Only a year or two ago, we were talking about the impressive impact of technology on property management and real estate. We were focused on new technology that had made our processes more efficient. Self-showings had become normalized. Online portals for owners and tenants are the best way to communicate and share information. Everyone had become comfortable with online rental payments and maintenance requests. Video doorbells had contributed to greater security.
Things have continued to change and technology has continued to evolve.
Now, we’re not just talking about how technology has made us more efficient.
We’re talking about how technology has made us smarter.
The use of new technology is changing the real estate industry in several important ways. The data we’re collecting is more accurate and reliable. It’s also more plentiful. The artificial intelligence (A.I.) that’s available is intuitive and user-friendly. We’re helping owners and tenants save money thanks to our ability to monitor energy usage and trends.
There’s a lot happening, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up.
As a property management company in Idaho Falls and Pocatello that specializes in helping investors earn more money and identify better opportunities when it comes to multifamily properties, we’ve invested heavily in technology. We are keeping up with the latest trends and best practices, and we want to share some of the ways in which the future is looking more promising thanks to the tech tools and resources that are growing more accessible.
How AI is Approaching the Real Estate Industry
A.I. is beneficial to the real estate industry in a number of ways, and we’re especially interested in its capability for predictive maintenance, the access to analytics, and the ability of A.I. to respond to easy customer inquiries, cutting down on the time and resources that need to be spent on tasks that can be automated and problems that can be solved with machine learning.
Here’s what we mean:
- Predictive maintenance. Whether you’re preparing to sell a property, evaluating a potential rental, or deciding how to budget for annual repairs and maintenance, you need information. Repairs are cheaper and more easily managed when they’re expected. If something goes wrong and needs an immediate fix, you can expect higher prices even from your most trusted and reliable vendors. With A.I., it’s easier to predict when maintenance will be needed. You can plan for it, line up your vendors, and make room in your budget. The A.I. technology can analyze sensor data from buildings, estimating when preventative maintenance might be needed. You can even enlist the help of A.I. to schedule the work for you. This is a game changer for anyone involved in real estate or property management.
- Data analytics in real estate. Real estate agents and investors do a lot of work to predict what property prices will do in a particular market. We’ll study the local economy and look at pricing trends. We’ll analyze supply and measure demand. This takes a lot of time and the science is never perfect. We can’t make sense of the millions of data points that are available; it’s too much for our human brains to organize. A.I. can make better use of those data points. Millions of data points, including news events, economic factors, crime stats, companies opening up, business registration records and population can all be stored, analyzed, and used to predict future market trends and the potential of future real estate investments.
- Communication. You’ve probably found yourself communicating with a chat bot on a website or while dealing with a customer service agent. That’s communication that’s driven by A.I. It’s a tool that anticipates questions and provides answers. No live person is necessarily needed to answer expected questions from potential buyers, potential tenants, or other prospective clients. Those professionals we employ can spend their time doing what they do best while we harness the power of artificial intelligence to take care of answering easy questions and providing general information.
We can use A.I. to schedule real estate showings and to automate rental payment reminders. Emails and texts can be responded to quickly, even if just to confirm receipt of a maintenance request.
This feels scary to some people, but there’s no possible way that A.I. could actually take over the work of a live real estate agent or property manager. This is still a relationship business, especially when it comes to working with investors, turning over properties, and helping owners make decisions about their investment goals and properties.
A.I. will change the real estate industry by providing more reliable data, saving money on maintenance and repairs, and managing easily automated tasks.
Investing in the Internet of Things (IoT): Making Buildings Smarter
Another new technology that is being embraced by the real estate industry is the IoT, or the Internet of Things. This is the ability of individual wireless devices to connect to one another in order to build an involved system that does more than you’d expect. Every one of those wireless devices that might be used for security, temperature control, and other functions are connected to the internet. The internet enables them to share data and information with one another. So, your smart thermostat isn’t functioning on an island of its own; it’s sharing data with the video doorbell and the automatic lights.
When these features work together, their usefulness is expanded. They’re also providing data that can be used to make the management of your building safer and more efficient.
The IoT goal is to provide efficient and proactive maintenance without human intervention or expense.
The IoT can assist real estate agents in explaining how much water a building uses to a potential buyer. It can help building managers in monitoring energy usage, lighting, and security. It provides property managers with real-time data and reduces the need for manual entry tasks that can consume a lot of time and increase expenses.
This will save time and money. It will make the management of our buildings more intuitive and our consumption less wasteful.
Smart Home Technology as a Selling Point
The real estate industry is also leveraging technology to attract and retain buyers and renters to the properties listed on the market. Buyers will be looking for a home that’s wired and read for smart home tech. And, technology is more of a priority for residents than ever before. Your best renters are going to want access to good internet speeds and they’ll be willing to pay more for technology such as video doorbells. With so many renters continuing to work remotely, they’ll be at home more. Your appliances will be used more, your security will need to be as up to date as possible, and you’ll need to deliver what tenants are looking for.
Smart devices are good investments. Smart thermostats, lighting systems, and security cameras are especially in high demand. And, these systems can be interconnected to create a seamless network of operations that are intuitive and efficient.
For investors, the properties they’re renting out will be more attractive to the best-qualified residents. For real estate brokers and agents, this will be a selling point when they’re listing a home.
Prioritizing the Resident Experience with New Technology
It’s important to remember why we use the best technology that’s available. To increase efficiency and profitability.
There’s no way to be profitable without rental units that are occupied.
Keeping residents happy and responding to tenant needs has to be a priority for every property manager and real estate investor. You cannot make money if you have constant turnovers, lease breaks, or unqualified residents who don’t pay rent on time or take care of the property.
Managing the resident experience is an important part of creating resident satisfaction and encouraging lease renewals. When we can keep tenants happy, we can reduce the risk of turnover and vacancy. There are fewer disputes and conflicts to spend our time on.
New technology helps us manage the tenant experience better, and that’s changing the industry.
Buildium recently did a survey that revealed more than 80 percent of tenants expect their property manager to use technology while managing their home. Tenants want to pay rent and request maintenance online. They want to send messages when it’s convenient for them. They want to access lease agreements from anywhere. They want to enjoy the smart home technology that’s available to homeowners and renters as well.
Technology makes them feel more comfortable with the entire rental experience.
These are some of the highlights we’ve been thinking about when we look at the technology that’s available and the new advancements that are continuously being made. Information and data will be more useful and necessary than ever, and those of us who are prepared now will benefit most as the new tech and tools become available.
If you’d like to talk about technology in real estate or how it impacts the markets in Pocatello and Idaho Falls, we’d love to share additional thoughts. Please contact us at Jacob Grant Property Management.