Property management has come a long way in the past several years. Customers today certainly don’t think the same way as customers did a decade ago, and modern property management must keep up with the changing times. But, what exactly has changed?
Defining the Role of Technology in Modern Property Management
Technology has affected every aspect of existence. From the way we shop to the way we consume content, technology informs even the smallest decisions we make. Needless to say, technology has also had a strong impact on the world of business.
In the property management sector, companies and managers have found that old strategies no longer work. Nowadays, you must make use of modern property management tactics to even stand a chance of landing a client. Newspapers and other print media have all but faded into irrelevance. Even the largest publishing companies have shifted their focus to online or digital media, all in an effort to keep up with an ever-changing market.
That said, it almost seems foolish to refuse the change. As property management evolves, so must property managers and companies. Otherwise, you risk spiraling towards failure and losing your business. In the end, rejecting the advancements of technology will only prove beneficial to your competitors.
Defining Characteristics of Modern Property Management Clients
The consumer landscape changes all the time, but never in any way as drastic as in the last decade. There is now an entire segment of consumers who have lived most of their lives with technology.
In fact, in 2019, 49 percent of renters in the United States were under 30 years old. That means a large chunk of the rental market is made up of internet-ready, tech-savvy adults. In the context of modern property management, that translates to more customers searching for managers and companies online.
Along with a move to a digital platform, though, customers now have key behaviors that modern commercial property management must use to their advantage. Here is how customers have evolved in recent years:
1. Information Is Power
Property management in modern times means acclimating to what today’s customers want and what they want is honesty and openness. Some property management companies may have found it effective to provide limited information to their customers in the past.
However, in the current landscape, customers expect a level of transparency from the companies they patronize. That means giving customers all the information you can all in one convenient location: a website or online portal.
2. Largely Mobile
Gone are the days of large, bulky computers. Nowadays, it is all about portability. While a lot of people still use PCs and laptops, a vast majority of the population uses smartphones to connect to the online world. In fact, with more accessibility and cheaper options, just about anyone can get their hands on a smartphone.
With this in mind, property management companies should make sure their websites and online portals are mobile-friendly. No one wants to go through any difficulties while navigating through websites. Some may even give up or take their business elsewhere, perhaps to a company with a better online presence. Having a mobile-friendly website is not only convenient for clients, but it also gives off a more credible impression for your company.
3. Expect Fast Responses
With internet speeds the way they are today, communication is faster than ever. You can send messages in an instant and even get notified when the other party has opened your message. As such, today’s customers expect quick responses to their questions and requests. And they take to all kinds of platforms to make their complaints, too.
It is now normal to “call out” a brand or company for something a customer deems unacceptable. They post on social media about their negative experiences and gain thousands of reactions in a short span of time.
To keep up with modern property management, make sure your company replies to customers or potential clients in a timely fashion. Hire a social media manager to curate your profile and respond to other users. Employ customer service representatives to man the phone lines or reply to chats and emails. Most of all, make sure your website has a “Contact Us” section where customers can easily get in touch with you.
How Modern Managers Should Adapt to the Times
With customer behaviors and the general landscape changing, managers and companies should do their best not to lag behind. Modern property management will not wait for you to catch up, so you must take action yourself. Here is how property managers and management companies can stay relevant in a fast-paced industry:
1. Keep Up With New Technology
With a large chunk of consumers moving online, property managers must stay informed on the latest tech. There are so many disruptive apps and software solutions that you can use to up your game.
Social media is great for reaching a wide audience, engaging customers, and generating leads. In short, it is a great way to market your company and establish your brand.
Similarly, plenty of software and programs have made property management so much easier. Digitizing workflows make for more streamlined processes. This will save you more time compared to a manual system. The use of software tools can also cut down costs. With everything digitized or automated, you can look forward to less manpower.
Besides knowing how to use current tech, a modern property manager should also have a curiosity for new tech and a hunger for innovation. This will allow you to stay one step ahead of your competitors, too.
2. Have Excellent Communication and People Skills
Property management is not a solitary job. It requires you to be in constant contact with various people — tenants, co-workers, vendors. While keeping to yourself may have worked fine in the past, it will not fly today. In today’s market, people expect their property managers to have excellent communication skills. That means conveying your message in clear terms without sounding argumentative. It also means you should know how to listen just as well as you know how to converse.
3. Provide Exceptional Customer Service
In line with how customer behaviors have changed in recent years, modern property management calls for great customer service. Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, excellent customer service will always set you apart from your competitors. As previously stated, customers expect fast responses and quickly become agitated when they receive no acknowledgment.
Commercial property managers will also do well to put themselves in the tenants’ shoes. This will allow you to learn what makes them tick and what will make them stay.
A Necessary Change
There was a time when landlines were the height of communication and mobile phones weighed more than a kilogram. Now, mobile phones are getting slimmer and a piece of lightweight headgear can transport you to a virtual sphere.
Technology obviously plays a big role in modern property management, as it does in everything else. It is also likely that it will continue to evolve and affect this sector in more ways than one. As someone in the property management industry, your job is to match the pace of these changing times or at least come close. That way, you can stay relevant and competitive in a highly volatile environment.
If you are in need of an HOA management company, property management company, or real estate agent in Florida, start your search using Florida Property Management’s online directory.