disrupted traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Let’s not forget Netflix, whose founders began their business as a video rental service. Over the past decade, the company has established itself as a content streaming sensation, and has even produced an impressive range of custom content. How was Netflix able to become the content giant it is today? Its developers opened up the application programming interface, or APIs, to multiple partners and brought a wealth of content into the Netflix ecosystem, which is a major distribution platform at its core. Digital ecosystems can serve as a central hub for data and assets. With robust apartment marketing automation tools now available in our industry, we can better target prospects, reduce human error in campaigns, and deliver the ability to manage leads and multichannel marketing more efficiently.

Today, multifamily communities not only rely on systems inside of our industry – such as property management software, revenue management, ILSs, and tailored apartment websites – but we also depend upon social media, video, and apps to brand our communities, build advocates, and gain positive reviews. Digital ecosystems deliver the ability to consolidate providers, data, and communication channels into one multifaceted solution.

As next generation renters continue to enter the market, around-the-clock leasing, one-click marketing, and interactive communication tools will be critical for multifamily operators to accelerate conversions. With the emergence of integrated products that have the capacity to infinitely expand, the multifamily industry stands at the forefront of benefiting from digital ecosystems, while creating true models of what is now possible in the rapidly changing world of technology.

About The Author

Kerry W. Kirby is a renowned entrepreneur, speaker, and technology innovator. He is the founder and CEO of 365 Connect, a leading provider of award-winning marketing, leasing, and resident technology platforms for the multifamily housing industry.

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