Technology has invaded practically every aspect of our lives. Consider how often we check something on our phones throughout the day, whether it’s browsing social media, shopping, banking or scheduling. Businesses now are just as reliant on technology, and the multi-family real estate industry is no exception.
In fact, an entire sector, commonly known as PropTech, is devoted to technology platforms designed to assist in buying, selling, renting or owning a home. PropTech investments have increased at five times the pace of total U.S. businesses since 2013 – more than $10 billion in 2019 alone.
“Tech has done a lot in the last few decades to revolutionize flows of information (Google), communication (Facebook, Apple), goods (Amazon), capital (PayPal, Venmo), and transport (Lyft, Uber),” Trulia founder and venture capitalist Pete Flint wrote. “But real estate is larger than all of those categories combined, and the transformation that real estate tech could bring to our lives is larger, and more profound than you might think.”
What does all this PropTech do? It involves a lot more than smart locks or cloud-based security. Some platforms provide almost complete property management, while others enhance specific aspects of the business. The following seven technology companies are making an impact on the multi-family housing industry:
Yardi offers real estate software products with the goal of providing technical innovation and responsiveness to client needs. Now a global software leader, Yardi’s property management solutions are embraced by more than 20,000 organizations, including multi-family properties. Both the Yardi Breeze and Yardi Voyager platforms feature accounting, operations and support processes for real estate companies of any size. With the Yardi Multifamily Suite, users can rely on a single connected tool for marketing, resident screening, insurance, revenue management and business intelligence.
The cloud-based property management system offers solutions for multi-family companies of any size. The platform features tools for accounting, budgeting, purchasing, document management, maintenance and reporting. With RealPage, users can not only organize and store electronic records, but also automate service requests and manage assets. It even provides a resident portal that provides residents with online payment options, automatic notifications, electronic lease renewal and management and maintenance tickets. Property owners and managers can also access market analytics with RealPage, which helps forecast optimal performance and transactional data. Plus, its AI resident-screening tools score prospective residents and save clients an average of $31 per unit annually.
Multi-family property managers rely on AppFolio for a cloud-based platform that automates and modernizes their businesses. The single mobile solution features online applications, leases and payments, built-in resident screening, maintenance requests, inspections, bulk messaging, accounting and reporting solutions, as well as online portals for both owners and renters. Appfolio clients also enjoy benefits such as vacancy and rent tracking, insurance for both renters and landlords, marketing and website building tools, rent comparisons and many more resources that aid in the operation of multi-family properties – all in easy-to-use software and a mobile app.
This software provider offers multi-family companies an AI solution for property management. The LeaseHawk Performance Platform, along with its virtual leasing assistance, optimizes the leasing process and closes leases faster by answering calls and providing chat requests, creating guest cards and setting appointments at any time of day. The platform does far more than setting appointments, however. LeaseHawk’s ACE AI can assist prospective residents with more than 130 leasing inquiries, including pricing and availability requests.
An industry leader since releasing its first workstation computer more than 40 years ago, PERQ launched its cutting-edge marketing cloud for multi-family companies in 2019. PERQ’s AI-driven technology solutions are designed to provide multi-family property businesses with data-driven strategies that not only cut the costs of acquiring new residents, but also provide an important bridge between digital and on-site marketing and leasing efforts. PERQ Marketing Cloud clients also enjoy automated processes and AI technology that boost efficiencies – and profits. Rather than simply establishing a property website, multi-family clients can harness AI technology to better understand who is visiting the site and what they are looking for in a multi-family community, providing a clear competitive advantage.
The Motili platform provides multi-family property owners and managers with turnkey HVAC and hot water management solutions. Thanks to its asset tagging and tracking across entire company portfolios, Motili clients save time and money – while boosting resident satisfaction – with proactive and reactive repairs and replacements. The cutting-edge platform offers detailed statuses and reporting of HVAC projects, as well as automated scheduling and dispatching, text- or email-based notifications and a mobile app that contractors can update in real time. Plus, Motili’s advanced reporting and analytics help clients proactively determine the most efficient times for maintenance and equipment replacements.
Security is a common feature of all multi-family property businesses. After all, every unit needs a key, and mismanaged keys not only reduce resident safety, but open up entire properties to unnecessary risk. Since its establishment in 1987, KeyTrak has provided electronic key and asset management systems for companies worldwide, both boosting security and reducing costs. According to KeyTrak, an electronic key control system can save property managers as much as 2-3 minutes each time they retrieve a key – a minimal amount of time that quickly expands during the course of each day. The system also helps track prospective residents by scanning their drivers’ licenses each time they ask to tour a property and streamlines processes like package deliveries.