Evolution of Property Management Companies
The business of property management has become more complex in recent years as the advent of computers, and the internet has changed the way that many companies do business. From ensuring compliance to financial management, there are a wide array of back office tasks that must be fulfilled. Whether it’s a smaller company or a market dominating firm, the way that property management is handled must always put the client first.
Property management in the 21st century involves utilizing state-of-the-art services, staying up with world events and market conditions as well as maintaining client relationships. All of this can all be a lot to juggle and support staff are critical to ensuring daily business tasks get handled. The property management world can be fast paced and each day differs from the next. Compared to just a decade ago, property management has changed dramatically. Office systems can automate the property management process fully; rents are inflated, and tenants can be more challenging.
Competition in some markets can be fierce within the property management community. It’s important to monitor competitor's pricing and what the competition is doing to attain and retain both tenants and owners alike. While the United States economy continues to recover many are choosing to rent for a variety of reasons. From older generations credit issues from a past bankruptcy or foreclosure to the millennial generations student debt and job market difficulties.
Today’s world is all about technology and advances in technology have aided property managers in being able to do their job more effectively and efficiently. If a property management firm is not online then opportunities are being missed to not only market properties but also services. Attentiveness and responsiveness to property owner and tenant needs can now be done with a smartphone or tablet on the go. New developments in technology have put many businesses primarily utilizing email as the primary form of communication. Creating a brand identity both online through a website and social media platforms is also an important technological aspect of property management. Managing rentals, maintenance schedules, tenants, and some owners are complicated to deal with, especially if a paper-based system is utilized. A wide variety of online and software based platforms have been developed to help handle the multiple tasks that a property management must take care of on a day-to-day basis and ensure that all parties involved are on the same page.
Property management today also involves paying close attention to legislation and document requirements that affect your business. It’s not just as simple as collecting rent and paying bills. Insurance, taxes, managing staff, coordinating property maintenance, complying with government regulations, handling tenants and property owners are all items that are included in the daily business mix.
Client needs have also changed. As many clients are looking for more comprehensive property management solutions. Property investors have transposed from just a single owner to a real estate investment trust or other larger entity to handle. Instead of relying on rent as a sole revenue source for the property management company, many decision makers are branching out into other ways to add value to their services. By adding value to properties, it allows for additional income to provide specialized services such as membership, administration, parking and other services.
Despite being in the 21st century, good old fashioned customer service is an essential function that a property manager must provide in order to ensure meeting a client’s needs. Property managers are getting schooled. Beyond the traditional state-level property management licensing requirements many colleges are now offering a bachelor’s degree in real property management.
The role of the property manager has primarily changed today in part to technological advances. While technology will always continue to grow, a property manager must stay current with the times and provide the best level of customer service possible to attract and retain a client base.