Around the globe, more and more industries are investing heavily in emerging technologies and coming up with creative ways to use this technology to work smarter.
We’ve seen this trend lately within the real estate industry, particularly in regards to property management. At Harcourts, we’ve found that building the technology to equip our agents with the tools they need to do their job well has become critical.
Throughout 2014, we provided our property managers with solid technology resources that we trust, with apps like EInspect used for conducting ingoing/outgoing/routine inspections and IMaintain, which is used to streamline the maintenance process between the client, the property manager and the contractor.
It’s definitely one of the clear benefits of being a part of a large real estate group that can afford to invest the time and money into ensuring their business is tech-savvy, as well as the resources to train you on how to get the most out of an app or program. Harcourts has both a dedicated technology department and e-business department. We see the areas as distinct from one another, but recognise the importance of both in a market where real estate professionals and consumers alike are embracing technology.
Consumers themselves are increasingly tech-savvy, especially when it comes to real estate, with most popular real estate websites also offering an accompanying property search app. We’ve seen an ever-growing number of people using technology to find properties for lease and to research before committing to inspecting.
There has also been an increasing number of renters turning to Google Maps, particularly Street View, for example, allowing prospective tenants to find out more about a property without having to view it in person first. This is one way technology helps qualify the tenants that are seriously interested in a property.
Technology is also improving efficiencies. There are CRM tools that allow you to keep track of all of your clients and tenants; apps that let you quickly and easily stay on top of inspections; and time management and task allocation tools that give property managers more time to spend attending to the needs of their tenants and landlords, resulting in more satisfied clients.
These days, technology is helping us to manage every aspect of the customer life cycle, from the beginning of a relationship to the end of the leasing/managing process. My view is that this gives our property managers back the valuable time they need to continue to build and strengthen relationships with their tenants and clients, and at the end of the day, that’s reason enough to be investing in technology.