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All Aboard?

By Staff Reporter
20 March 2013 | 12 minute read

Darren Smith, CEO of rent resumé, believes it’s time to get on board the mobile app train. It’s comfortable and there’s plenty of room, he writes

When talking to property managers across Australia, I usually ask them what technique they use to record tenant information.

I’m often surprised when they respond “notebook” or “by memory”.


When I ask them about using technology, they usually respond with “What technology?” and are seemingly
unaware of the new tools of the trade available to make the life of a property manager much easier.

Upon further discussion, I find these property managers never attend property management conferences or read industry magazines.

I’ve also noticed, however, the answer usually depends on the age of the property manager, or should I say
the age of the real estate agency principal, because they are the one with the cheque book, or online bank account.

That said, I do see more technology being adopted. The younger property managers’ confidence in mobile apps
for property management is refreshing and they represent the avant-garde face of change and how property managers should operate day-to-day.

While some research shows that property management accounts for approximately 19 per cent of the revenue
generated by real estate agencies, it is definitely worthwhile to spend more time and effort to grow this section of the business.

With apps now available for a myriad of roles within real estate, but predominately property management, it should only be a matter of time before the ‘yet to be converted’ property managers get on board – if not to improve their time management and bottom line, but also to provide a better level of information
to their investment property owners and tenants.

Some of the mobile apps currently available to property management include Happy Inspector, Inspection
Manager, Snap Inspect and Field Agent, to name but a few. These apps allow property managers to record details of property inspections and then transfer this information to compatible desktop software by wireless, and store them in a cloud environment or email them to the property manager or property owner.

In this information age we live in, tenants can also reap the benefits of technology by searching for rental
properties online and applying online. Gone are the days when people looked in the newspaper for a
property, and nearly gone are the days when an applicant filled out a paperbased application.

Websites such as rent.com.au, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au got off to a slow start, but are now used by anyone looking for a property. In contrast, the mobile apps from these companies have had a much higher initial uptake rate by the general public and the real estate industry alike.

Instead of carrying a clipboard and camera to a property inspection, property managers can now simply take their mobile phone or tablet to an inspection. This makes the role of the property manager even more mobile
and productive, ultimately ensuring they remain competitive.

With increased demand for rental properties – caused by continuing population growth in our capital cities –
and the resulting increase in workload for property managers, mobile applications go a long way to easing the pressures of these for both property managers and the general public.

So, get on board!

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