CX3 and Client Success: How Centralization and AI Support are Redefining The Future of Cardinal
The world of multifamily housing has always been an industry of dynamism and ever-accelerating change. As properties change hands and markets evolve, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success. At Cardinal, we’ve led with innovative operations and creative solutions since our founding to keep the resident and client experience at the forefront of everything we do. So as the needs of our consumers have changed over the years we sought new advancements to meet and exceed those needs. In 2022 Cardinal launched CX3, our centralized services platform. These services are reshaping the future of Cardinal’s operations by optimizing processes, creating new cost efficiencies, and enhancing overall team member, resident and client experience. Join us in exploring more about these services and the innovative ways CX3 is transforming our operations and the future of the housing industry.
What is CX3?
CX3 is Cardinal’s dedicated Centralized Services team, a dynamic platform responsible for overseeing the development of centralized roles, cutting-edge tools, and revolutionary technology platforms. CX3 stands as the most robust centralization platform in the student housing industry. Cardinal collaborated with Elise AI, leaders in the realm of AI technology, and RentDynamics, developers of Cardinal’s custom contact center platform, to build an industry-leading centralization department focused on improved customer experiences. Building our centralization platform has redefined our clients’ success through a new approach to managing operating functions and expenses, and providing additional flexibility to our team members by reducing administrative workload and offering new opportunities for career growth.
Empowering Team Member Success Through Centralization
As a people centered company, our commitment to our team members success was at the heart of our efforts to centralize. When we set out to invest in centralization at Cardinal, it was our goal to find innovative solutions for our team. We sought to better support their roles and find creative opportunities to redefine their working experience. These dedicated efforts have yielded remarkable results in our recruitment, with Cardinal centralization roles receiving up to 15x the average number of applicants for onsite positions. This allows us better opportunities to attract and retain the best talent in the industry to support our management operations.
Centralization has not only improved our recruitment efforts, but also enhanced team member satisfaction by providing new opportunities to specialize in their careers, rather than being restricted to the linear career path offered by a traditional onsite staffing model. The creation of pivotal roles like the Customer Accounts Specialist and Customer Sales Specialist have offered our team members excellent opportunities for professional growth and offered our clients a full and dedicated team committed to nurturing the success and growth of their operations.
Customer Accounts Specialist
When Cardinal launched our centralization platform in December of 2022, we entered an exciting and dynamic new era. With the launch, we introduced our first centralized position: Customer Accounts Specialist, a role dedicated to strategic leadership of our centralization team. Our Customer Accounts Specialists were responsible for managing administrative tasks traditionally managed by the onsite Assistant Manager or Bookkeeper including collections, delinquency, invoice processing, vendor credentialing and financial reporting. Meanwhile, our AI collections agent fostered additional support for the onsite team with continuous 24-hour resident support, resulting in improved response times and better resident satisfaction.
This new flexibility for our onsite teams has created better opportunities to focus on the touchpoints of resident experience and developing positive community engagement. Our clients see the benefits of the support with added efficiency and savings, typically saving at least 10% on payroll expenses while improving collections through the utilization of this specialist. Since its implementation, our Customer Accounts Specialists have seen endless growth in their position, currently supporting over 16,000 beds in our portfolio, with more on the horizon.
“I am here to help with all things delinquency, invoicing, and taking ops items off the onsite teams’ plates! I have been a community manager for a year, and an assistant community manager for two years prior to that, so I have a lot of experience with all things operations. I was incredibly interested in the idea of being able to assist with multiple properties across Cardinal’s portfolio…”
Brittany Keeler, Customer Accounts Specialist
Customer Sales Specialist
The following June, we launched our centralized leasing platform with the onboarding of the Cardinal’s first centralized leasing team members, our Customer Sales Specialists. These team members are responsible for assisting with lead management leasing efforts, including inbound and outbound calls, follow-ups, ongoing lead nurturing, tour scheduling, and application issuances. Working alongside our AI leasing tools, these specialists communicate with prospects via our contact center platform, uniquely developed and designed for Cardinal by RentDynamics.
Currently, more than 30% of the work handled by our Customer Sales Specialists and AI tools takes place outside of onsite office hours, allowing for a 24-hour leasing to better service our prospective residents. Through the implementation of this role and its additional AI supportive tools, our onsite team has the added time to focus on in-person engagement with current and prospective residents. Ultimately, this additional, dedicated support enables several benefits to our clients, providing an average savings of 5-15% on payroll expenses while also delivering improved response times, conversion rates, and leasing velocity. Currently, our Customer Sales Specialists support 9,400 beds with summer leasing efforts, creating significant value add for clients across our entire portfolio.
“I am here to assist in creating a leaner operating model for leasing initiatives! I manage lead follow-up, tour scheduling, and prospect rapport! I decided to apply to the Customer Sales Specialist position because I wanted to expand my knowledge of the industry and be a part of innovative change. I was intrigued by the dedicated team’s efforts in helping communities and leading others towards a new era in housing.”
Maggie Donavin, Customer Sales Specialist
AI Automation Fueling the Future
The seamless integration of centralization services would not be possible at Cardinal without the support of AI automation. We developed several AI tools to assist with centralizing efforts through a strategic partnership with Elise AI, the leading AI platform in the multifamily industry. The implementation of these automation tools have delivered significant impact in their first year alone. Since launching our AI tools in December 2022, our onsite teams have saved more than 2,300 hours in lead management efforts. Meanwhile, the communities utilizing our AI collections tool experience an average of 1.5% decrease in delinquency with improved payment velocity. With this unparalleled success in AI implementation, we have rapidly grown AI support for communities, with AI now being utilized at 38,304 beds across our portfolio. With the growth of our AI utilization, we have also expanded our AI team with the hiring of a new Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence and Architecture to spearhead and leverage our AI technology strategy. With the addition of new leadership and expansion of our AI capabilities, we are eager to continue the expansion of these services for clients and better service their needs.
As we continue to navigate the new technological landscape of AI and centralization within the world of multifamily and student housing, we at Cardinal remain committed to our team members and clients. While innovation is ingrained in our culture, people are at the heart of everything we do. We are thrilled to continue to seek new opportunities to deliver impactful results to clients and to find new, innovative and creative ways to be the best place to work, for anyone, in any industry.