The Proptech Landscape, and How It Impacts Rental Properties

The Proptech Landscape, and How It Impacts Rental Properties
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If you’re in rental properties as an owner or a property manager, you can hardly go a day without hearing about proptech and how it’s going to increase your NOI. But the hype around proptech can get a little unrealistic at times, leading owners to think that managing properties will one day become a set-it-and-forget-it thing.

Don’t get this wrong, proptech is incredibly important to managing an Denver Metro Area rental property today. Property management software that allows residents to pay online and owners to get paid online, self-guided tour technology that makes showing properties more efficient, and smart home tech that regulates temperature and controls access are all very necessary.

Unfortunately, all this technology can give some the idea that people are not needed to manage properties at all. As the old adage goes, however, people do business with people. Residents lease from people and want maintenance from people.

In fact, the data shows that prospects who do both a self-guided tour to interact with the product and an agent-led tour, convert to leases at a much higher rate than prospects who do just one or the other. This tells us that renters want the ability to shop for a rental property on their own terms.

They want to engage with the product without the distraction of a leasing agent and, at another time, to actually ask questions of a real live person to get their perspective. In the end, they’re leasing the property from the person who will be managing it, not the property itself.

People still matter in the rental process. That’s why it’s important to keep proptech in the place where it can truly maximize efficiency and NOI:

  • A transaction and communication enabler. Proptech should be used to enable transactions and communication, such as paying rent and submitting service requests. These things make person-to-person activities easier and more effective.
  • A tool to meet prospect and resident demand for convenience. Consumer behavior is changing thanks in large part to brands like Amazon that have made convenience the primary driver of making a purchase. Proptech should be used to meet that demand.
  • An efficiency driver. Don’t get this confused with just reducing costs. While proptech does reduce costs, that shouldn’t be the primary goal. The primary goal should be to make our people more efficient so they can focus on people-to-people interactions. Remember, people do business with people, not machines, technology or business entities.

Proptech is incredibly valuable to Denver Metro Area property management, but it doesn’t replace the need for people. Real estate investors must keep this in mind when deciding how they will manage their properties. Using a property manager that understands the balance between proptech and good people is the key.