The pandemic has made technology become an essential tool in the property management toolbox.
Property managers have been slowly adopting and adapting to new technologies, but since the onset of the pandemic hit, technology has become an essential tool in the property management toolbox. Technology has become an integral way to communicate with residents, vendors and conduct basic business operations. According to a recent survey conducted by AppFolio, 23% of property managers have increased dependence on technology since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Shifting to so many remote processes has led property management teams to lean heavily on technology to support their business continuity,” Stacy Holden, industry principal and director at AppFolio, tells GlobeSt.com. “Residents still need to pay rent and submit maintenance requests, and prospective residents still need to be able to book showings, tour units and sign leases. Technology allows for the progression of many regular activities to be done remotely and on-demand, ensuring property managers can continue to meet the needs of current and prospective residents.”
Digital rent collection is one of the biggest changes for property managers. Since the pandemic, most property managers have shifted to some form of online or digital rent collection. “The entire rent collection process for many property management companies shifted to enable contactless rent payments,” says Holden. “Instead of having residents drop off their rent checks to property management offices, companies are emphasizing the option for their residents to pay using online renter payment portals, so that payment can be made electronically, with no interaction between property management teams and the residents.”
Property managers are also allowing property managers to track payments, particularly as rent collections have been watched closely each month. “Software that allows property managers to track payment plans and adjust late fees easily, enables them to provide flexibility to their residents during this time,” adds Holden.
Holden doesn’t expect the trend to slow down. Technology adoption is here to stay, and she expects that technology will continue to be integral following the pandemic. “In the post-COVID-19 future, remote work will continue to be a significant driver of technology adoption, and the level of convenience technology affords will be an expectation by property management professionals and renters alike, well into the future,” she says. “This was apparent in the recent survey we conducted with thousands of property management professionals across the country. You can read more on these findings here.”
The cost of new technologies has been a deterrent for many property owner; however, Holden says that the cost is offset by operational efficiency in the long run. “Implementing property management tools will lower operational costs overall because it streamlines business,” she adds. “Our approach at AppFolio is to provide innovative solutions for all our customers’ most important workflows, such as leasing and maintenance, into one software, therefore simplifying their technology implementation and cost.”
Source: “Property Managers Have Had to Quickly Digitize”