Over the last 12 months, there is no doubt that the property management industry has struggled to understand what moves to make due to the dynamic changes in the market. In the recently concluded MRI Ascend APAC 2021, we talked about the lasting impact of the pandemic on property and strata management businesses and together with industry leaders, property and strata experts, discussed what agencies can do to adapt to the changing market with the help of proptech solutions. Here are the highlights from the 2-day online event.
Key trends in Property and Strata Management
In the MRI Living keynote, I talked about the industry trends driven by the pandemic and how they continue to shape property and strata management as we now enter the path to recovery. Work from home culture, financial moratoriums, and legislative changes to name a few, created a two-speed market with varying vacancy and rental rates across Australia, and unravelled the inefficiencies of traditional property management operations. These changes prompted a shift towards technology adoption – driving new challenges, but also new perspectives from those in the industry.
Data is changing the game for property management
Together with Greg Clancy, Head of Product for MRI APAC, we discussed the important role of proptech in helping businesses evolve with the aforementioned trends, specifically, in ensuring their viability for both landlords and tenants. Crucial to this strategic outlook will be the use of data that can be transformed into actionable insights.
In the session “Innovation for Growth”, Cassandra Lantry, Director at Leah Jay Newcastle, shared how data has opened new opportunities for their business despite the challenges of the pandemic. By leveraging data, they’ve been able to provide professional services around their customers’ investments, even monetising some of those streams. Data-powered technologies such as AI has also allowed them to streamline and provide transparency in their maintenance processes, and improved their lease enquiry responsiveness, answering about 7,000 enquiries a week in a timely, more meaningful way.
Property management software update – Property Tree
In ‘The Future of Property Tree’ session, we shared what Property Tree customers can expect in the upcoming Property Tree release, including a live demo of the following enhancements:
- Create a journal
With this new addition, there’s now a simpler way to transfer funds within Property Tree. This is especially useful for instances when an invoice is paid from the wrong property, or you may have an owner set up multiple times and you need to borrow funds between the ledgers to pay an outstanding invoice.
- User security management
Currently available to EAP members, this new feature will soon be available to all users and will give you the flexibility to configure more than 290 permissions to select what your team can access within Property Tree.
- Communication platform
This new feature will connect your conversations with your contacts such as owners, tenants and creditors. It is designed specifically for the
Major updates are coming to Strata Master
We announced the major features that you can expect in Strata Master v14. This will be the biggest release in the history of Strata Master and these new features were developed to serve your evolving needs and further enhance your experience with our reliable strata management platform.
- Macquarie Direct Debit
You will now be able to offer Macquarie Direct Debit as a payment method, automating levy payments for your owners and tenants to ensure levies are paid correctly and on time in Strata Master. This completely digital banking integration not only reduces time spent on levy collection and debt recovery but also eliminates paper forms – which means you won’t have to physically store forms for 7 years.
Meeting management is a time-consuming task for strata managers. With Strata Master’s two-way integration with the market-leading meeting management solution StrataVote, you can run physical or remote meetings with electronic voting functionality, customisable agenda and meeting templates and intelligent business rules for compliant motions and documentation.
- Strata Connect
Our conversations with strata managers have highlighted the need for a more efficient and proactive way to manage the maintenance workflow from start to finish, and these have been our guide in developing Strata Connect, our new cloud-based maintenance management module. In the ‘DIgitise your agency with Strata Connect’ session, we took a deep dive into its features including the layers of automation for job requests, quote approval, invoicing, compliance and more, plus a built-in chat so you can consolidate and track all communications in one place for easy auditing.
There are also core enhancements for this release that will improve your everyday operations, such as a new Building Manager contact type, Levy wizard to send out accurate and timely levy notices efficiently, easier access to payment information, and more.
Proptech and the future of residential real estate
The implementation of technology is a resonating theme through all the challenges and trends we’ve experienced in the pandemic and are still experiencing today as we move out of it. However, it is important to recognise that technology is not the end solution itself, rather it is an enabler of business outcomes, helping you deliver great experiences for your customers who are at the core of property and strata management, and thus the key to your growth and success now and in the future.
Watch sessions in full
To learn more about the topics we discussed at MRI Ascend APAC 2021, you can watch the following sessions on-demand or check out the MRI Ascend 2021 Playlist on YouTube.