Many factors are pushing multifamily owners and operators to rethink property management. From labor shortages to seemingly neverending maintenance requests and everything in between, there’s no shortage of pain points in property management. I’ve scaled a property management company from a few hundred units under management to over 30,000 units. I know firsthand how inefficient and frustrating property management can be, which is why I’m sharing ways we’ve rethought management by embracing automation, centralization and technology.
This word has been villainized. But in thinking about the future of work, I believe that people should be doing more meaningful tasks such as building a true rapport with their residents versus doing redundant and repeatable paperwork or processes. Those tasks can be automated, allowing more time in the day for property managers to do more meaningful work. And there’s only so much one person can remember to do. When tasks are automated, such as resident outreach after a move-in or a work order, you can create huge wins.In a previous article, I dove deeper into different types of automation and how each can benefit property managers and apartment owners.
In the current state of property management, a property manager is a generalist. This person is tasked with doing everything from leasing tours to collections to answering resident questions. In rethinking property management, what if the work was divided up to create specialist units? Specialists will likely be better at their assigned tasks than a generalist, and operators can pay fewer people more money to do a better job. This approach also helped us rapidly scale our property management company.
The standard for property management software solutions on the market today is to look at each property individually versus a portfolio holistically. So, there’s limited portfolio-wide functionality and business intelligence offered with many of these tools. We encourage operators and software providers to think globally. Being able to see portfolio-wide trends in real time will help operators make faster, more informed decisions without needing to manually review each property’s individual reports.
The standard is also for technology to be really amazing for renters or for owners and managers, with very few being great for all user types. User types include renters, managers, real estate investors, management companies, maintenance professionals, contractors and more. Each group needs to be considered when developing tools for today’s market. Technology companies would be wise to consider all of the parties involved and collaborate with other tools in the market to make the best experience possible for the industry.
By embracing automation, centralization and technology, we see the future of property management having more meaningful work or specialized work resulting in higher paying roles for managers, more transparency for owners and renters and a wholistically improved experience for all users and departments.