Property managers have made great steps towards implementing new technology but they must not become complacent, according to a leading technology provider.
CEO of Rockend Alister Maple-Brown said there had been a stronger uptake of technology in the past 12 months, with property management businesses having a greater understanding of its value.
“Technology has to help you do one of two things: it’s got to help you be more efficient in doing a specific task, or it’s got to be able to help you build your business and grow and generate more income,” he said.
“I think a lot of businesses are starting to realise that and are focusing on those things. Certainly, the push towards mobility not just for people inside the office providing the service but being able to provide customers with information online and having access to it 24/7.”
However, there is always room for improvement.
“There’s so much that agencies can continue to look at,” he said. “They don’t need to look far because I think they need to always be focused on what their providers are offering, and always be on the latest version and ensure that when you get to the latest version, you learn how to use it.
“So much technology is provided to businesses, especially process businesses. But without the knowledge to use it then it’s a waste and you’re not really getting the full return on your investment.”
Technology is a property management business’ point of difference and it is essential they remain early adopters of new tools in order to grow their business, he continued.
“The technology is an enabler for you to differentiate yourself ... but you’ve got to take the time to research what’s available, and more often than not, it’s right in front of you,” he said.
With the barrage of new technology constantly coming into the marketplace and providers spruiking their products, he warned that it was easy for property managers to become overwhelmed.
Mr Maple-Brown’s advice was to assess whether the software or system would improve efficiency and generate more business, and importantly, whether it would integrate with current systems.
“You’ve got to think of technology in the overall sphere of what you’re trying to do and how it interacts with all parts of a process,” he said.
Mr Maple-Brown said Rockend had been doing a lot of work in making the property maintenance side of property management more effective and efficient.
Another major focus was allowing Rockend customers to digitise their filing cabinets, thereby providing information to clients online.
“It’s a huge time-saver to have 24 hours, seven days a week mobile access to information because in this day and age we expect to be able to put our finger on a piece of information and do something about it,” he said.