The property sector has traditionally been slow to adopt technology, however, the pace of innovation has increased dramatically over the past year, largely driven by the challenges brought about by the pandemic. There will be more change in the next decade than there has been in the last 50 years, and as we enter a new era, property managers will feel the impact the most.
Working as the lynchpin between the property owner and the tenants, property managers handle all tenant-related issues, acting on behalf of the landlord, carrying out key tasks such as:
- Communicating with tenants and owners
- Maintenance and repairs
- Keeping to budget
Below are a few areas we believe technology will have the most impact on property managers now and in the future.
Real-time access to information
As with the way of the world, we’ve come to expect immediate gratification. We want answers to questions instantly, without having to wait for a response. Residents are no different. Gone are the days when they are prepared to walk downstairs to reception or pick up the phone. Mobile resident portals like Spike Living gives property managers an opportunity to promote a whole host of content that may have previously been provided on request. From frequently asked questions, appliance guides, to fire safety procedures, as well as the latest news from the wider community, having all this information readily available means that more often or not, tenants can find the information they need themselves, whenever they need it. This reduces the workload on property managers and saves them from repeatedly responding to the same questions.
Furthermore, important documents like signed contracts and policies and procedures can also be stored centrally and securely ensuring that paper-based copies do not get lost. This makes contracts and vital information easily accessible, and notifications can be sent to residents whenever there are newer versions needing to be reviewed and signed, allowing for full traceability.
Property management is a people business, with property managers simultaneously having to keep tenants, owners, and contractors happy. Given that research by NMHC and Kingsley revealed that 92% of residents prefer digital communications, offering a way to connect digitally to property managers is a must. Previously, disparate communication between these different groups meant property managers would spend half their time on the phone, typing with one hand and writing an address with another. Using resident apps like Spike Living, property managers can now easily and quickly communicate directly with all parties, allowing messages to be sent instantly and recorded centrally.
Reduced administration work
The Samanage State of Workplace Survey found that workers spend an average of 520 hours a year on repetitive services and tasks that could be easily automated. Reminding residents when their rent is due, when deliveries are ready to be collected from reception or providing building updates are just some of the tasks that solutions like Spike Lettings and Spike Living can take care of.
Then there are the communal areas to think about. Most modern apartments have amenities that can be enjoyed by its residents. Onsite gyms, games rooms, and meeting rooms have become the norm. Being able to open an app and book a room turns what could be an archaic process into a seamless and easy task, encouraging residents to spend more time enjoying their buildings, and not having to worry about the stress of gaining access.
One of the most time-consuming parts of a property manager’s job is the handling of maintenance issues, with minor tasks easily turning into major ones if they aren’t dealt with quickly and efficiently. Without an easy and simple way for residents to report maintenance issues, they can often go unreported. For instance, a leaking pipe that drips once per second can add up to over 13,600 litres of water a year if left unfixed, not only costing money but also potentially causing considerable damage.
Mobile apps speed up the communication in these instances and allow residents to quickly provide your maintenance staff with better details about the task ahead. By using Spike Living, all enquiries and defect tickets can be logged centrally, as well as being tracked and shared between teams, keeping the resident informed at all times.
The same can apply when wanting to communicate directly with residents. Mobile apps enable the in-house team to be proactive and provide real-time alerts, notifying residents when a lift is out-of-service, allowing them to plan around it.
Better Resident insights
Do you know what your residents really want from their buildings? What do they care about? What amenities are being used the most?
With resident apps, you can understand and gain insight into these types of questions. You can learn what amenities and services residents are interacting with, what queries are being asked, and what content they are most interested in. This enables property managers to provide residents with what they truly want, taking the guesswork out of managing properties.
Technology is giving property managers the opportunity to work more efficiently, and with the use of resident apps streamlining manual processes, this allows property managers to focus on the most important part of the business: their residents.
Learn how Spike is working with a growing number of customers to drive resident engagement and satisfaction by downloading our brochure below.