People’s experience matters. This is why it is essential to take care of everyone involved in the business process, automating some of the routine things and allowing them to focus on things that really matter.
Renting an apartment is a hassle. For the renters, it’s a hassle to find a place and find convenient channels of communication with the landlords. For the landlords, it’s a different kind of hassle when they need to take care of the maintenance.
How can good property management improve everyone’s experience? This article will focus on the definition of property management and what areas can be enhanced.
Why does property management matter for real estate developers?
What is property management? Property management is taking care of the buildings, their insides, and outsides, and communicating with the people who use these buildings for living or business.
That’s pretty logical. However, when real estate developers’ main goal is to build and sell properties, why should they pay attention to the way property management is organized?
The answer: it makes the property a lot more attractive for clients when they realize that from the very beginning, their experience matters. As a result, this feeling of being cared for increases satisfaction and interest in a particular property.
What is a property management company and/or software?
When you have a single property to manage, it’s easy. You can communicate using whatever channels are convenient to you, you can easily track the maintenance tasks because they don’t arise that often, and you can take care of the utility bills once a month.
However, when you have two or more properties, this management process becomes a bit more complicated:
- We need to pay utilities
- Rent is due
- Electrical maintenance task #1 from Property #1
- Plumbing maintenance tasks #2,3,4 from Property #5
- Need to contact Property #3 about a financing issue
- … the list goes on.
As a result, you need something more complex for efficient management because otherwise, you run the risk of wasting too much time tackling these issues. Here is where the property management companies and property management software come in handy.
Here are seven features to look out for when choosing a property management software
Let’s take a look at the features and benefits of the software that helps you manage real estate properties.
We’ll focus on such points as:
- Remodeling & interior design
- Paying utility bills
- Tracking maintenance tasks
- Managing communication channels
- Organizing & attending events
- Going green and reducing expenses
- Taking care of the documents flow
Remodeling & Interior Design
In many countries, when you purchase a property, the house or apartment is empty and without any finishing works and decorations. In others, you get the basics done. Both of these issues have their disadvantages:
- If you have the basics in, the client might not like the decorations, which might be the deciding factor in choosing another property and not yours.
- If you don’t have any decorating work done, the client might be turned away because those will be an additional cost to take care of.
Evo-home.ch took care of this particular issue by implementing a tool for real estate developers and their clients called Configurator that allows people to play around with various materials and layouts to find the one that fits their requirements, likes, and tastes.
After the potential client has created the design of their dreams, they can download a brochure with the details and order this particular remodeling for the property that is currently being built. An additional bonus of such a tool is that the developer can gain insights into what materials are more likely to be chosen by the clients and what aren’t so popular.
Paying utility bills
It’s always better to pay utilities on time. It’s also very convenient when you can track the finances spent on electricity, water, and other utilities and budget for them.
Appfolio has a convenient feature for accounting for utilities (and other bills connected to real estate property management). Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), their smart bill entry tool reads invoices and identifies key information necessary for payments. Then the accounts payable (AP) tool helps to automate these payments so the clients don’t even have to worry about it – all that is necessary is to approve the invoices.
Besides paying the bills, these tools also help to create comprehensive reports that are useful when you need to plan the expenses ahead.
Tracking maintenance tasks
One of my bosses always said, “Always make sure there is a paper track.” With maintenance tasks, digitalized “paper track” is a very convenient thing that helps to ensure no task is lost and it’s easy to track their progress.
Resident Portal is one of the property management startups that offer maintenance task lists – you can see what tasks are planned/requested or which ones were already completed.
The users can easily create a task, for example, for fixing an electrical issue, and the property manager can see the entire list of tasks and assign them, with specified deadlines, to specific employees.
Property management is impossible without common communication channels. Whether it’s for tracking the maintenance tasks’ progress or for sharing information about events or just neighborly things – it’s good to have one single channel rather than spread the information across a multitude of various messengers.
Numerous startups do it in various ways. For example, Equiem offers tools for:
- Community events creation and scheduling complete with team management for those events
- Newsletters and text messaging options
- Online chat support
- Personal chats for the neighborhood
This isn’t a must, but it’s one of those convenient things that makes life so much easier when it’s available.
Organizing and attending events
Community events are great tools for building a friendly neighborhood. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, there can be an event for everyone.
Many property management software options offer event management features. Some events can be organized by property owners, some by residents, and some can be organized by people from the wider community.
Why are events important for property management? Once again, the aim is to increase customer satisfaction. Research says the feeling of being a part of something bigger helps reduce anxiety, depression, and stress and increases happiness, the feeling of being in control, and the feeling of purpose.
With built-in community events management, people can be invited to the events, RSVP to them, and keep track of all the events that they responded to.
Going green and reducing expenses
As of 2022, 40% of carbon emissions in the world are generated by the real estate industry. Many companies and governments right now are very interested and motivated to reduce this number by 2050 or even earlier. Therefore, it’s important to get on this train before it’s too late and expensive. What can you do as a property manager or developer?
One of the ways is implementing sharing economy into your real estate complex. Share economy features help to build community as well and the focus here is on reducing the costs while taking care of the environment and being greener.
- Purchasing things together feature helps to cooperate with neighbors and friends to buy something together to use it.
- Booking facilities – clients can schedule their gym or create an appointment for the meeting room.
- Sharing what you own already – residents can rent out their car while they are on vacation or share a grill for BBQ with friends.
We recently wrote an article about sharing economy in property management, where we stopped on each of the features in more detail.
Taking care of the documents flow
Real estate administration also involves a lot of paperwork and it’s a headache for everyone involved. A good property management software should have built-in streamlined online document flow processes to automate and digitalize everything that can be digitalized.
For example, the Customer Management Platform by Evo Home helps to organize all the invoices, documentation, and budgeting information in one place. Clients can also sign the documents online and track the progress in real-time.
Do you need property management software?
If you are a real estate developer, investing in client experience pays off. Besides the literal walls to live in, it’s the feeling of the home that can create an emotional bond with the place.
With good property management software, you can take care of the mundane things like document flow as well as bring additional value to the clients via various little things (that end up not being so little after all.)
Besides, it also takes care of the employees that work for you because they spend less time doing the things that can be automated and more time focusing on making your real estate an attractive place to live and spend time.
You, as a result, get:
- Content clients who feel cared for
- Happy employees that aren’t busy with routine copy-pasting the information
- Reports with measurable metrics and insights for your real estate property that you can use to enhance it even further
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