Gone are the days where looking for an apartment meant buying a paper, making 20 phone calls (only to have 18 of them result in an unproductive conversation on how the apartment is no longer available), driving all over the city (let’s not forget this was pre-Google Maps days) to meet with several different “landlords” for multiple properties, fill out an application by hand, return it and wait… and wait… and, oh wait… you didn’t get the apartment. Back to square one!!!
The crazy part is that some landlords are still not embracing all the amazing and innovative tools out there for property management! Time is precious, people. Technology is literally handing us all sorts of tools and features to save time and make it easier and safer to find an apartment! Not only is time valuable for those in the market for a new apartment, it’s valuable for our company, our staff and our real estate investors. It’s obvious that the most efficient way of listing and filling an apartment for all parties is utilizing the tools technology has granted this industry.
Believe it or not, prior to 2015, Vionell Holdings was still living in the past with spread sheets and procedures that, in all honesty, from time to time were not the most effective way of going about property management.
Fortunately, in 2016 that all changed for our company. The investment in a software program, Yardi, to literally allow the whole apartment process to become a virtual experience had a huge impact on not only our operations and productivity, but also the response from current and prospective tenants. The convivence that this software gives anyone looking for an apartment is undoubtably appreciated. It allows apartment hunting to be a one-stop-shop where a person can turn on any smart device (that let’s face it, is probably already in their hand), browse through multiple properties from one management company, filter amenities, define search parameters, view images and floor plans, select a specific unit, and submit an application – which reserves the unit until the applicant is either denied or accepted as a tenant. Can you say “convenience”? Once a tenant moves into their apartment they can submit work orders online and rent is automated.
It’s important to remember that this virtual experience is optional! The majority of prospective tenants will still request an in person showing of their apartment choices and there are still several customers that enjoy taking the time to come to our office to meet with our friendly staff and fill out an applicationby hand. The point is, having the option to have all details taken care of online is a valuable service to offer for those who prefer it.
This technology has definitely had a positive influence in all our portfolios, which also includes commercial real estate and condo management, but out of all areas in our company, the impact that it has had on our residential rental properties has been significant; especially when you take into account the added service it has given to our customers. Innovative tools in property management have certainly taken the term “Add to Cart” to a whole new level.
Article by Katie McMillan. Find her on LinkedIn here!