Proptech for Property Managers and Realtors
What will continue as a hot topic of interest for 2019 for property managers and realtors? Each year it seems is the year of PropTech. As property professionals try to keep pace with technology and leverage its amazing power for doing work efficiently, they turn to these amazing solutions.
These solutions help reach more prospects, grow ROI and deliver better results to clients. Finding the right solutions customized to fit with your legacy software is the challenge. They actually exist. ManageCasa as an example, provides that flexibility and service that can save you time and money.
PropTech technology solutions will be working their way into your real estate or property management business this year and next.
We thought you’d enjoy this jargon free and insightful guide to the PropTech revolution. Book mark this post because we’ll be updating it frequently with more solutions and insight.
We hope it will help you and your clients understand the value of this new technology sweeping the landscape, and see the solutions these companies are focusing on.
Investors are Sinking Billions Into PropTech
Investors are sinking billions into new tools, apps, and solutions, and according to some accounts, 70% of all that investment has been in the last 2 years. And billions more will be poured into PropTech in 2019/2020 because investors are seeing the advantages for real estate professionals to automate everything from accounting and portfolio management, to lead acquisition and communications. Your customers will love it too.
According to a recent survey by MetaProp — a real estate-focused VC in New York—a whopping 96% of PropTech investors planned to invest the same amount of cash in 2018, if not more, than they did last year — Forbes article
The Commercial Observer describes PropTech investment as “a rosy picture for a fledgling sector of the real estate industry that has grown at a rapid rate as landlords, investors, brokerages and consumers have sought more efficient, tech-centric ways of doing business.”
Do all PropTech solutions involes smartphones? No, however consumers are using their smartphones more for everything from property searches, to communicating with landlords/property managers to shopping.
The share of smartphones vs desktop continues to grow and PropTech solutions are the reason for that. Mobile is becoming useful.
Confidence in PropTech Has Hit an All time High
Realtors and property managers are becoming more confident they’re ready for Property Technology and how it will deliver results. Research from the Commercial Observe shows confidence in PropTech as a reliable aid to better business and higher profits.
Merging with All Aspects of Global Real Estate
PropTech is merging itself with a potential 13 trillion dollar global real estate market. Everything from construction to financing, transactions and advertising, to property management and accounting will be impacted by PropTech solutions.
The upside is obviously immense. Consider how much will be invested in PropTech in the next 2 years, how much time and technology is being applied, and you might understand the hype and excitement about disrupting real estate.
Unfortunately, the topic is still regarded less as an opportunity to improve business, and more as a disruptive threat. Yet, we’re already within a change in mindset and when you dig into the value you can generate and how that translates to dollars and more sustainable business for your company, you’ll be excited.
What is PropTech?
PropTech is technology applied to the property sector of real estate.
It’s a unique approach to transacting and managing property using new digital technology. It encompasses new software technology (platform) with software apps to grow real estate business efficiency and open up new creative ways to carry out real estate business.
Wikipedia offers its lengthy description of the entire technology:
PropTech encompasses property management using digital dashboards, research & analytics, listing services/tech-enabled brokerages, mobile applications, residential & commercial lending, 3D-modeling for online portals, crowdfunding real estate projects, shared spaces management, as well as organizing, analyzing, and extracting key data from lengthy rental documents.
In a nutshell: PropTech is the alternative to the current real estate transaction system, which tech friendly consumers and tenants want.
Real Estate is Ripe for Disruption
Real estate is old school. Lagging investment in new technology and reliance on old paper-based document management slows the selling, renting, and financing of real estate. Everyone is looking for a better way, and Proptech entrepreneurs know things will go their way.
Successful Proptech companies are in a position to leap ahead of everyone to gain sizable marketshare and ROI. Successful funding will be a key differentiator for many firms trying to gain marketshare.
According to Dreamit, Venture investors sank $18.6 billion into real estate property technology — known as Proptech firms from 2015 to 2017 with the pace quickening in late 2017
PropTech is Big and Nichey
New proptech startups are targeting niches in real estate where little technology exists. Market opportunities keep popping up all over. Well established firms such as Zillow, Zumper, Homelight, Reali, OpenAgent, and Rentberry for instance are gaining significant marketshare in core services.
And niche players such as UK proptech startup RentalStep are reportedly enjoying 150% growth monthly. Using RentalStep, UK landlords can list available properties on popular UK rental websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation. The solutions will be ever more creative in 2019.
RentalStep – Landlords can access an online booking system, comprehensive referencing services, and find the best tenants using a tenant screening and credit checking service. Combining that with a good property management solution, and you have a product that can serve rental property managers very well.
RentMoola – RentMoola offers an interesting twist to help tenants to pay their rent on time, and be rewarded for paying. They pay rent any number of ways from credit card/debit cards to cash. Tenants earn points which they can use to buy travel, shopping, and home services along with chances to free rent, prepaid gift cards, and trips around the world.
Amenify – If you’re active in the multifamily property sector, Amenify offers the types of services renters are missing. Amenify creates amenity programs with mobile-first technology which matches tenants to apartment cleaners, dog walkers, yoga and exercise classes, ride sharing services and more. Amenify turns an apartment building into a service for residents.
