The future of property management depends a lot on technology, but it’s not only tech and platforms and social media that’s leading property management into the future. With automated systems, artificial intelligence, and virtual assistants taking care of much of the busywork, property managers and leasing agents can focus on connecting with tenants and owners, and ensuring that they have an outstanding rental experience.
That means that innovation can come in the quality of service as well as the way services are delivered.
This is good news, even if you’re somewhat suspicious of technology and its growing powers.
At River Drive Properties, we are huge proponents of investing in the most innovative technology that’s available. We see ourselves as property management leaders, now and into the future. We are committed to serving our owners and our residents better. This requires more than technology; it requires a service model that prioritizes all the right things.
It means following tenant trends and studying rental values. Knowing which upgrades will return higher rents and which will only suck your money down the drain.
With all of this in mind, and our appreciation for what the future holds, we’ve decided to share our hot take on which innovations and trends you’ll want to watch for when it comes to the future of Fresno property management.
Technology Gone Wild: Thinking about the Pros and Cons of A.I.
Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (A.I.). There are heated debates about it being good for us or bad for us. There have been congressional hearings. Hollywood strikes. It’s a lot to unpack, and like most things – not as easy as defining it as good or bad.
It’s all in how you use it. When it comes to property management, A.I. has improved systems and saved time. This is still a developing technology, and maybe it will turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. We thought that about email, too.
Over the next 10 years, we expect A.I. to get smarter and more capable. This does not mean that we need to fret about a machine taking the place of a human property manager. This is simply not possible. People still want a human connection. Homes are emotional. Investing is complicated. We need to have conversations and interpersonal interaction. That will never go away.
So, we can rely on A.I. to help with more automated functions. Here’s an example: questions and answers. You know those little chat boxes that you see on the bottom of most websites asking if there’s something they can help you with. Most of them are driven by A.I. If there’s a question it cannot answer, a human will be summoned. This is how A.I. can help automate things and save time, and it also demonstrates how there are limits to what it can do, and specific situations where the human property manager is needed.
The artificial intelligence we use in property management can quickly process large amounts of data, and it can do so accurately and with precision. This helps us when it comes to pricing your property accurately, marketing your rental home across multiple platforms, and gathering data on maintenance needs. It’s basically an extension of what we’ve been able to do with the existing technology.
Costs are often minimized with A.I. while efficiency is increased, and this adds to more satisfaction among our owners and our team members. Rent collection, tenant screening, and other easily delegated tasks will leave our property managers more time to fulfill their more professional endeavors.
Upgrades and Updates: Investing in Smart Home Technology
This is a huge trend that we tell all of our investor and landlord clients to watch for: tenants wanting and needing extra tech in the homes that they rent.
Fresno rental homes will adopt more smart home technology over the next decade. In fact, property managers in our area need to be prepared for a high demand from tenants. We will need to coach our owners on what’s worth their investment, because this tech isn’t cheap.
Residents are currently using and enjoying:
- Video doorbells
- Smart thermostats
- Apps that allow them to set timers for their lights, appliances, and tech-driven vacuum cleaners
The dependence high quality tenants have on smart home technology will only grow, and the property owners and managers who can provide it will have an easier time attracting and retaining high-quality residents.
There are additional benefits to installing smart home technology in your investment properties.
- By remotely managing various systems within properties, such as HVAC, lighting, and security, energy costs can be reduced for property owners and for tenants, even while efficiency and productivity is increased.
- Tenants will appreciate having greater control and convenience. They’ll respond favorably to rental homes offering smart home technology.
- Smart locks allow remote access, which is both secure and convenient. The smart locks or digital keypads allow for easy property showings, and they also allow for maintenance workers to get inside the property without someone running over there to meet them or make another key.
When you’re willing to invest in these technologies for your rental property, you’ll find you have access to a variety of advantages, from efficient leasing and managing and maintaining your property to cost-savings to increased tenant retention and higher rental values.
A lot of wins.
If you ignore this trend, you’ll find yourself struggling to place great tenants and earn high rents.
Investing in Fresno Building Management Systems
The multifamily buildings you own require a lot of resources and oversight, even if we’re talking about a four-unit apartment building. Or a duplex.
One of the newer property technology trends that is sure to expand over the next decade is building management systems (BMS) technology. This is new and improved technology that can easily provide the information that a property owner needs to make better decisions.
We’re working with software that allows us to follow and work with the physical environment of any building. This has been a huge help to property managers and building managers. With an excellent system, we can follow specific analytics, such as temperature, moisture, lighting levels, heating and cooling, and security systems. We can track when doors are opened, how long they’re opened, and whether a building is unusually humid or hot or drafty.
This is a game changer when it comes to keeping your building more secure and better maintained. We can access the necessary data in real time, which means we can respond right away to potential problems and eliminate any concerns our owners may have over deferred or unreported maintenance.
Large Fresno Property Management Companies vs. Personalized Service
When we talk about innovation and the future of Fresno property management, we also have to address the stunning number of choices that property investors and landlords have when it comes to choosing a local property management partner.
For a while, it seemed like the new trend was something a bit off-putting: large corporate property management companies were taking over and buying up smaller management companies.
There is a lot of consolidation, and there are some huge companies making their own moves into markets across the country. But, independent landlords and even real estate investors with large portfolios have realized the value in hands-on property management that comes from local experts who love what they do.
Smaller, personalized property management in Fresno is not going away.
Creating Customer Experiences
Good customer service is more than a trend. It’s a way of doing business. Providing a great customer experience for residents has been a priority for a few years now. For Fresno property managers, we’ve invested a lot of time and energy into resident relationships. It’s contributed to:
- Better retention rates
- On-time rent collection
- Better rental experience for everyone
We expect that serving tenants and treating them like valuable customers will only become more important. Landlords and property managers who are willing to invest in residents will find those investments to be worth their resources.
Here’s what a good property management-driven customer experience looks like:
- Targeted, strategic advertising
- More objective resident screening
- A commitment to creating an enjoyable resident experience
These are the things property managers are focused on to deliver better experiences for owners and residents.
Customer service may continue to evolve. It’s always going to require responsive maintenance, effortless communication, transparent expectations, and conveniences like online rental payments. However, it will also mean more security in the home, a more personalized property where residents can really feel at home, and flexible lease terms such as longer or shorter leases. Residents are looking for smart home tech. They want flexibility. Prepare for those trends.
These are some of the most interesting and exciting trends in technology that we see for the property management industry as a whole and the Fresno rental market in particular. When you’re looking for a professional property management partner in our area, make sure you’re choosing a partner who understands and leads the industry.
That partner is us. Please contact us at River Drive Properties if you’d like to talk more about how we can help.
River Drive Properties provides effective and professional property management services in Merced and the surrounding areas including Fresno, Modesto, Tulare, and Turlock. We have extensive experience with both single-family homes and multifamily properties.