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Property Management: Technology vs Human Interaction

Property management technology is abundant and necessary to some extent. However, choosing which systems and software are best for your property can be overwhelming. Technology also shouldn’t rule your Washington, DC property management company, as human interaction is still vital in the leasing business. This post will discuss how to find the balance between technology and human interaction, as well as how to form a game plan for implementing these strategies at your property management company.

Property Management Technology for Washington, D.C. Landlords

  • Application Screening – You need a screening software to run background checks on those that apply for your property. Some examples are AppFolio and Experian. Both software runs all the reports you need to qualify a tenant, including criminal background checks, eviction, and rental history check, and income verification.
  • CRM – A CRM, or customer relationship management software, allows you to stay organized with both prospective tenants and current tenants. CRM’s are used to generate and send out emails to tenants en masse, track prospects, and more. Every company, no matter the industry, can benefit from a CRM platform. There are plenty out there specific to property management, such as YARDI.
  • Property Management Software – an all-encompassing property management software allows you to perform all of the daily tasks associated with managing your rental properties. This includes rent collection, maintenance requests, generating leases, etc. Systems like Appfolio can also allow tenants to pay rent and make maintenance requests online. This is key in our digitized world, and tenants will come to expect this level of convenience. You cannot forgo this type of software while managing a property.

Optional/Additional Technology for Landlords

  • Virtual Tours – There are plenty of apps and systems out there that can help you market and virtually tour your property. Although this optional, we highly recommend taking advantage of it. The COVID-19 pandemic requires that people eliminate contact and gathering, so this is particularly important to consider now and for the future. Outside of the current circumstances, virtual tours can set your property apart and allow those moving from out of town to tour without hopping on a flight.
  • Social Media – Social media may not be necessary for your property, but it’s undoubtedly helpful for both prospective residents and current tenants. Social media helps you build an online presence for your company, allow for reviews to be posted, and provides another form of communication that many people appreciate. That said, it may take some learning. Consider asking a marketing specialist for assistance.

Maintaining Human Interaction in the Property Management World 

property management technology washington dc

These are instances in which human interaction can be beneficial in the property management world:

  • Resident Events – Whether you have a multi-family property or single-family homes, putting together events is a great way to get to know tenants and have them get to know other tenants as well. As a property manager, you should attend these events when possible. Even though the world is highly digital, people still like to know who they are renting from and that they’re good at communicating.
  • Stay In Touch – Be available to your tenants by phone, text, and email, but also check in on residents, ask how their stay is and what you could do to make it better, etc. Communicating, even if it is just a simple text or call, shows tenants that you care.
  • Be Accessible – Similar to the point above, be available and make sure your staff is, too. Always communicate and try to respond to any form of communication within a few hours (during business hours). However, also be ready to answer prospect’s questions within a day after hours and on weekends as well. Our industry never closes! Having a maintenance team or outsourced maintenance partner that can work overnight is essential for current tenants as well. When emergencies happen, someone needs to respond right away.
  • Tours – As we mentioned above, virtual tours are essential. However, that doesn’t mean you eliminate in-person tours. While many individuals may like touring virtually, many also prefer in person and want to get to know the staff and the property for themselves. Having a person-to-person tour allows for questions to get answered right away and potentially lead to same-day applications.
  • Inspections – regular property inspections are only completed by a property management staff member and tenant together in person. Some companies are allowing tenants to attend virtual inspections for the time being, which could extend after COVID-19 if they prove to work well. It’s best to be on the same page regarding inspections, damages, and maintenance needs. It’s still ideal for performing these in person.

The most important thing to incorporate in your property management business strategy is a healthy balance between human interaction and technology. Always use technology to stay organized, screen prospects, and allow for online rent payment and maintenance requests. However, be confident in your human interaction strategy. People want to know there is a human available if they have questions or issues.

Bay Property Management Group Washington D.C. offers the best of both worlds, combining cutting edge property management technology with top-notch customer service and human interaction! Contact our team of Washington, DC property managers to discuss how we can help you effectively manage your investment property.