Leveraging tech for a new lease on life
Technology is dramatically changing property management and leasing processes. Leverage the right tools, and your job could become much easier, writes Armand Levitz.
If you work in the facility management industry, you know it’s complicated. Managing a property can involve minimising safety risks, boosting efficiency, ensuring occupant comfort, and plenty of other tasks such as reducing risk through policies like ensuring tenants are covered by renters insurance before they move in. This doesn’t need to be as overwhelming as it sounds.
Online rent pay
Collecting rent from tenants used to be a hassle. However, it’s now possible for renters to pay online. The time you would otherwise spend processing rent payments can now be devoted to more productive work.
This makes the rent payment process far more convenient for everyone involved. Instead of remembering to submit a rent check every month, tenants can often set up recurring payments. As a result, late payments are less likely to be a problem.
Online payment systems also allow property managers to easily track who has and has not paid rent. They can quickly check the system and immediately see if a tenant has submitted payment.
Mobile request forms
Addressing tenant requests is a lot easier with a smartphone. A tenant can simply make a request via text or through your own platform. Requests will all be stored easily on your phone, so you no longer have to try to organise information collected from various sources.
In the past, some tenants would call with requests, some would track you down in person, and some would submit forms to landlords or management companies. Organising all these requests was very time-consuming. Now, approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide have smartphones. There’s a good chance all your tenants would be able to comply with a mobile-based request process. They might even prefer it to more traditional methods, too!
Mobile forms are convenient for both managers and tenants because they establish a clear process for making requests. Tenants don’t need to worry about a request potentially being forgotten or overlooked. Submitting one through a mobile system ensures there is a clear record of a request being made.
For facility managers, this clear record also simplifies the process of managing requests. If a tenant were to make requests via phone calls or in-person discussions, whoever received it would have to write down when the request was made and what it specifically involved. With a mobile form, these details are immediately recorded.
Applying to rent or lease a property typically involves a lot of paperwork. This can result in disorganised, bulky file cabinets.
At least, that used to be the case before the advent of cloud computing. Now, facility management professionals can make all applications and paperwork available online (digital signatures are just as valid as physical signatures). Thanks to cloud-based technology, they can also store all the necessary documents digitally, saving a lot of space.
Attracting potential tenants via the Internet can seem challenging. Pictures alone often fail to provide a clear idea of what a property actually looks like.
However, virtual reality has made it possible to give potential tenants immersive property tours without requiring them to actually visit the property. This dynamic way of showcasing a property makes it easier to generate enthusiasm for it.
Real estate professionals who have adopted this approach already recognise the benefits. In a survey of those currently using a VR-based property tour system, 74 percent of users said it helped them attract more business.
It’s easy to understand why. With VR, a property can be on display 24/7. This makes it easier for potential tenants to explore a space when it’s most convenient for them to do so.
Aerial drones also help showcase properties online. They’re particularly useful for large commercial spaces. Offering potential tenants aerial photos of a site is an effective way to clearly depict it. This is particularly useful if tenants want a clear view of roof conditions or other factors that are not typically shown in photos.
Drones can also be useful for other essential property management tasks. An aerial drone could spot trespassers, survey the property for signs of risk factors, or identify areas that require maintenance.
Facility management professionals can work much more efficiently by using technology in these capacities. If you work in the industry, start looking into them. These innovations will make your job simpler than it ever has been.
Image credit: 123RF’s Jozef-Polc ©123RF.com