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Trammell Crow Company Raises Revenues and Resident Satisfaction
Trammell Crow Company is a global real estate developer that has developed or acquired nearly 2,000 buildings valued at over $75 billion. After deploying SmartRent solutions, the company increased NOI and resident satisfaction while reducing expenses.
Increase in Resident Satisfaction Score
Avg. NOI Improvement
Asset Value Gain
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“Everybody operates from a smartphone these days. We have found our residents universally prefer to use their phones and expect to receive updates, and submit service requests and rent payments through a fast and easy-to-use app.”
The Challenge: Modernizing daily and emergency communication methods
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) wanted to modernize communication with its residents. Paper notices and emails had become less effective as the preferences and practices of the modern renter continued to evolve. TCC also wanted to ensure that its teams had the ability to reach residents in real time during special situations, as well as provide a platform for residents to submit and track maintenance requests during such events.
“Everybody operates from a smartphone these days,” said Deborah Gaffney, vice president of asset management for TCC. “We have found our residents universally prefer to use their phones and expect to receive updates, and submit service requests and rent payments through a fast and easy-to-use app.”
The Solution: SmartRent Work Management deployed across TCC’s portfolio
Deborah Gaffney, TCC’s vice president of asset management, used SmartRent’s Work Management solution while overseeing TCC assets during her tenures at Greystar and Riverstone Residential, so she understood how it could create efficiencies not found in other software applications.
“I’d used Work Management for years and have consistently seen that the properties that weren’t on Work Management weren’t run as efficiently in terms of communication and service requests. Work Management’s offerings and capabilities are more extensive than competitor programs.”
Deborah Gaffney, VP of Asset Management Trammell Crow Company
TCC initially tested Work Management at three communities before rolling it out across its entire portfolio. Gaffney uses Work Management to conduct weekly audits of unresolved tasks, as well as on-site team communications with residents.
“The initial rollout was primarily focused around service requests and ease for residents, the maintenance team and the office team,” Gaffney said. “The implementation evolved from there into preventive maintenance and inspections.”
According to Gaffney,being able to easily see what communication is being sent out—regardless of which property-management system is being used and what tasks are still open—is invaluable to an asset manager.
The Result: Reduced Expenses plus Improved NOI and Resident Satisfaction
After Work Management was deployed portfolio-wide, data continued to show a significant increase in net operating income, improvements in maintenance service, reduced expenses and higher resident-satisfaction scores. For example, with the pilot properties, TCC experienced an average $1.4 million gain in asset value, at a 5% cap rate.
TCC has relied on Work Management for day-to-day communication and service workflow and has found it especially useful during urgent or emergency situations.
“The preventive maintenance and the inspections are really beneficial in the long-term and have a positive impact on expenses and the bottom line,” Gaffney said. “Work Management even helps with resident retention. Residents love the ease of the app and communication tools, which translates to strong resident-satisfaction scores.”
Improved resident communication, especially during emergencies
Work Management’s resident-communication tool is really helpful during special situations, whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic or a natural disaster, according to Gaffney.
“When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area in 2017, Work Management was invaluable in facilitating our ability to communicate with residents in real time,” she said.
Work Management also delivers customized touchpoint and one-time surveys through its communications platform to help TCC better gauge resident satisfaction. TCC streamlines its survey program across all assets to gain valuable insights on management performance, policies and practices.
Improved resident satisfaction
TCC saw an 8.5% increase in its resident-satisfaction survey score and jumped 12% above its indexed benchmark for appearance and condition. The team’s maintenance-responsiveness score improved by 9.5%, and its first-attempt maintenance completion rate increased 7%.
Gaffney attributes these increases to the preventive maintenance and maintenance efficiency made possible by the use of Work Management. The surveys offer valuable insights on resident preferences, which has allowed TCC to refine development programming in new communities with an eye toward resident satisfaction.
What SmartRent’s Work Management does for Trammell Crow:
Work Management makes the Trammell Crow team’s job easier by offering the following:
- Easy communication: Ability to connect with team members and residents seamlessly via voice, SMS, email or push notification
- Easy-to-use workflow platform, available on both iOS and Android for mobile and tablet devices
- Elimination of duplicated efforts, and flexible virtual workspaces
- Improved efficiencies, resulting in improved customer service, revenue collections rates and reduced payment delinquencies
- Advanced reporting using advanced filters and easily exportable data into third-party tools for deeper analysis
Gaffney noted that TCC’s branded Alexan Life app, a private label app powered by Work Management, makes tasks seamless for residents. Years after the Work Management implementation, Gaffney said the answering service, communication tools and service platform are all used daily by the teams at TCC communities to improve the lives of residents.
"Our teams love SmartRent Work Management, and the residents love the convenience of the app. I honestly don’t know how our teams would function without it now."
Deborah Gaffney, VP of Asset Management Trammell Crow Company