Like any industry, commercial real estate is constantly changing. Markets change, values rise and fall, and trends come and go. Some changes make a positive impact, while others do not, but that’s the nature of the market.
One of the more positive changes in recent years has been the use of certain technologies by landlords, property managers, and investors. The tech being used in the real estate industry has many benefits, which ultimately lead to increased profits.
Here’s how people in the industry are benefitting from tech.
1. Automation creates more freedom
Automation in real estate is popular because it handles mundane, repetitive tasks. When tasks are automated, there’s more time to spend doing work that can’t be done by a machine. In short, automation frees up an investor’s time.
For example, commercial property investors have a lot on their plate, and the more time they spend on tedium, the less time they have to meet with clients and scope out new properties. These tasks can’t be done by a machine so that makes freeing up time extremely valuable.
In real estate, everyone benefits from automation. Investors need the freedom to pursue additional investments, and property managers need time to handle high-level duties.
Here are some of the tasks that generally get automated:
- Rent collection. More landlords are starting to give small discounts to tenants who pay rent online through an automatic deduction from their checking account.
- Repair and maintenance requests. Smart landlords have a website with a tenant portal for paying rent, submitting repair and maintenance requests, scheduling inspections, and general communication.
- Parts of the financing approval process. Agents and finance professionals won’t likely be replaced completely, but parts of the financing process can be automated.
- Sourcing new investment opportunities. Some real estate apps will ping investors when new properties are listed for sale that match set criteria.
- Tracking property values. It’s easier to use an app to get property value data than look it up manually. Whether it’s the value of specific properties or an entire neighborhood, this data can be gathered and processed automatically.
2. Tech is widely available
Perhaps the best reason real estate professionals get excited about tech is because it’s everywhere. Some people can’t help but be exposed to new tech. For instance, those who live in or near Silicon Valley seem to have tech in their blood. If a new app is being developed locally, everyone knows about it and this gives investors the upper hand.
3. Apps lower your employee costs
For serious investors who run an office or hire a property management company, certain applications can lower the cost of retaining employees. While it’s great to hire specialists, not every area requires expertise.
For instance, you can hire an office assistant to run reports through applications and compile them for you, and that person doesn’t have to have any experience. This allows you to hire just about anyone who can competently work with your apps, and you don’t need to pay expert rates.
Even experts benefit from tech. For example, the cost of property management will be considerably less if you hire a team of experts who use tech to manage their workload.
If your property management team doesn’t use tech, you’ll pay higher rates because there will be more physical labor involved. This is why it’s smart to hire a company rather than an individual to take care of your properties. Established property management teams have access to top-notch industry tools and they already have an efficient workflow that gets results.
4. Tech helps retain tenants
Tenant satisfaction matters, and tech can help you improve the overall tenant experience. When used optimally, you can lower vacancies, increase occupancy rates, reduce turnover, and increase tenant loyalty.
Tenant-focused tech can be used to resolve issues quickly, provide secure access to amenities, get tenant feedback, and more. You can do all this through mobile apps, a custom tenant portal for your website, chatbots, and even smart home devices. You can even use social media or friendly newsletters to create a feeling of community if you own an apartment complex.
Tenants who feel taken care of and appreciated by their landlord are more likely to stay longer and take better care of the property. It’s always in your best interest to create a positive tenant experience.
Prop tech is the future of real estate
Property technology, or “prop tech” for short, is here to stay. The benefits are clear: it drives profits by freeing up time and maintaining positive tenant relations. Investors who want to drive higher profits need to adopt this technology.