RingCentral Helps this Nationwide Home-Leasing Company Operate Like its Team Is All Under the Same Roof
Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH) is the nation’s premier owner and operator of single-family rental homes in the United States. The approximately 80,000 homes the company leases are all located in desirable neighborhoods and in convenient proximity to major employment centers, good schools, and transportation corridors. Invitation Homes has corporate offices in Dallas and Phoenix and more than a dozen additional office locations around the country.
Choosing a home is one of the most significant decisions you’ll ever make. And if you rent, your quality of life will be affected not just by the home you choose… but also by your landlord.
When they search for the perfect home to rent, many people neglect the all-important step of looking into the owners they’ll be dealing with. Do they have experience managing properties? Do they have a plan for helping to keep the home in excellent shape? Are they going to be easy to reach if the tenant has a problem? No matter how beautiful the house you choose, no matter how perfect the neighborhood, the wrong landlord can turn your dream home into a nightmare.
This is where Invitation Homes excels. The company is the largest owner and operator of single-family homes in the US. They’ve built a portfolio of about 80,000 houses in desirable areas across the country.
But other than the company’s size, what sets Invitation Homes apart is the award-winning process its team has developed to provide outstanding living experiences for its residents. People who lease an Invitation Home enjoy professional maintenance and repair services, 24/7 emergency service, smart-home technology, and a wide range of updates and renovations.
Providing this high level of service for tens of thousands of properties throughout the US requires an enormous amount of coordination. And that was becoming difficult to manage with not one but three legacy phone systems.
“Getting everybody on the same platform has really brought us closer together as a company.”
Senior Director of Infrastructure
“Calling between offices was a problem. We had no company directory. Some office extensions worked, some didn’t. And everyone was using different conferencing systems.”
Senior Director of Infrastructure
Mergers left a tangled mess of communication technologies
Invitation Homes became the nation’s top home-leasing company as the result of several mergers of the dominant players in the industry. Starwood Waypoint merged with Colony American… then Colony Starwood Waypoint merged with Invitation Homes.
In many ways, this consolidation has benefited tenants. It helped Invitation Homes create greater economies of scale, which enabled the company to provide even better and more streamlined service to its residents. But the mergers also created one major operational challenge.
“We had the legacy phone systems of all three of our merged companies,” says Mike Williams, Senior Director of Infrastructure. As he explains, this created serious communication challenges for Invitation Homes.
One company, one communications platform
It can be difficult for any large, geographically distributed organization to function as a cohesive team. Things become even more complicated when the company is actually a recently merged group of businesses. But the newly formed Invitation Homes was able to begin operating as a single team much more quickly when they implemented the all-in-one cloud solution from RingCentral.
“Contacting each other across offices, and even hosting a video conference, suddenly became easy—because everybody in the company is on one system,” Mike explains. “Having RingCentral also made it easier for our service desk team to help staff with issues, because now every employee has the exact same setup.”
Communicating with ease, even during the lockdown
When the entire organization had to transition suddenly to working from home due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, Invitation Homes’ team was grateful they had a work-from-anywhere cloud communications solution.
As Mike points out, employees quickly found a way to continue collaborating and communicating face-to-face even though they couldn’t be in the same office together: They started using RingCentral video conferencing feature. “In just the 30 days or so after the stay-home orders went into effect, our teams hosted something like 1,100 video calls using RingCentral Meetings,” he says.
And, most important of all, an outstanding customer experience
But as Mike explains, the most important success criteria for any Invitation Homes initiative is how well it contributes to the customer experience. With more than 200,000 people living in the company’s properties and counting on being able to reach the staff if they ever need help, Invitation Homes went looking for a better phone system because it wanted to make sure its entire team had the communication resources they needed to always be there for its residents.
That’s why one of the most valuable tools Invitation Homes found in RingCentral is the call reporting and analytics capabilities. “Delivering outstanding service to our customers is the most important thing we do here,” he says. “Now our support teams have the numbers to demonstrate we’re delivering on that mission.”