As markets and technologies evolve, and also tenant expectations shift, rental management teams need to keep the demands and priorities of property owners in mind. Are those priorities changing along with technology? What fresh benchmarks or performance indexes do owners put their attention on now?
Jeff Olshan, SVP-Asset Management in Passco Businesses, claims that benchmarks might not be shifting as far as people think. Technology improvements, however, are only the tool utilized to accomplish the outcome desired by owners. Owners are searching for performance. The most important thing is maximizing profits from their rentals. That will never change. As a 3rd party property manager, your job will always be to figure out how to maximize an owner’s profit while maximizing your own.
As the essentials hold stable, property owners rely heavily on management teams to indicate innovative techniques to meet key performance indicators and revenue projections, and also keep step in what renters seek. Shifting requirements might include things like how a rental office is installed (seeming much like a hotel reception compared to a common work place) into the conveniences that a residential tower supplies (shared workspace, pet-friendly features, recycling, along with health-and-wellness options). And, needless to say, it features technology, either inside the common areas or in each unit.
Technology in Operation
"I have been immune to a digital leasing process," confessed Lisa Newton, VP-Asset Management in Hines. "When I have a option to speak to someone personally, I will take that each moment. However, I enjoy chatbots on account of the instantaneous interaction. It's effective and I think that it's some thing we need to embrace.” In line with Lisa’s thoughts, Latchel builds integrated chatbots for the maintenance aspect of operation. I don’t believe one can improve by staying the same. That means challenging convention and taking non-traditional approaches to capture greater rental profits while increasing service value to tenants.
Other unconventional means to capture greater profits have also hit the rental scene. We are beginning to see home-automation which may save money, such as detectors which may turn water off to prevent damage. When it costs you only 4 bucks, you'll be able to bill your resident $10, that is clearly a nobrainer. Bring the info, draw on the technician, and reveal the amount of money that a fix will cost, but most asset managers aren't turning to tech to restore or reduce staffing expenses. In reality, renters anticipate greater professional services and concierge-based conveniences already, so as rental operations become more automated everywhere, management groups will fight to attract tenants based on rent prices.
Ultimately, customer service is still the bedrock of the rental management. Owners expect technology to enhance and ease the professional services their on site teams may provide, helping them become much more reliable and focus more on new residents as opposed to becoming bogged down into daily activities. Centralized leasing and call center services may play a major part in creating more effective interactions with people as well as prospective tenants without affecting quality.
Services like Latchel utilize combinations of expert on-demand labor force and automation from chatbots and artificial intelligence to provide advanced maintenance diagnostics, troubleshooting, and dispatching of technicians to keep managers focused on their core metrics. I believe Latchel’s 24/7 emergency service is a prime example of using operational technology to maximize rental profits.
In terms of information to real estate managers: Be pro-active. Be bold. And do not mention issues without suggesting an answer. Be conscious that owner priorities might vary; a longterm buyer is going to have an alternative approach than some body with a brand new development or value-add model. Know about what younger tenants are searching for and utilize this to project future wants. Stay nimble and don’t let conventional wisdom keep you from maximizing your rental profits.