There’s no doubt that modern technology has changed how we live and touched every corner of our society. According to some surveys, about 1.2 billion people live in rental accommodation, making the rental industry and property management one of the most important aspects of the modern world. Still, how important is this, and what are some of how modern technology is reshaping it?
Here are some of the roles of technology in modern property management. Some of these aspects may play a much bigger role in the future.
1. Property Management Software
Right from the start, property management technology has advanced so much in the past few years. The platforms can help you with everything from tenant screening and onboarding to the rent collection. So, here are some of these advantages.
- Tennant screening: The biggest challenge of property management is tenant screening. You need tenants who are not going to cause damage and who are not going to be behind on the rent. While you can never know this, you can try and predict this based on past behavior.
- Rent collection: It’s not just about the online payment methods and the digital footprint that it leaves. It’s also about the automated reminders and notifications, even automated payments, which make it incredibly difficult to miss a rent payment.
- Maintenance requests: As always, there’s a risk that someone will forget to conduct an inspection or send a team to the location to fix the problem. Property management software lets you easily handle maintenance requests and work orders.
Overall, this platform is an all-in-one for anyone serious about property management.
2. Online Property Marketing and Listings
The worst position that you can be in as a rental property owner is to have a vacant place. Unlike rental equipment, which just collects dust while not in use, you still have to pay a property tax, utilities, and maintenance for a vacant property – a property currently not making any money.
This is why online property marketing is so impactful. By pouring money into marketing, you can increase your online visibility. This means that you’ll have a much easier time finding a tenant.
Sure, you can just list the property manually, and someone will likely find it, but with the right marketing, you get a much wider reach. Also, with rich media and visuals that real professionals make, your property will appear much more appealing.
You see, in property marketing, it’s all about presentation. People don’t come to see the place in person if they don’t like what they see online, and you have some pretty high competition. This is why it’s best to have specialists on the job.
3. Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are efficient and, with the help of modern blockchain technology, quite secure as a rent-collection method. However, smart contracts do more than just that. They can also help streamline lease terms and conditions. Encoding them in smart contracts will clarify the agreed-upon terms, and the dispute resolution will be automatic.
This is also a great legal boost since it ensures a transparent property transaction. There’s no ambiguity and no room for interpretation. Sales and transfers are all recorded, and the record of ownership charges is publicly accessible.
Most importantly, there are fewer intermediaries. As of today, escrow services and notaries are still the backbone of the rental industry. Well, this might change with these smart contracts.
Not only will this reduce the overhead of the property management industry, but it might also alleviate some costs passed onto the tenant. If anything, it will establish a more direct connection between the two parties (to everyone’s benefit).
However, these smart contracts are still not used as much now as they can be. This trend might still take a while to reach its full potential.
4. Data Analytics and Predictive Maintenance
BI software can help you analyze huge amounts of data. For instance, if you’re running a lot of rental places that have had a lot of tenants over the years, you will learn a lot from extracting statistics and revealing the truth behind their efficacy. Sure, one place may make less money than others because it’s in a worse location, but this won’t always be the case. Sometimes, a place needs an upgrade.
When you put the data of all the places in a single software, you can use data analytics to figure out when the next inspection and predictive maintenance action is due. This will save you a small fortune on repairs and improvement. It might even help avert a full-blown disaster.
Remember that predictive maintenance will make cost control a lot easier since you need a maintenance fund. At the end of the day, running a property is running a business, and having an edge in budgeting is huge.
5. Tenant Communication
First of all, in 2023, most communication occurs via one IM platform or the next. You probably communicate with your property manager first via email but later via a messaging app like WhatsApp, Viber, or even Skype. In many scenarios, it’s common to add your property manager on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and communicate via DMs.
Still, some communication is more formal. For instance, you can use a platform to issue maintenance requests. In other words, you don’t have to call your property manager to tell them your water heater is broken again.
Instead, when moving in, you may get an app, and you can just send a request there. This way, they’ll be notified immediately, and you’ll get a confirmation (potentially even an ETA of the team that will fix it).
Ultimately, it’s worth pointing out that modern property management still has human contact at its core. Just because you can send a request via an app doesn’t mean that you don’t want direct contact in the case of an emergency. Still, this dehumanization of a process may not be such a bad thing.
Most tenants want to see the rental property as their place, so minimal communication with their landlord or property management is a great strength of this new system. It remains to be seen how all of this will hold up.