There’s no escaping the value that technology has and continues to bring to the modern world. For the most part, these advances have proven positive. As technology pervades our lives more and more, we expect the same solutions in more and more markets. This is no less true of the real estate industry, where technology can play a game-changing role for both property management companies and employees / tenants alike.
Technology transforms the way work is done. Automation and artificial intelligence are advancing at an incalculable rate. This ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ has rapidly impacted how we communicate with one another, how we engage with work and data and productivity, and how it influences our expectations to get things done at a much faster, more efficient rate. Though technology has transformed the real estate industry, there is much more that could be done.
What Consumers Expect
These days, technology is often synonymous with ‘instant’ or ‘mobile’. Many features, products and services are now available via mobile apps. Each business website is now expected to either have an app that provides a given service. It’s not given a second thought – it’s just expected. Of course, this should come as no surprise. Advancements in the digital world have meant that tenants now have a much more flexible way to deal with the demands of their lease agreement.
One primary example is rent. Paying rent online has now become second nature. It was not uncommon for tenants to struggle to pay at inconvenient times. Perhaps a major life event took place, distracting the tenant from paying rent on-time. Mobile payments have put an end to that once-common problem. Signing checks and sending them in the mail have become a thing of the past. It’s not just rental payments through technology that tenants have benefited from.
There’s also email communication too. Text and mobile communication now mean that it’s possible to reach a greater number of people direct – and, more importantly – instantly. For example, take the case of a property management company who need to inform tenants that there will be a building-wide restriction on water use. Rather than relying on the tenuous method of email blasts, which may or may not reach the tenant instantly, a text or mobile means of communication now eliminate this problem once and for all.
Maintenance, too, has been transformed. These days, tenants expect rapid solutions to their maintenance concerns. 30 minutes, an hour, perhaps even 3-4 hours, now come across like a lifetime. Previously, that’s what tenants had to endure – filling out paper maintenance forms and submitting them to their property management agency. Today, renters can talk to their smart-home device to create a direct work order for employees to act upon – cutting time and building efficiency into the management-tenant relationship. Tenants can even be informed of progress as work / planning is underway.
Impact on Property Management
Of course, technology has not only influenced, improved and enhanced the tenant experience, but it also has a direct impact upon employees, too.
Employees have their own expectations, too. Many studies show that the growth of many property management companies is directly suppressed by employee-related factors. Eliminating these factors, then, contributes to the growth of a company and, given the current competition in the real estate industry, a small change can harvest substantial results. Real estate employees are best tailored to the growth of the business itself, not spending their time on tedious administrative tasks. Employee turnover rates are already high in the property management industry. In this regard, assigning staff to business growth strategy makes far more sense.
Technology also offers real-time insights that hitherto were not available before. Market trends are more readily accessible, influencing the rate and price at which units are leased. Technology has also influenced the way in which tenants are selected, reducing the time burden involved in manually screening an enormous number of prospective choices. Furthermore, the digital revolution continues to offer data science in the industry at a much more accessible pace. These are invaluable benefits that have revolutionized the real estate industry.
In this way, then, technology has played a crucial and ongoing role in the realm of real estate.
It impacts the landlord-tenant relationship, how the tenant interacts with their property management company and how both parties meet lease agreement terms (rent, maintenance etc.), and how employees in the real estate industry perform and engage with their work. But as we have said, these developments are ongoing.
To succeed in the real estate industry, then, property management companies need to adapt to these changing times – creating innovative new ways for both tenants and employees.
Triumph is a full-service property management company in Las Vegas. Check back to our real estate blog soon for more great content on technology, real estate and more.