The property management sector continues to evolve as technological innovations dominate the industry. Modern tenants have grown to not only appreciate the use of technology in real estate, but many now demand it. Therefore, property management companies that adopt tech-enabled platforms and equipment gain an important competitive edge over those clinging to traditional processes.
While it might seem like the tech-enabled property management movement happened overnight, the trend gradually has developed over recent decades. A tech-enabled property at one time might have boasted programmable thermostats, but those limits have long been surpassed. By operating their businesses from interconnected platforms, property owners now can manage their accounting tasks, showcase units, process applications, manage HVAC services and even track work orders with single software solutions. Not only does property management technology improve business processes, but it enhances the renter experience, too.
What Is Property Management Technology?
So, what exactly is property management technology? Most simply put, PropTech is any utilization of information technology in the business of real estate. This can include everything from software programs to IoT sensors attached to physical objects in a rental property. The technology not only simplifies many business processes like rental application and rent collection, but it also can be used to automate maintenance processes and add efficiency to property operations like energy use and security.
Some specific examples of property management technology include:
- Listing platforms
- Automated outreach and showings
- 3D tours
- Inspection tools
- Tenant management software
- HVAC management platforms
- All-in-one property management solutions
History of Property Management Technology
How long have real estate companies been using property management technology, and how did the solutions get their start? You might say it all began with the introduction of Microsoft Excel in 1985, although Yardi’s property management software for Apple computers launched a year earlier. The earliest examples of property management technology amounted to little more than spreadsheets used to organize unit assignments and tenant contact information. These early software solutions evolved to also help manage invoices and track work orders. In that era, however, property management technology was limited to what could be managed with internal software and storage.
As the overall technology industry evolved, so did property management systems. When businesses gained access to the internet, they began moving processes such as marketing online. Property management companies were also able to synchronize databases, improving access to information and allowing real estate businesses to operate on a broader scale.
The introduction of mobile technology in 2007 added additional elements of efficiency and convenience to property management. Property managers now can access and manage data from anywhere, and consumers can take a more active role in the buildings they occupy. Mobile technology includes not only apps and the devices that run them, but also the Internet of Things, connected sensors and the software that operates them.
Property Management Technology Trends and Innovations
Professionals in any constantly evolving industry must keep up with tech trends and innovations to grow their businesses, and property management is no exception. After all, if property managers fail to utilize technological tools, their competitors surely will. But with the right property management technology solutions, they instead can increase productivity, lower costs and add value to their companies.
The following property management technology trends and innovations continue to impact the real estate market:
- Cloud-based software – By employing cloud-based software, property managers can manage maintenance issues, generate rental listings and collect rent form anywhere using a single platform.
- Green tech – More property management businesses are placing importance on sustainability by investing in green tech such as sustainable HVAC, which helps them reduce emissions, improve efficiency and save money.
- IoT – It’s estimated that by 2035 the Internet of Things will include 1 trillion sensors and connected devices, monitoring and sharing data.
- Blockchain – Blockchain technology allows transactions to be processed with greater speed, security and transparency, which adds efficiency and accuracy to complex and time-consuming real-estate transactions.
- Big Data – Data continues to dominate the property management sector. Predictive analytics is used to influence decisions ranging from where to invest to which applications to approve.
- Virtual reality – A growing trend in the real estate sector, virtual reality allows property management companies to create 360 virtual tours for prospective tenants to view from anywhere.
How Motili is Redefining Property Management Technology
With its technology platform that helps property owners and operators manage their HVAC operations, Motili is redefining property management technology. Not only does Motili provide a turnkey HVAC management solution that includes HVAC repairs, installation, maintenance and condition insight, but the company also boasts a proprietary HVAC asset tagging program that provides users with visibility into HVAC asset conditions, age, efficiency and forecast maintenance fees.
Motili’s technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum, of course. Motili aggregates data across clients and industries to develop insights on each client’s properties, assets and spending. This valuable data reporting includes information about individual jobs for improved savings and service levels, as well as details on spending and predictive analytics for improved budgeting and projections. Motili even offers an HVAC efficiency tool so real estate professionals can calculate carbon emissions associated with their HVAC operations.
Other Motili technology features include a web platform to provide detailed statuses and reporting on work, automated scheduling and contractor dispatching, as well as both text- and email-based notifications. Contractors working with Motili enjoy access to a mobile app updated in real time, and Motili customers benefit from client system integrations that expedite submission and status tracking in addition to all of advanced data reporting and analytics.