Click and Modem – how changing technology is influencing the tenant-landlord relationship

Written by realestateview.com.au in Renting

 

“By investing in our own software, we have dramatically reduced our business overheads and as a result, can pass this savings onto our clients.” – Sarah Boyle, Director at My Rental

A hardworking property manager has always been a value for money component of any investment portfolio. They will source the best tenants and keep them happy through efficient management. With technological advancements streamlining the services of property managers across Melbourne through optimised communications and automated systems, the Australian real estate industry is fast becoming more refined, compliant, and able to respond and react to tenant and landlords needs in real time; making them more cost-effective and productive.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the ways in which technology is improving services and enhancing the tenant/landlord relationship.

Apps

Landlord apps are centralising a number of key operations to provide property owners real-time data on their investment, including payment notifications, rental tracking and maintenance and repair response; in turn, reducing the man-hours involved in the minutiae of property management.

Are all industry apps the same? The short answer is ‘no’. Savvy agents are realising that paying multiple subscriptions and juggling several software applications is inefficient, costly and cumbersome, so they are designing their own. These are drawing together all the facets of property management to provide a powerful centralised communication platform between tenants, landlords and agents along with outside contractors.

Customised technology can provide transparency through every aspect of a tenancy  including:

  • Instant messaging alerts when rent is paid. This also provides details of rent in arrears to give landlords clear insight into their payment cash flow.
  • Direct messaging capacity, with the agent the central contact point between landlord and tenant. No more phoning and waiting for a call back!
  • Managing maintenance and repair issues with the capacity to provide photos as well as handle quotes and invoice records.
  • Simply provide real-time reporting for property inspections and condition reports.
  • Provides landlords with a record of payment history along with rental statements and other leasing details.
  • Furnish owners with current property market feeds and valuation tools, enabling landlords clear and concise data concerning their investment properties.

Time management

The property industry has always been highly labour intensive, requiring substantial man-hours to attend inspections, reference check and manage both landlord and tenant expectations. Technology is now enabling much of the back-of-house work to be automated or digitalised, freeing up agents to focus more on the personal side of the business.

One agent we spoke to noted that technology has offered the industry a significant reduction in the time involved initiating rental payments to property owners. Whereas once a single manual payment to a landlord which was out of the normal monthly run may have taken several hours to perform, now it takes only a matter of minutes.

Likewise, while producing income statements, repair invoices, or lease agreements may have involved leafing through piles of paperwork, they can now be accessed through the touch of a button.

Streamlining applications

With more Australians renting than ever before, processing rental applications has become increasingly time-consuming; frustrating both tenants and landlords. The introduction of online applications is enabling prospective tenants to apply for properties online using a standardised form. This is particularly advantageous where the prospective tenant may live at a distance from the leasing office or interstate. Many agencies are now choosing a centralised agency where tenants can create a profile allowing storage of details and utilising autofill, reducing the need for them to complete separate applications for every property for which they wish to apply.

These online forms may even have the capacity to keep prospective tenants updated as to the status of their application; reducing incoming calls to the property manager.

Technology is changing the face of property management and, when initiated wisely, is providing a service which is cheaper, faster and more transparent. If you are a landlord seeking more clarity and insight into your investment, it may be advantageous to look for property management agents who are embracing industry technology.