According to an eye-opening new study, technology will do 90% of commercial real estate brokers’ jobs a decade from now.
(Property managers and leasing teams, this includes you.)
While the findings are dramatic, don’t panic. They simply reflect a tech trend that’s consumed the multifamily industry for several years: automation.
Many companies big and small already use smart software to streamline their back-office tasks, and drive efficiency.
Wondering what the future might look like for your apartment company? Reportedly, these are the three main areas that will be most affected:
Paying rent by check will eventually become a task of the past—and for good reason. Does anyone actually enjoy submitting or processing paper?
With online payments, renters don’t have to worry about remembering to write a check, and leasing teams can remove it from their workflow. Goodbye, busywork! (Of course, we’re a little biased).
As any property manager knows, leases are signed only after the right documents are carefully reviewed. It can be a time-consuming process, especially in states with complicated real estate laws.
Fortunately, within the next decade, multifamily companies can re-allocate their doc-review resources. Expect more productivity as your teams become available to take on other projects. BTW, the future is here today in this regard. Check out Certified Docs.
Speaking of streamlining document review, contracts will eventually require much less manpower. With smart technology, your software will be able to organize and complete contracts while you work on important projects.
Now, if the idea of automation still makes you break out in nervous sweats, relax. Lest you think tech will put everyone out of work, here are the areas where a familiar human presence will be needed more than ever in ten years:
Face time with tenants
No one wants to rent an apartment in a community run by automatons. That’s because, no matter how convenient technology makes tenants’ lives, they want to know the people in charge of the property.
That’s your cue to invest more in face time. Simple gestures like greeting renters when they first move in, sending a personalized message once in a while, or connecting before the lease is up will go a long way, especially since their interaction with you will otherwise be primarily digital in nature.
Event planning and amenities
Ten years from now, technology may run our lives a bit more, but people will still need social interaction. For property managers, that means hosting frequent community events. Whether it’s a pool party, mixer or game night in your lobby, offer tenants opportunities to mingle away from screens and artificial intelligence.
But don’t forget—you can always use tech to your advantage. While renters will crave socialization, they’ll love the convenience of sophisticated amenities (voice-activated shower? AI valet for your self-driving electric vehicle?). Make sure you stay ahead of trends, and embrace tech-based perks.
You know when you call a business, and you just want to skip the auto attendant and dial “0” for the operator? In a decade, automation will likely be more user-friendly and renters won’t think twice about using it. However, they will always appreciate the option to conduct business in person.
You’ll want to have at least one person on your leasing team trained to handle financial transactions, process maintenance requests, and access documents. For example, if a tenant makes a mistake trying to set up recurring payments, has a question she can’t answer online, or simply wants to speak to a real, live person, give her the chance to resolve it in person.