Zillow – Zillow as a PropTech company has been around for a while and its market cap is now $5 Billion dollars. Zillow’s website enjoys hundreds of millions of visitors each year. Its success comes from providing an feature rich, accessible, open market alternative to Realtor.com and many other alternative online services such as its Zesstimate tool. Where Realtor.com was not consumer friendly, Zillow has brought real estate to the smartphone generation. More Realtors are finding they need Zillow.
Zumper – Zumper offers a real-time home and apartment rental platform for tenants and landlords to find/rent apartments. Zumper, financed at on $37 million, uses direct data feeds and partnerships with landlords, brokers and property managers. Zumper gives renters real-time, curated apartment rental listings, and an interesting lead generation opportunity for landlords and brokers.
Homelight – Homelight uses a “matching engine” to connect homesellers to real estate agents. This machine learning algorithm analyzes 29 million transactions and 2 million agents. Home sellers are matched to the best, compatible Realtors thus increasingly the likelihood of a sales conversion. Homelight doesn’t allow Realtors to advertise, it makes money based on a share of commission, which old school real estate associations would never allow.
Reali – Reali ($30 Million funding) replaces the real estate agent with a platform and app that connects home sellers directly with buyers for a flat fee + commission instead of the full 5% to 6% Realtor commission. It serves the California housing market only. They make the transaction process more frictionless and transparent.
OpenAgent – OpenAgent is an Australian based service that helps home sellers find an agent that meets their criteria and terms. They provide the typical property information and free property reports. Sometimes, Proptech can be average companies yet provide a pleasant software, mobile device user interface with good support and win millions of customers.
Rentberry – Rentberry is a transparent rental application and price negotiation platform for tenants and landlords. Rentberry is the only platform to provide a transparent rental auction with the ability to submit custom offers. That makes it unique from Airbnb, VRBO, and other rental platforms.
CriteriaCorp – Criteriacorp’s tools are used by real estate companies and HR companies to assist with hiring. The software’s pre-employment screening tools and testing service helps property management company exec’s and brokerage managers screen in better employees. Hiring and recruiting is identified as the number one challenge of property managers.
ManageCasa – ManageCasa is an all-in-one software platform that helps property managers streamline their businesses. It’s used by landlords, service contractors, tenants and property owners to ensure all are on the same page with respect to rent payment, maintenance tickets, and problem resolution. ManageCasa gives property managers an insightful picture of the status of their complete array of property accounts. The powerful benefits of the accounting features and how ManageCasa works with other business software makes it a more palatable choice than other property management products that are simply “too disruptive.”
Don’t disrupt your business for the sake of disruption. Platforms and improvements should be useful, compatible and relevant to your current business tools and software and with your current business partners.
Proptech startups are launching every day, however which will thrive to deliver solid benefits is still unclear. As you look at the value proposition and services of each and what they’ll demand of your IT and other staff, you’ll see where they’re headed and whether they’re relevant to your company. Keep it simple.
What Happens to Realtors and Property Managers?
Do we need Realtors anymore if proptech gets rid of intermediaries? It turns out that Proptech will empower Realtors, and property managers. So the question might be, how will you be using the technology to improve your services, find opportunities, increase value, and boost your earnings?
These are just mobile-friendly and customer friendly software tools that open doors to you to expand and grow value for your clients. You get more done for a lower cost.
Further opportunity is in entering new business areas, improved buying and managing strategies, attracting business partners, working with contractors, and making your company “cloud friendly.” The issue of being a cloud empowered software is no small matter to many clients — professional and enabled, factors into their estimate.
From efficiency to market reach and local market sales growth to analytics and market knowledge, PropTech could start giving you some big and even unfair advantages over old school competitors. Clients today want to know you’re using this technology.
For agents and property managers, the first task is easy — understand what it is and then begin to explore relevant opportunities. The solutions appearing are better and more practical, so there is value for you in Proptech.
Ask yourself where you need help. Where are you not using technology? Consider whether your current processes are taking more of your time, and which Proptech solution might give you your time back.
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Keep Looking and the Opportunities Will Appear
At this point, you should start investigating various PropTech solutions and find ones you can test and integrate easily. Those that demand total rework of all your business processes and relationships might not be for you. That’s like starting over and is risky.
Hopefully you’ll learn about new cloud hosted property management software, landlord apps, tenants apps, and other software apps that could differentiate your company and increase your ROI.
Reinvent Your Property Management Business
The property management industry is booming across the world. It’s competitive and you’ll be feeling pressure from new entrants in your business area. Small property management companies and small portfolio property investors are generating significant ROI from their properties. Efficiency is one of the reasons.
Larger property management companies too are doubling down on their investments and making it tough for smaller firms to acquire the best properties in the best cities. They’re seeing big advantages using cloud-based software that fits in with their legacy business applications and partnerships.
Property companies are getting an advantage from what’s called Proptech – a variety of software solutions and apps that help property managers learn and reinvent how they do business.
Innovating to Connect and Maximize Rental Yields
Fortunately, this same software is available to smaller property managers. It’s allowing surprising innovation that aligns them with today’s rental housing markets and with Millennial aged renters who love mobile technology. The way you do business is changing and the software is central to that.
Whether big or small, the matter of operations efficiency, business intelligence, and sound management decisions reigns supreme. This is how you grow rental yields forever.
Tips for Landlords and Property Managers
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