Technological advancements continue to reshape the way businesses operate, and the property management industry is definitely feeling the impact, with the term “proptech” or property technology now becoming a new buzzword. Property managers are turning to proptech to provide more value to clients and increase the efficiency of building operations.
Property management was often plagued with extensive documentation, from tenant information sheets, lease contracts, rent payments, to maintenance records. This required huge, expensive offices to hold all the physical files.
But today, filing cabinets are replaced with smartphones and laptops since all that data safely sits in the cloud and can be referenced by anyone in the company with a click of a button. Property managers now have immediate access to comprehensive information they need to make informed decisions without going to the office, so they can spend most of their time in the actual properties they manage.
Some documents don’t even require scanning since they are in electronic form from the beginning. For example, lease contracts can now be signed digitally, which means tenants and property managers don’t have to meet in person to sign a physical contract.
Shortening the sales cycle
The processes involved in securing a signed lease contract used to be slow and tedious. But proptech has transformed the way people list, search, and buy properties, thus allowing property managers to redirect their time toward higher-value tasks that better serve both landlords and prospective tenants.
- Better advertising tools
To find a tenant, property managers used to rely on the limited reach of a local newspaper ad and a leasing sign outside the property to stir interest. Today, they can easily list properties on websites such as Craigslist and Zillow to generate interest from anywhere, which prospective tenants can view on their smartphones or computers. They can even use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques so their listings grab more attention.
Technologies such as Google Street View and aerial drones also provide prospects with a better idea of the surroundings of properties, so they can quickly rule out unsuitable ones without committing time to conduct a physical visit.
- Easier viewing process
Once a prospective tenant finds a property they want to see, they can use the aforementioned realty websites to schedule a showing based on the published availability of a property manager with just a click of a mouse.
Some property management firms have even leveraged smart lock technology to enable self-showings, so leads can inspect properties on their own at their convenience. Upon submitting a request to see the property, they will receive a unique code that can open the front door only during their scheduled showing. Self-showings save property managers from wasting time on no-shows and on showings that last just minutes but consume far more travel time.
Prospects can even tour some properties without making a physical visit through virtual walkthroughs. They can watch 360-degree videos to thoroughly examine properties from any angle as if they were actually in them. Virtual reality also allows them to interact with their surroundings during virtual walkthroughs. These technologies are especially helpful for overseas listings.
Improving tenant experience
Managing tenants and properties involve a lot of repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Proptech enables property managers to efficiently accomplish these tasks to better serve their tenants.
- Online rent management systems
Aside from being able to pay rent online, tenants can effortlessly monitor their rent payments and view their transaction history since these are kept in an online ledger that can be accessed using any internet-connected device.
- Easier maintenance procedures
Maintenance departments used to revolve around phone calls, paper work orders, and manual status updates, resulting in numerous hours spent on manual data entry and long delays between repair requests and notifications of work completion.
Today, tenants can easily report complaints and make requests through online ticketing systems that also manage tasks from flagging issues to assigning staff to invoicing. Some companies also use GPS to track where their contractors are at all times to make sure they are not overcharging for the time spent on a specific job.
Enhancing stakeholder communications
There are a lot of activities that happen in property management, and it’s easy for owners to lose track of what’s happening to their properties. But through online portals, managers can efficiently keep owners in the loop with key updates such as notice to vacate, pre-marketing of units, notice of approved application and deposit, and notice of eviction.
Online portals can also push notifications to all stakeholders such as policy updates and announcements. With just an internet-ready device, all personnel, owners, and residents are notified in an instant.
Technology is shaping the property management industry for the better
From speeding up the sales process to providing top-notch tenant experience, proptech will continue to improve how we buy, sell, and manage our properties. Its impact will inevitably grow to meet the rising demand for innovation.
Keep up with the technological advancements in the property management industry by partnering with the IT experts of Red Key Solutions. We’ll make sure that you’re equipped with the IT strategy, support, and services you need to help you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to get started.