Technology and Property Management
The internet, proliferation of handheld devices, and adoption of technology in real estate generally has transformed the way rental business is conducted. As tools specific to rental property have become widely available, residential property management has become an important component of full service real estate brokerage. Forward thinking firms recognize the value in making significant investments in technology to service their rental clients and customers. In this article we will talk about some of the advances that have had the greatest impact on rental business.
- Online Shopping – The importance of the internet in allowing potential tenants to shop and compare available units cannot be overstated. There are hundreds of resources available for renters looking to find their next home and working with a firm that focuses on search engine optimization and usability of their web tools is critical to making the proper impression on potential tenants.
- Property Management Software – In addition to providing critical accounting functionality, modern software includes maintenance tracking and generation, contact management, marketing, and inspection capabilities. Many options are web based, virtually eliminating any concerns about data loss. Cloud based software also means your property manager has access to the information he or she needs 24/7 provided they have an internet connection.
- Electronic Signing – Leasing contracts can be executed and property rented without the need for the property manager and tenant to be in the same physical location. Tenants moving into the area from other places often come for short house hunting visits and departing before their application has been fully processed. When approved, they can now complete the leasing process via electronic document signing to quickly solidify the deal.
- Digital Photography – Anyone who remembers buying and processing film will appreciate the convenience and flexibility digital photography provides. In property management, the ability to thoroughly document property condition for marketing and the conduct of business with tenants and owners is invaluable. There are also purpose built evaluation and inspection programs that rely heavily on integration of digital imaging to produce reports. Consistently documenting property condition eliminates a lot of confusion and disagreement between all parties to the lease.
- Marketing Tools – It is easier than ever before to produce sophisticated marketing materials for rental properties. With a good set of images and some attention grabbing text, a property manager can provide a range of pieces. These may include content tailored to social media and printing.
- Portals – Landlords and tenants can have access to all information related to their rental business 24/7 via online login. Maintenance can be requested online, rental payments made, and account statements can be downloaded or printed. Clients and customers are no longer tied to office hours to conduct the majority of their rental business.
- Document Storage and Retrieval – Digital storage has become so inexpensive it is now possible to retain records indefinitely. There are certain IRS and legal requirements affecting real estate businesses that retain information on behalf of others however. For example, you can’t keep personal information such as that contained on rental applications indefinitely. For these reasons and general housekeeping, most business still purge records periodically. Landlords and tenants however can download their account information and store as long as they wish.
The Real Estate Group understands how critical the latest technology can be for success in today’s fast paced rental market. We have the tools and experience to deliver service and value to our landlord clients and help potential tenants find the ideal rental home. Contact us at (757) 512-7225 or on our website, at our complete Property Management portal.