The Covid Impact on Property Management: People, Processes and Technology

It’s fair to say 2020 hasn’t turned out as we had anticipated. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. Property management businesses have been impacted in different ways resulting in many reviewing their existing business models to ensure not just continuity but resilience to remain future-fit. Here are some insights on how property management leaders and teams have learned in the past 6 months to help set you up for success.

COVID impact on property management technology

The pandemic has accelerated the speed in which agencies adopt digital technologies. But as many property managers have learned, the benefits of technology go beyond crisis mitigation and business continuity. Cloud-based solutions, for instance, have not just helped with accessibility during the time of social distancing, it has also improved efficiency among property management teams.

For Linda McDonald of Spraggon George Realty in Duncraig, WA, migrating to a cloud-based property software Property Tree has not only addressed their need for remote access but has also made communications better.

“Our previous system was server-based. Had we not already migrated to Property Tree, we would have found ourselves in a very difficult position when all the COVID-19 restrictions came into effect, “says Linda. She also added how Property Tree’s communication features have saved them time “We’ve also been able to tailor the layout of the statements we provide to our landlords. Previously, I’d send out the statements and, within half an hour, have lots of questions coming back. Now, after a few small tweaks to the layout, I might get one or two queries at the most. It has saved us a lot of time.”

How COVID-19 affected property management processes

The COVID-19 crisis has also brought significant changes in property management processes. Many agencies have found themselves suddenly adjusting their maintenance workflows, routine inspections, and tenant services to adhere to restrictions. But as some of our clients have discovered, these changes have also contributed to more efficient services, leading them to adopt these changes for the long-term.

Tamsin Wilson, Head of Property Management at Belle Property Parramatta, shared how the tenant app, MRI Property Connect has improved their customer service, providing their tenants with convenience and saving them time. “Our tenants are loving it! It provides quick and easy access to information they would normally call or email us for.”

In the maintenance side of property management, solutions like MRI Maintenance Plus allowed agencies to streamline the maintenance process and run their business more effectively well into the future. Jo Weir from Shape Property Group knew if she wanted to grow her business, she needed to address the problem of maintenance management taking 60-70% of her teams time and is thrilled that Maintenance Plus has helped her do just that. “I love how user-friendly the app is and that it captures all maintenance in one place!”

For Cathie Crampton, Director of Property Management at Place Real Estate Agents, this period has also shown opportunities to innovate. “This period has been the best opportunity for us in property management,” says Cathie. “Even though it’s been challenging at first for many in the industry to move in the pace we needed to move, we are now finding that you can look into something like a virtual inspection and realise that it’s possible with the technology/software we have available.”

The effect of the pandemic on property management teams

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way how property management teams work. Flexible work arrangements are now the norm – starting out as a measure to stem the spread of the virus but has evolved into a new way for teams to remain productive in an increasingly mobile world. Cloud technology like in Property Tree, has provided the avenue in which staff can work remotely, while other online tools allowed for more effective collaboration and increase in productivity.

According to the Working from Home Survey Report, 68% of respondents believe flexible work is the future of the property management office. Based on comments and responses, the majority believe that the crisis highlighted its advantages in the way the industry will conduct business moving forward and promote a less-stressful work environment for employees.

54% of respondents also felt more productive when working from home. They cited that fewer disruptions from socialising with colleagues and the elimination of commute time are key factors to added productive time at work.

COVID-19 has forever changed our world and businesses must learn how to evolve with it. By utilising available technologies, we can fully realise opportunities borne out this crisis to ensure our organisations continue to thrive into the future.

So what’s your plan for business growth?

Looking for a property management software that grows with you? Try Property Tree, Australia’s leading cloud-based property management software. Book a free demo today and see the MRI Software difference.

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