In an industry where change is the main constant, only visionary leadership can endure, thrive, and redefine the benchmarks of success.
Furthermore, his unwavering commitment to implementing technology and fostering team synergy have positioned him as a standard-bearer for innovation and excellence in multifamily management.
The Digital Revolution in Property Management
Few has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of technology in managing properties. He sees AI technology as a pivotal milestone, something that will revolutionize operating models. During his time at Buckingham Companies, his forward-thinking approach helped pioneer the centralization of office and maintenance functions.
He comments about the centralization of these two function, "It will allow for greater job satisfaction and performance while also offering efficiency and savings to the property owner." Crafting a work environment that champions job satisfaction and savings for owners signals a new era for property management.
Tailoring Experiences Across Asset Classes
Navigating the nuanced terrain of diverse asset classes, Few employs a philosophy that is both adaptive and resident-centric. His expertise lies in discerning the unique aspirations of various demographics, enabling him to create bespoke living experiences that resonate with each community. He notes, "As a management team, we are flexible and nimble, allowing our team members to meet residents’ differing needs."
As a management team, we are flexible and nimble, allowing our team members to meet residents’ differing needs.
This adjustable approach, enriched by a keen sense of intentionality, has enabled Few to meet the eclectic needs of his clientele, from those desiring the white-glove service of class-A apartments to students seeking instant and around-the-clock tech-enabled support.
Strategic Overhauls for Troubled Assets
Few has unparalleled acumen in revitalizing troubled assets. When asked about the secret to his success in this area, he replied, "When working with a troubled asset, I have found that most issues stem from the “Four P’s”: People, Product, Promotion, and Price. If you can ensure these key performance indicators meet expectations, the rest of the difficulties become much more manageable."
When working with a troubled asset, I have found that most issues stem from the “Four P’s”: People, Product, Promotion, and Price.
His successful turnaround of underperforming properties by addressing these core aspects underscores his ability to distill complex challenges into actionable strategies, setting a new standard for asset management.
The Art of Resident Retention
Few has built a resident retention strategy based on proactive engagement that begins at lease inception. He explains, "We have implemented strategic touch points into our lease lifecycles that enable feedback from our residents. These touch points allow our management team to address concerns proactively before the renewal date arrives."
We have implemented strategic touch points into our lease lifecycles that enable feedback from our residents.
This approach fosters high resident satisfaction and loyalty levels—a crucial advantage in a competitive landscape.
Leveraging Tech to Enhance Efficiency
Under Few's leadership, Buckingham Companies has harnessed technological solutions to transcend traditional operational barriers.
He has a team of renewal specialists focused solely on their assigned portfolio. Their focus includes generating pre-renewal touch points, generating offers, and following up on undecided residents.
He describes how his team leverages technology to ensure a smooth renewal process: "We use video technology, AI chat, and integrated CRMs to connect virtually with our residents after hours. We find more folks are willing to talk about a renewal after hours when our traditional site team was not in the office."
These technology-based initiatives have streamlined operations and significantly enhanced the resident management experience.
The Core of Team Building
Few's leadership philosophy is rooted in adaptability and the power of collaboration. He advises, "Be flexible! Over the course of your career, many curve balls are going to throw your way. Being calm and flexible in times of stress will help you navigate more challenging times."
When asked about overcoming difficulties in team building, he provided insight from a personal experience: "Working for a vertically integrated real estate investment firm, we have been susceptible to silos forming between the different departments. These silos were preventing cross-function work and were a roadblock to realizing a successful company-wide operating plan. To break down these silos, our leadership team followed the teachings learned in Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni."
Dismantling silos and fostering a culture of transparent communication helped Few to create integrated and cohesive teams, leading to a robust, synergistic workplace. In his ideal working environment, people work "for" each other instead of "with" each other.
Education to Face the Future
A fervent proponent of lifelong learning, Few ensures that his teams remain at the forefront of industry developments. He proves his dedication to education and skill enhancement with his commitment to sending team members to conferences and leveraging comprehensive learning systems. He constantly prepares each member of his company to meet the specific challenges they will face.
Looking to the future, Few anticipates a seamless integration of centralized operations into daily management practices facilitated by AI. He comments, "Site teams will be able to focus less on administrative tasks, and our onsite leaders will be able to spend time focusing on building relationships and a sense of community among our residents."
Our onsite leaders will be able to spend time focusing on building relationships and a sense of community among our residents.
The Tools Shaping Tomorrow
For innovative platforms like AppWork, Few envisages a future where AI and automation tools play a pivotal role. Adopting such technologies will be crucial for maintaining industry leadership and adapting to the rapidly changing landscape of property management.
Justin Few's insights and leadership illuminate the path forward for the multifamily management industry. His journey, marked by a series of strategic successes and a passion for innovation, serves as an inspiration. Few's story encourages us to go beyond managing properties by building thriving communities and reimagining the possibilities of the modern urban landscape.