The last decade saw an explosion in the proliferation of technologically connected devices and specialized applications that power and shape the way we engage with both technology and ourselves. For real estate investors, this fact is perhaps most visible in the growth of property management technology.
Property management technology is both driving and reshaping growth trajectories in the property management industry for the coming decade. Understanding what these technology trends are and how they are disrupting and shifting the property management industry can help real estate investors better understand the property management landscape.
From facilitating the connection between the property manager and tenant to empowering property management experts to identify trends and promote growth in developing real estate markets, property management technology is changing the way both property managers and real estate investors do business. Ultimately, these technologies have proven to be an aid to savvy real estate investors who can leverage these tools to provide a fuller picture of their investment properties and drive informed growth. At Great Jones, we offer assistance to property management in Raleigh, NC all the way to property management in San Antonio, TX. We’ve been able to leverage our team’s expertise and help property investors make the most of their rental properties with our technologies. If you’ve invested in one of the best places to buy rental property, you can maximize your investment’s potential by integrating the following property management technologies.
Repair Portals and Web-Service Options
In the past, the use of enterprise work-order management software to submit repair requests was solely the domain of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) who had the scale and resources necessary to create and maintain proprietary work order systems for their properties. This is no longer the case. An increasing number of individual real estate investors now have access to the same level of software, often through regional or national property management companies that leverage their scale to bring enterprise property management software to each rental they oversee.
The use of accessible and convenient repair management software is appealing to tenants. With web-based or app-based repair and work-order systems, tenants are able to submit a ticket at any time, track their ticket’s progress, and get real-time updates for when their ticket has been assigned, is in-service, and has been completed. Many of these systems offer multiple avenues through which tenants can submit service tickets, including over the phone, via email, through an app interface, or through a tenant web-portal.
For property managers, the use of these tools allows them to streamline the repair and work order system while driving down repair costs for real estate investors. Work order tools allow property managers to automate the process of accepting new cases and assigning them to technicians. A simple call to the tenant can allow a technician to provide guidance over the phone, in many cases resolving the issue before someone ever has to be dispatched to the property.
By increasing responsiveness, smart work order tools drive tenant retention. By streamlining and automating the process as a whole, landlords can save money by increasing efficiency and creating more cost-effective response scenarios.
Convenient Payment Processing
In the past, it was not uncommon for tenants to have only two options for paying their rent: by cash or by check. Today’s tenants expect more flexible payment options for their rent, and some property owners have struggled to meet this demand. Fortunately, technologically integrated property owners are deploying technologies that allow for flexible payment processing to enable tenants to pay their rent in a way most convenient for them.
For example, at Great Jones, we offer tenants an online payment option to pay their rent through E-pay or ACH through a web portal, by cash at local participating Paylease retailers, and by money order or cashier’s check through U.S. Mail.
For real estate investors and successful landlords, the goal should be to make paying rent as convenient and easy as possible for tenants. By leveraging property management technology, this is now feasible. By offering tenants convenient payment options, including paying cash at local retailers such as Walmart or CVS, delinquent rent payments are minimized.
Clear Financial Picture
As a real estate investor, you want to be able to check on the health of your investments. Using modern property management technology, investors can now access real-time information about their investment properties. These tools take into account transactions at the unit level, allowing investors to track expenses and revenue at a moment’s notice.
With these tools, investors no longer have to remain in the dark or reach out to their property managers to track transactions at their properties. These time-consuming efforts are a thing of the past. Rather, with access to a property management owner portal, investors can easily view or retrieve invoices at their individual units while also gaining insight into their property management investment landscape as a whole. Real estate investors can then leverage those insights to identify trends, further invest in their properties, or drive new growth.
Increasing Tenant Retention
Long-term and dependable tenants are ideal for both property managers and real estate investors. Modern property management technology better enables property managers to consistently attract and select high-quality tenants. One way this occurs is through a more rigorous selection process. Rather than conducting a simple background check, it is preferable to gain a fuller picture of the prospective tenant rather than just a snapshot of their financial health. This includes conducting a full background check and requiring and contacting personal references.
A second way to attract and retain high-quality tenants is through property upkeep. Conducting regular inspections can identify necessary repairs that allow property managers to save landlords money while ensuring properties remain attractive to quality tenants. At the same time, the use of regular property inspections and the integration of real-estate experts into the inspection and upkeep process allows investors to glean insights into potential upgrades into their existing units. Amenities such as energy-efficient appliances and windows or smart lighting and heating are attractive to the savvy renter.
Perhaps no space in the property manager toolbox has been so fundamentally transformed by technology as it is with marketing their properties. Today’s effective property managers market units on dozens of sites to reach the widest possible audience. At Great Jones, we use professional photographers to create appealing listings and syndicate those listings to over 50 sites such as Zillow, HotPads, Facebook, and more.
Alongside casting the marketing net wider, property managers are integrating technology into the showing process to give prospective tenants greater flexibility for when and how they view rental units. Self-showing technology, such as the use of keycode access with auto-generated one-time passcodes to registered renters, boost viewing rates and traffic to units by allowing prospective renters to view a property when it is convenient for them as opposed to when the leasing agent can make time for them. In addition to increasing showings, self-showing technology also removes pressure from the rental process and allows prospective renters to take their time viewing the unit and more comfortably submit feedback about the home, generating key insights to get your property rented faster and for a better rate.
One of the most important trends in property management technology is that the communication between tenant and property manager, and property manager and real estate investor is becoming more convenient and streamlined. This is a direct result of property management technology which actively facilitates communication between parties in the rental process.
The use of web and app repair portals, a hotline for 24/7 maintenance requests, and round-the-clock access to customer service teams allows tenants to directly communicate with their property management team whenever they need to. By collapsing boundaries between tenants and property managers, these tools create a responsive relationship which boosts tenant satisfaction and retention.
At the same time, the boundaries between property managers and real estate investors are also collapsing. Tools like an online owner portal can provide real-time insight into their investment properties. The use of work-order management software intelligently integrates investors into the process by allowing them to approve or deny work orders for repairs while not requiring them to manage every detail of the process. Real estate investors stay informed at every step of the rental process and can check on any one of their units at any time to gain a full-field view of each of their investments.
Property management trends in technology are revolutionizing the relationship between tenants and property managers and between property managers and real estate investors. Technology-driven tools such as web-based work order management systems allow property managers to create more efficient processes for work order management while increasing responsiveness and turnaround time for tenants.
Due to the proliferation of multiple payment processing options elsewhere in the retail space, tenants now have an expectation for flexible rent payment options. Leveraging technologies like Paylease, property managers are empowering tenants to make their rent payments through multiple, convenient channels, driving down late rent payments.
For real estate investors, property management technologies are streamlining communication between property managers and investors. These technologies are being used to provide real estate investors with a full-field view of each of their investment properties along with the ability to dive into the financial picture of each individual unit. These technologies provide real estate investors with more real-time information about their properties than ever before, allowing for more informed decision making and creating the circumstances for more actionable insights.
To learn more about how property management technologies are transforming not only the property management landscape but the real estate industry, please contact Great Jones today for property management services. At Great Jones, we have consolidated the above tools, processes, and expertise that real estate investors need to achieve success in today’s competitive marketplace.