Property is a highly competitive industry. Property management businesses need to work hard to compete successfully in this fast-paced industry. Whether you own and manage a few properties in your local area, or you look after an international portfolio, the challenge to stay one step ahead of competing businesses is faced by all property management companies and investors.
Keeping a competitive advantage can be difficult, but one of the best tools to help you towards continuing success is technology. Utilising the latest technology can make all the difference to your company. Managing properties involves many different tasks, so it can be hard to stay on top of all the things that you need to do. With the right technology, you can improve efficiency in your business, enhance your business processes, help to raise awareness of your brand, and provide a better service to your clients.
The UK rental market is thriving right now. Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that in the period from 2007 to 2017, the number of households privately renting in the UK rose by 1.7 million. This increase took the overall number of households privately renting in the UK up to 4.5 million.
More recent figures from the ONS show that rental prices in the UK rose by 1.3% in the 12 months leading up to May 2019. These figures demonstrate that the market for privately rented accommodation remains buoyant, and provides opportunities for property management companies to benefit from the current market conditions.
Selecting the right technology can help you to maximise the opportunities the current rental market has to offer. Using technology to your advantage means that you can improve every aspect of your business, from the processes that you use, through to the way that you engage with customers.
Technology should always make life easier for businesses. However, all too often, technology can become more of a hindrance than a help. Using outdated systems that are no longer fit for purpose, can create extra work and leave you and your team frustrated. On the flip side, with the right technology, your business can be transformed. Using the best software systems for your needs can save you time and money by speeding up your processes. This will leave you free to take care of the bigger picture, whether that is scaling the company, or improving your current strategy.
Using property management software provides a whole host of benefits. To run a streamlined business that operates efficiently, property management software is crucial. There are many different property management system programs available, so it is vital to think about which one will provide the most significant benefit to your business. Useful features to look out for are dashboards that track your properties individually, so that you know which tenants are falling behind on rent payments, and which properties have leases that are up for renewal. These useful features are a handy way to keep on top of the admin side of the business, as well as enabling you to ensure your cash flow remains healthy.
The right property system offers a one-stop solution to ensure that you are always aware of the status of each property, and able to plan rental increases and know when a lease is ending well in advance. This insight is crucial for businesses operating in a competitive market, especially those hoping to expand in the near future.
The nature of a property business means that you and your staff will often be on the go and out of the office regularly during the working day. To keep the business running efficiently, everyone must stay connected while they are out and about. In the past, this meant relying on public WiFi, but this raises security concerns, and potentially puts company data at risk.
Using a virtual private network (VPN) provides the ideal alternative and enables your business to avoid the pitfalls of using public internet connections. A VPN allows you and your team the ability to access all your company’s systems while on the go. Using a VPN means that data is encrypted, so even if a hacker intercepts it, the data cannot be used.
Image Pexels CC0 License
Along with improving business connectivity and efficiency, technology can also help with marketing your properties and connecting with clients. Property management businesses that do not utilise the latest technology in this way will fall behind their competitors and put themselves at a disadvantage.
Artificial intelligence is a tool commonly used by businesses nowadays. Computer Vision (CV) is a popular artificial intelligence tool used by real estate businesses. Computer Vision technology is able to recognise property images, categorise, and label them.
Using Computer Vision technology for images within property listings means that clients can find properties with key features more quickly. Using Computer Vision to categorize and label images, also provides a significant SEO boost. Improved SEO means more website traffic will come to your property listings, and in turn, more potential clients will see your properties.
Chatbots are another example of artificial intelligence being used by businesses. Nowadays, customers expect 24 hours a day service, seven days a week. A potential client may be browsing your property listings at 2.00 am and have a question. If there is no one available to answer the question, the chances are that they will move onto a competitor’s site to see if they can find what they are looking for.
Providing 24/7 customer service is unlikely to be a viable option for your business, so the next best thing is to introduce chatbot technology instead. A chatbot is available at all times of the day and night to provide customer service to visitors to your website. While chatbots can’t answer every single question, they are a useful tool for ensuring that your business has a permanent online presence at all times.