Technology is changing the game for every industry and residential real estate is no different. But what exactly is "Proptech", and why should property owners and investors pay closer attention to the opportunities it offers?
Talking about digital transformation is always a sure-fire hit at conferences, networking dinners, or even family events – “No, Grandma, I don’t need to call the cab, and I’ve already paid for it.” – but like all technology, it’s the end-user experience that really matters.
Here are a few ways to turn technology into a better customer experience that also delivers higher yields.
How quickly can you answer requests on a busy Saturday? Even with a full team managing calls, e-mails, and key handovers, doing so quickly is no easy task. And when you consider the operating costs of salaries, office space, transport and more it quickly adds up.
Recently we explored threemarketing ideas to help appeal to new multifamily residents and technology plays a vital role in today’s acquisitions, but it’s just as important for the resident experience.
Offering 24/7 support is a strong proposition, especially when targeting short-term residents who are used to and expect a digital, light-touch experience. New technology makes this possible.
Today, a remote communications team can coordinate property services from anywhere in the world. This opens up the talent pool, reduces headcount costs, and overcomes the challenge of antisocial hours.
Overall, it’s a win/win forproperty managers and residents alike, all while delivering a reliable service and improved customer experience.
Defying the current cost-of-living crisis, the multifamily market continues to grow year on year, with 2022 already outstripping 2021. That’s why more and more portfolio owners are mixing short-term guests alongsidelong-term income streams.
In many ways, technology is the driving force here - with software algorithms automatically adjusting prices to cater for changes in demand. This allows property owners to maximize their revenues even in the most crowded markets.
Until recently, local knowledge was everything – knowing when to adapt to big events like sports games and festivals and when to price lower to avoid empty units. Now, artificial intelligence generates and adjusts this insight in seconds, delivering always-on pricing updates.
The key here is not to replace that invaluable local market expertise but to augment it and free up time to focus on other areas of the business.
Security and adaptability
That being said, any property manager knows that even with world-class services, unexpected things still do happen. That’s why it’s best to take a realistic approach to guest management.
Technology is making the process easier here too, with property technology companies able to set out clear, modular pricing for any issues that do occur.
But if we take a step back, it’s clear that getting the right guests in makes all the difference. Much like social media, building a personalized guest profile not only improves the experience, but it also adds accountability - reducing the risk of antisocial residents and any extra costs not being covered.
There are a number of data points that help to build a picture of prospective guests, including positive reviews and previous trips, the age of the account, the duration of the trip, and whether the booking is over a weekday or weekend.
Some property managers might even choose to reject a booking that lands on the same weekend as a birthday if the factors above give them cause to hesitate. It’s an unlikely event but a very useful tool for property managers to have.
Overall, it’s clear that property-technology management is here to stay, with residents and owners alike already enjoying the benefits.