Ways technology is changing the face of property management
Generally speaking, the real estate industry has never been at the forefront of early technological adoption. Even today, when virtually all the major industries have been disrupted by the advancements we’ve made over the last decades, property management seems almost impervious to the evolving world around it.
Still, the cracks are there, and once enough people start adopting new management techniques the competitive wave is going to tear down the floodgates and reshape the face of the entire industry. Let’s take a look at some of the factors contributing to this brewing storm.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
This technology has taken root in the construction industry, and BIM is starting to make an impact on property management as well. The same 3D modeling tools designed for sharing the digital model information between engineers can be successfully applied by property managers for the detailed monitoring, space planning, thermal manipulation (e.g. calculation of optimal thermal efficiency) and, finally, technical management and delivery of services to the occupants.
The rise of the dedicated property management tools
Property managers have always used various tech tools to do their job. However, these pieces of software were isolated, generalized solutions never designed around the manager's work obligations, which made the industry's transition into the digitalized world pedestrian and limited. These days, the introduction of dedicated property management software which allows access to all industry-related features and information has drastically changed the pace at which this overhaul is enveloping.
Moving to the cloud improves efficiency
Even though we got so used to it by now, the commercial introduction of cloud computing during the early 2010s brought a huge change in the world of business. The ability to share and collaborate on important documents without having to pass a copy to another party made everything faster and more streamlined. Property management is currently undergoing a similar change. The communication between landlords and tenants is becoming effortless and logistically demanding meetings superfluous.
Another important development that hit the real estate industry riding on the wave of cloud computing is the gradual elimination of paper and office supplies from the property management process. The logistical and monetary implications of having to sign every document physically and keep it stored within the premises were disastrous. Today, all these processes can be performed in a safe and easily accessible virtual environment where the documents can be found and searched through in a matter of seconds.
Keeping track of all the maintenance problems that have been reported in certain property and the resulting interventions over a longer period of time can be a daunting task. Today, property managers have easy access to maintenance data that allows them faster reactions to and even anticipation of potential problems. For instance, a property that has a history of plumbing issues during the winter months could probably benefit from plumbing reinforcement. Each new upgrade or intervention is safely stored for further analysis.
In the world of real estate, cash transactions are not considered particularly safe. If called upon to present the proof of payment, both parties (tenants and property managers) often find it difficult to do so. With the introduction of property management platforms and online transactions, things have become much easier. Once the transactions are made, the money leaves a clear and easily traceable trail that can be easily presented as proof. Tenants also get a presentable history of payment that can help them bid for new properties that are in demand.
The gradual transition of data from printed forms into the cloud rendered the existence of traditional brick and mortar offices superfluous. Today, most of the "paperwork" can be performed from any decent smartphone. This development brings a welcomed change of pace into the real estate business. The companies that are at the forefront of virtual property management tool adoption can allocate a part of their workforce to their homes. As a result, their operational costs are reduced and said businesses become more competitive.
Benefits for tenants
All of the things we covered make industry work easy not only for property managers but tenants as well. Transactions, meetings, space planning, maintenance – all these activities tenants are actively involved have become streamlined and simple. The direct result of this development is the fact that tenants have become more inclined to work with property agencies that are employing these advanced software solutions. This, coupled with the proposition of reduced operating costs will force the businesses that are staying take more active participation in this transition.
As we can see, real estate business may look impervious to current technological advancements, but only on the outside. If we take a closer look, we can see a lot of interesting developments gradually changing the face of the industry. So the real question is not when will the real estate industry start its much necessary evolution – the wheels are already set in motion.
The question is when will the changes start occurring on a bigger scale.