In 2022, over 30 billion U.S. dollars were invested in real estate technology. The property technology market, often referred to as proptech, is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years, with a compound annual growth rate of 15.7% from 2022 to 2030.
Multifamily property companies manage many residents, resulting in complex processes and pressure to attract quality residents. To alleviate time and resources, many are turning to proptech to move potential residents through the renter funnel with less friction.
But how can these companies choose the best possible technology? And how can they incorporate this technology into their operations?
Keep reading to learn more about real estate technology and the many benefits it can bring to multifamily companies. We also discuss the top proptech trends and guide you on how to get stakeholders on board for proptech integrations.
What is real estate technology?
Real estate technology, also known as proptech or realtech, comes in many forms, including software platforms for finding, managing, marketing, and selling real estate properties.
These technologies span the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, but they are particularly popular in multifamily real estate.
Many companies are investing in proptech due to its ability to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, enable remote management, and improve customer experiences.
4 real estate tech trends that are transforming multifamily property companies
Here are some real estate technology trends that could dominate multifamily property companies this year:
1. Streamlining processes with all-in-one platforms
Property managers, owners, and real estate agents want to work faster and more efficiently to dominate peak rental seasons. They’re looking for platforms that can automate many mundane tasks and reduce back-and-forth with residents.
While different CRM applications currently cover various aspects of real estate, the number of comprehensive platforms will likely surge.
These platforms make it easier for residents, buyers, owners, and property managers to find, market, and manage real estate.
An example of such a platform is Avail, an all-in-one software that helps landlords and multifamily companies manage their rental properties. It assists with finding and screening residents, drafting leases, collecting rent online, and more.
2. Leveraging 3D virtual tours to drive leads
Virtual tours are seen as the fourth most impactful technology tool in real estate.
Some rental and purchasing property platforms offer virtual property tours—also known as 3D tours or walk-throughs—to potential residents, allowing them to view properties without being physically present. This cuts the time and expense of visiting multiple properties, ultimately increasing convenience and improving the overall customer experience.
3. Managing resident communication with conversational and scheduling AI
Prospective residents expect the best possible service and experience in today’s competitive real estate market. That means contact channels need to be available around the clock.
This is where chatbots come in.
Chatbots are available 24/7 and offer real-time responses to prospective residents. This helps property management companies serve more clients at a time and capture leads while they’re “rent-ready.”
PMCs can also use scheduling artificial intelligence, such as Elise AI, Tour 24/7, or PERQ, to arrange for leads to schedule in-person tours if they wish to see the space in person.
4. Incorporating the Internet of Things into the real estate tech stack
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to integrating smart technologies into various items within a home to provide residents with a more convenient and pleasurable living experience.
The IoT embeds sensors and computing technology into various items we interact with daily. The goal of this technology is to make residents’ lives easier.
Smart technology enables apartments to have the following features:
- Devices such as smart locks and light switches that can turn on and off based on a preset time
- Integrated services, like deliveries and home cleaning
- Wi-Fi and smart sensors that enable communication between devices, residents, managers, and building systems
- Residence assistance and built-in calendars that keep residents informed of upcoming events and meetings
4 benefits of real estate technology
There are many benefits of using real estate technology to aid in a multifamily company’s daily operations. These include the following listed below:
1. Enhanced operational efficiency
Technology plays a big role in optimizing operational processes in multifamily property management. Specific software and applications streamline tasks like marketing and screening.
For example, Realtor.com allows you to list your properties on the site, essentially putting lead generation on autopilot. Since we bring in thousands of website visitors each month, potential residents actively searching for rentals will automatically see your properties.
This creates less work for your team, increases productivity, and helps staff members focus on aspects of the company that can’t be automated or optimized.
2. Improved overall resident experience
With technological advances, today’s residents expect real estate processes, including finding, applying for, and living in ideal rental properties, to be easy and efficient.
Listing sites help residents find and easily apply for rental properties, while property management software allows residents to pay their rent online.
