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    Technology has grown exponentially over the last two decades. What used to take hours to accomplish can now be done with a click of a button. Businesses across different industries are quick to adopt technology in making their processes as seamless and painless as possible. 

    Managing rental properties will always be a hands-on business, and in some instances, the real estate industry has been criticized as a slow adapter to new technologies. However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic initiated a rapid adaption of new technology. More homeowners saw the importance of technology in automating mundane tasks and making transactions more accessible for their residents. 

    In this article, we’re going to talk about 5 of the latest trends in property management systems and how they can help you manage your properties. 



    Business intelligence software


    Business intelligence (BI) software is used to process large quantities of data and summarize it into easy-to-grasp presentations such as graphs, recommendations, and heatmaps to provide users with vital information to make sound business decisions. Often, when paired with AI, it is also used to predict the results of specific actions. 

    BI tools used to be expensive and they are only available to large corporations and organizations. However, the advancement in technology and the availability of web apps catering to various industries made it possible for small-time investors to access these data.

    Tools like Buildium track your portfolio’s performance from vacancy and turnover rates to your net income and expense. You can then use this information to identify which among your properties are underperforming allowing you to make adjustments to your investment approach.

    The use of business intelligence tools also extends beyond managing your rental properties. Tools like Mashvisor help you grow your rental property portfolio by helping you spot investment opportunities, filter properties based on your preference, and compare revenues from other rental properties. The data gathered from hundreds of homes across any given area available at your fingertips is certainly useful in making an investment decision.


    Virtual and augmented reality


    VR is poised to become a $252.16 billion industry by 2028. Its practical uses are evident in real estate as the technology allows potential renters from all around the world to have an immersive viewing experience of the property without actually being there. It also has practical applications for onboarding renters through virtual guides and instructions

    Clients using virtual and augmented reality

    Augmented reality, on the other hand, allows property owners to stage their properties with different designs, furniture, and other features. The combination of these technologies allows prospects to visualize your properties as their homes, thus, giving homeowners who use these technologies the upper hand. 

    As of 2022, there are about 500 AR and VR startups specializing in real estate and is expected to rise over the coming years. This suggests that VR and AR are trends that are set to become a staple in the real estate industry.



    Machine learning and artificial intelligence


    Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are two of the most revolutionary advancements in technology over recent years. And although these technologies have been used in other industries quite extensively, the real estate industry is particularly slow to adapt to this new technology

    However, the industry is quite picking up on the trend. A 2019 study estimated more than 100 real estate tech companies currently using artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide superior services to consumers. 

    These tools analyze information like occupant patterns and predictive maintenance across vast data of past experiences to forecast things like: 

    • What type of property rents faster within an area
    • How much you should rent your property
    • How the market will grow on a quarterly and yearly basis in a specific location
    • Your potential revenue for a certain type of property
    • Potential income from long-term versus short-term leasing in a specific location

    Thus, your business decisions are based on hard data and not on assumptions and personal knowledge. AI tools can also be valuable in communicating with your renters. AI tools like Jack automates owner-renter engagement from reporting queries and issues to updating status and work orders.



    Cloud-based management systems


    Back then, rental property owners rely on spreadsheets and note-taking to keep track of accounting, maintenance requests, and due dates which were inefficient and time-consuming. Then, self-hosted property management systems came along and increased the efficiency of managing properties. However, they were expensive and required constant maintenance from IT professionals which makes them impractical for small-scale property investors. 

    But thanks to the rapid development of cloud-based platforms and the availability of Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, automated management systems have become more accessible and affordable even for regular property investors. 

    Cloud-based management systems like Appfolio are the online versions of property management systems that automate most of the strenuous tasks of homeowners like accounting, keeping track of maintenance requests, accepting and making payments, virtual leasing, and sending notifications to renters. 

    The beauty of cloud-based systems over a self-hosted system is that:

    • It’s constantly being updated by the service provider
    • You do not need to hire an IT for maintenance
    • It’s more affordable
    • You can access your account anytime and anywhere
    • It’s easy to use

    The property management software industry is expected to grow at a compounded rate of 5.6% from 2022 to 2030 with a larger market share for residential properties. More than 50% of those are cloud-based, clearly indicating the market for cloud-based tech solutions.



    Tech-enabled property management services


    Property management services have been around for many decades and are expected to grow steadily. Fortune Business Insights estimated that the industry will grow from $19.33 billion in 2022 to $37.25 billion by 2029. However, there is a rapid shift from traditional property management to tech-enabled property management—and for a good reason. 

    Tech-enabled property management enables 

    • Real-time updates to your property 
    • Automated rent collection and disbursement to owners
    • Systemized management of work orders and maintenance requests
    • Provide round-the-clock maintenance service
    • Seamless processing of applications
    • A portal to see your entire rental portfolio in a single dashboard

    The increase in the demand for SaaS software also aids in the market growth of tech-enabled property management services. Homeowners and renters appreciate the speed and efficiency of using tech in conducting the mundane tasks of property management. Hence, more and more property investors prefer tech-enabled companies, like Poplar Homes, for managing their properties. 

    What separates tech-enabled property management services from doing it yourself with cloud-based property management software is that the former combines the latest trends in property management systems with the hands-on aspects of property management like collecting rent, receiving calls, and dealing with evictions and maintenance.


    Up next: 5 Reasons Why Security Tech is Key to Improving Your Real Estate Investment



    Final Thoughts


    Technology has become a huge part of property management systems. From compiling large quantities of information and summarizing it into digestible pieces of information to predicting trends and touring properties remotely, these latest trends in property management systems are expected to continue and become a staple in property management.




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