Traditional vs Tech Enabled Property Management
Landlords and property managers both have been laggards in adopting new technology.
The reasons are many, ranging from complacence to a fear of more work. And with technology progressing so quickly, the thought of catching up might seem impossible to them.
For landlords stuck in the routines of the past, a good beginning is to view the differences between how they work and how easily a tech enabled manager gets work accomplished. Time, money and stress are 3 drivers of good change. Once they see how simple rent collection, accounting, maintenance work orders, and communications are, it will start to sink in.
The Business they Love Doesn’t Have to be So Painful!
For the unfortunate, thinning profit margins, rising costs and taxes, along with demand for digital services will force them to sell their properties and get out of the rental income business. Moving from manual to tech enabled could help them retain the comfortable and profitable work life they like.
If you know of a landlord who is still doing business like it’s 1999, then sharing this post with them might be the kindest way to help them stay in business. Losing their investment would be an awful outcome.
Traditional Property Management Practices
Traditions represent comfort and good relations between people But when tenants change, and business practices change, those traditions become unwanted and unappreciated. Conducting business via paper, spreadsheets with in-person transactions simply doesn’t work for applicants, tenants, and owners anymore.
Traditional managers manage via:
- manually listed unit vacancies in local newspapers, window signs, or via word of mouth
- general accounting software or spreadsheets to manage financial accounts
- paper-based rental applications and rental lease documents
- phone calls to report issues and resolve maintenance work orders
- paper-based invoices/receipts postal mailed or emailed
- rent accepted in cash or by check and late payers contacted
Tech Enabled Property Management Practices
Property management software technology is built to ease those manual tasks and the business risk they represent.
Tech-based platforms act as a complete business foundation for landlords, property managers and community association managers. These platforms automate transactions and activities, and they download some of the work to tenants/renter applicants. Workload is reduced, resources maximized, and profit margins increase.
- business is built on an SaaS based property management system
- online payment system is used to automate rent collection, bill payments, and owner profit disbursements
- online scheduling showings, either in person/self-showing option or via fully online video showings
- online rental and lease applications processed and error checked via software before review by managers
- generate, approve, assign, and follow up on maintenance/repair work orders
- 24×7 services and tenant portals to improve self-managed rental accounts
- smart automation of accounting for reduced data entry, transaction processing, and real time reporting
- improved real time communications, reporting, and collaboration among staff, stakeholders and tenants
The Tenant Experience
Landlords may express doubts about the quality of the tenant experience. While person to person communications and problem solving is desirable, tech solutions remove much of errors and redundancy in paying rent and completing work orders. Smother progress makes for less friction and misunderstanding, and faster response times.
Most modern renters prefer digital delivery of services and see this as the key to great landlord services. Face to face meetings or phone calls are often thought of as a nuisance. SMS texting is preferred by today’s renters, and fast online access to rental documents in a tenant portal is appreciated.
The Property Manager Experience
Each and everyday becomes a test of energy and stamina as tenants and transactions have to be assertively dealt with. With low margins, rising costs and staffing cuts, manual management becomes a threat to service and profits while service complaints mount from digital service and amenity-hungry tenants.
So the issue from a business standpoint, is where are operational and capital investment going?
The Landlord/Owner Experience
Owners see profits and profit margins weakening. Fewer managers and staff willing to work traditionally, and more face to face tenant complaints creating friction, time waste, and lease terminations. Owner/investors are frustrated at the delays and limited financial reporting to help them make the best decisions in the moment.
Let’s Take a Look at 10 Key Areas which Differentiate Traditional vs Modern Property Management
- Automation and Efficiency: Tech-enabled property management companies utilize automation tools and software to streamline processes, resulting in improved efficiency, reduced costs, responsive tenant services and better utilization of staff members.
- Integrated Accounting and Financial Management: Using a digital property management accounting software, tech-enabled companies simplify financial tasks such as rent collection, expense tracking, and financial reporting, improving accuracy and transparency, providing real time reports and cutting administration costs.
- Real Time Data Analytics: Tech-enabled companies leverage deeper, more comprehensive data analytics to gain insights into property performance, market trends, and tenant behavior, enabling better decision-making and optimized operations. Real time reports allow more certainty and confidence in decision making.
- Online Tenant Portals: Online portals allow tenants can easily pay rent, submit maintenance requests, and communicate with property managers, providing convenience and accessibility. Delayed rent, lost leases, late night phone calls, and phone tag plague the traditional manager’s time.
- Remote Monitoring and Control: Through smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, tech-enabled property management companies can remotely monitor and control various aspects of properties, such as security systems, thermostats, digital amenities, and utility usage.
- Maintenance and Repair Management: service via any digital device streamlines the maintenance and repair process, ensuring timely response, efficient work order tracking, and transparent communications with tenants and contractors.
- Improved Marketing and Advertising: Tech companies avoid the local word-of-mouth route by instead using online ad generation tools, vacancy listing pages, and promoting them via syndicated rental listing sites and social media channels, to reach only better qualified tenants who will pay the rent and stay leased.
- Online Enabled Vacancy and Development Tours: Using video technologies, tech-enabled property management companies offer a variety of virtual property tours to avoid excessive time showing units to unqualified or too many inquirers.
- Real-Time Communication: Tech-enabled companies employ instant messaging apps, chatbots, and other communication tools to manage tenant inquiries, improve customer service and keep today’s tenants satisfied with their rental experience.
- Transparent Reporting and Documentation: Accurate, up to the minute digital property documentation, such as leases, inspection reports, and financial statements increases transparency and fulfills owners needs for information.
Efficiency is the Holy Grail of Property Management
Traditional property managers miss out on the ease of automation, peace of mind from accurate financial and operations information, and meeting the needs of a changing rental market which doesn’t have time for face to face meetings, travel, and paper documentation.
The savings from adopting property management automation is significant and can mean the difference between a thriving, profitable business, and being forced to sell properties.
Discuss upgrading to digital property management with ManageCasa’s Sales team who can provide expert advice and guidance.
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