It’s only been a year since Dean Holmes was named chief operating officer for Philadelphia-based Madison Apartment Group (MAG), but what a year it’s been.
Since assuming the helm, Holmes has taken on several ambitious initiatives to squeeze all the revenue he can out of MAG’s 18,000-unit portfolio. “I wanted to hit the ground running, to build a top-tier multifamily presence, with all the technology that comes with it,” Holmes says.
Having 23 years of experience in the apartment industry has given Holmes a keen understanding of how to optimize every opportunity. But what worked yesterday may not work today: His experience has also taught him how to adapt to the ever-changing needs of current and potential renters.
“Over the past year, we really worked hard on our Web presence; I wanted to focus on improving communication and how we engage with our residents,” Holmes says. “Our new website has much stronger functionality and is more user-friendly. We tied it in with search engine optimization and social media engagement.”
Aside from revamping the company’s Web presence, Holmes also re-engineered MAG’s resident accessibility with a clever, yet simple, new initiative. Starting at the end of 2011, MAG entered into a partnership with Level One, a national call center that provides 24-hour responses to any service or emergency maintenance request. And while resident engagement was the main reason behind the move, the call center has had a much larger benefit for MAG.
“With this new service in place, we’ve been able to capture a whole new segment of renters nationwide that otherwise we could have missed,” Holmes notes. “It’s amazing how many calls come in after normal business hours.”
MAG is in the midst of raising capital to support aggressive expansion plans, both through new development and acquisition. The company hopes to grow its portfolio to as many as 27,000 units in the coming years. And that means that soon, Holmes may have a much broader field from which to harvest additional revenues.