Not only that, but innovative technologies allow residents to remotely control their houses’ lighting, security, and temperature. And community apps give residents access to shared calendars, amenities, and social platforms.
Combined, advanced technologies help create a great experience for residents, which could convince them to sign their leases for another year.
3. Better communication
Digital platforms and applications in multifamily real estate companies make communication between property managers, residents, and staff members seamless.
They enable property owners to communicate updates, events, and urgent information while allowing residents to request property maintenance, communicate with fellow residents, and get quick responses.
This creates a transparent communication channel across the company, leading to improved trust and client loyalty.
4. Efficient maintenance and property management
Property technology offers excellent solutions for managing and maintaining your multifamily properties. IoT devices such as smart sensors allow you to monitor your equipment’s energy consumption and performance to identify and prevent any possible issues.
Also, digital asset management platforms allow you to store all your documentation, including your warranties, resident contracts, and maintenance records, in one place to guarantee easy access and use.
How can individuals in multifamily companies advocate for proptech integrations?
Here’s how to get everyone in a multifamily company onboard for proptech integrations:
1. Identify pain points and company needs
First, collaborate with different teams in the company to identify the most significant pain points holding you back from higher success and profits.
Focus on areas where technology could have a significant impact. One way you could do this is to look at problems that regularly occur in these departments and come up with relevant solutions.
For example, you may realize that manual lease processing is a highly time-consuming process requiring a lot of paperwork, including lease creation, resident documentation, and background checks.
This is where using a tool could help the team improve their overall efficiency. One tool that can do this is Avail, which allows residents to sign leases electronically and eliminates the need for physical paperwork. It also automates lease-related tasks, such as rent collection and renewal reminders.
2. Research technology solutions
Once you know the problems and most prominent pain points, determine some specific tech solutions.
There are several aspects to consider when choosing proptech solutions for your multifamily property management company. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the tech align with your business goals? The tech you choose shouldn’t just solve short-term problems—it should also contribute to achieving your long-term goals and improving overall operations.
- Is the tool easy to integrate? Determine how well the new tech can integrate with your existing systems and processes.
- Is the tool easy to use? Evaluate the tool’s user experience. User-friendly tools are more likely to be adopted and effectively used by employees.
- Does the tech have customization capabilities? Ensure the tool has customization abilities that meet your company’s requirements.
3. Build a strong business case
Provide concrete data that demonstrates the value and return on investment (ROI) stakeholders can expect from proptech integrations.
This includes information about the following:
- Cost savings: How much money will your company save long-term if you invest in a specific tool? For example, traditional maintenance methods rely on reactive responses to resident complaints, which can lead to broken equipment and overtime maintenance costs. Proptech can save costs by leveraging IoT to monitor equipment and identify issues early on, extending the lifespan of expensive tools and building systems.
- Higher customer satisfaction: How much will the proptech improve your resident’s experience at your property? Higher satisfaction rates could lead to more residents and higher profits. They could also strengthen your company’s reputation, positioning you as a superior property management company.
- Increased efficiency: How much time will the tool save you and your employees? If your employees spend a lot of time on manual tasks, proptech could automate some of them to free up their time for more urgent matters—and improve the company’s operational efficiency.
4. Involve key stakeholders
Engage property managers, executives, and other key stakeholders from different departments in the decision-making process.
Once you’ve chosen specific tools, discover their concerns and address them. This way, you’ll gain their support and ensure a smoother integration in which everyone is on board with the changes.
5. Determine your plan of action
Once you’ve identified the proptech you’d like to use in your company, decide on an action plan.
You may not have the budget to invest in all the necessary tools. If this is the case, start with the tools that’ll have the most significant impact.
According to Jake Fingert, Partner at Camber Creek, the most valuable proptech solutions improve specific workflows, such as leasing and managing properties.
These solutions automate operations and allow you to collect data on residents and specific processes so you can improve performance and drive more revenue.
You can also choose the tech solutions that offer the most scalability to get the highest return on your investment.