For those of us whose experience with rental property goes back a few decades (maybe even more than a few), the term “property management” conjures up images of ledger books for recording rent payments and expenses, receipt pads for tenants who paid by cash, and a plumber or two on our landline’s speed dial.
Things have changed, and much of that change is being driven by technology.
Perhaps what hasn’t changed is that sound and effective property management still plays a vital role in your success as a real estate investor, giving you the best opportunity to maximize returns, promote tenant satisfaction, and ensure property longevity. Let’s explore a few of the key trends and tools that make up today’s property management landscape.
Tech-Driven Solutions for Property Management:
“Proptech” stands out as the industry buzzword du jour. Today you can find a tremendous number of platforms and applications serving the residential and commercial real estate industries – more than we can cover in this blog post – but let me mention a few that may be of particular interest to owners of rental properties.
Data Analytics and Performance Tracking:
Several platforms can help you streamline your day-to-day operations, such as financial reporting, maintenance tracking, lease management, rent collection, tenant screening, and more. Most offer detailed reporting and analytics capabilities where investors can track key performance indicators. Among the most frequently reviewed providers in this space are Buildium, Yardi Breeze, Rent Manager, Appfolio, and Rentec Direct.
Real Estate Investment Analysis Software:
The certain precursor to successful property management is in first choosing the right properties to buy and manage. Professional-grade investment analysis software can take the guesswork out of forecasting future cashflows and return-on-investment, and help you make informed buy/don’t buy decisions. You won’t be surprised to learn that we believe that our RealData software, with its 40-year track record, will be your best choice to help you make those decisions. The Express Edition of Real Estate Investment Analysis stands out as a robust and affordable option for multifamily and small commercial, while the Professional Edition can help you discover the true investment potential of virtually any type of commercial or residential income property.
“Internet of Things” and Smart Home Integration:
You can integrate smart devices such as thermostats, security systems, and locks into your property management toolbox, allowing you to monitor and control various aspects of your properties remotely. Tools like Nest, Ring, and SmartRent offer features such as remote access control, energy management, security monitoring, and automated maintenance notifications, all of which can improve tenant satisfaction and save you both time and money as a landlord.
Virtual Tours and Online Marketing:
With the rise of virtual 360-degree tours, you can certainly grab some attention and market to potential tenants by offering online property viewing. Tools like Matterport and Realync enable property managers to showcase their properties remotely, saving time and resources. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then…
Sustainable and Environmentally-Friendly Practices:
Sustainability is gaining prominence in the property management industry as more investors recognize the long-term benefits of environmentally responsible, aka “green,” practices. By implementing eco-friendly measures, such as energy-efficient lighting and appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and the use of sustainable materials, you can reduce operating costs while aligning with sustainable development goals. I discussed some important sustainability issues in greater detail in a previous blog post and invite you to check it out.
A Final Word:
Property management continues to evolve, and investors need to stay updated with the latest trends and leverage relevant tools to maximize their returns. The integration of technology, data-driven decision making, and sustainable practices are shaping the industry. By embracing these trends and tools, investors should be able to achieve greater profitability in their real estate investments.
What tools and techniques are you using in your property management, and what are you finding to be most valuable? Please tell us about your experience implementing best property management practices.
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