In the past, property management hasn’t been a particularly tech-savvy industry, but modern technology is helping virtually every sector increase speed and efficiency. Even if you still prefer to manage your properties through paper receipts and spreadsheets, today’s Millennial and Gen Z renters are demanding technology as a part of their entire rental experience. Landlords who don’t incorporate at least the bare minimum tech features into their rental businesses are likely to fall behind in a highly competitive marketplace.
Here are some of the most popular technology methods I see utilized by my landlord and property management clients to streamline day-to-day operations:
- Property management software: There are countless software options available to landlords and property managers today with a range of features to efficiently handle daily tasks. Transferring your business to the cloud or a central software server will not only ensure all of your information is securely stored in one place, but it also allows for easy access for anyone who needs it (employees, renters, accountants, etc.). Industry-specific tools can help with tasks like screening tenants, collecting rent payments, managing maintenance requests and tracking property expenses.
- Virtual property showings: A trend that emerged during the pandemic, virtual property tours have been gaining popularity as a helpful tool for both tenants and landlords. Whether you’re taking advantage of 360-degree virtual property tours or completing tours via video like Zoom or FaceTime, the convenience of virtual showings is hard to deny and is a trend that’s likely to stick around long post-pandemic. These tools can be especially helpful for tenants who are moving from out of town or landlords who live far away from their rental properties.
- QR codes: Quick response (QR) codes have gained a lot of attention in recent years, especially during the contact-free times of the pandemic. A small, customized barcode that gives anyone with a smartphone direct access to information, QR codes are a great way to drive traffic to your rental listing and give tenants all of the information they need before they even contact you. Consider adding QR codes to your “for rent” sign, newspaper ad, flyers or any other marketing materials you use.
- Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly penetrating almost every aspect of the real estate industry, and the rental market is no exception. AI is responsible for many of the rental search tools tenants use to find properties based on set criteria and preferences. In addition, an increasing number of property management companies are using chatbots or virtual assistants on their websites to increase communication with tenants and streamline simple day-to-day tasks.
- Smart home technology: Smart home technology can benefit both landlords and tenants by providing the opportunity to actively manage maintenance, improve security and prevent property damage. There are plenty of tenants in today’s technologically advanced world who are willing to pay a higher rental rate for tech-savvy features. Smart technology like security systems, appliances, utilities and sensors can all increase comfort, energy management and convenience.
It might seem like a burden to incorporate modern technology into your property management business, but the pros most often outweigh the cons when it comes to streamlining efficiencies. Taking advantage of technology specifically designed for property management will help your marketing efforts, increase your reach to help you find qualified tenants, and ultimately make your business more successful in a competitive market – I know it’s been a blessing for managing my own investment properties!