As a property manager, is it time for you to go virtual?
Now, as things open up and renters clamor for new apartments and houses, you’re finding that virtual property management has taken hold and isn’t going anywhere.
Prospect tenants are expecting it, too. Nearly half of Millennial and Gen Z renters are wanting a digital experience when it comes to renting.
The phrase “virtual property management” can mean different things, so let’s take you through what it means and how it can help you fill and manage your properties.
What is virtual property management?
On the whole, the digital revolution is touching all components of the property management experience for tenants and landlords. From initial inquiry to tenant support, well, there is an app for it.
Virtual software and processes are being used in the prospecting, sales, and management part of property management. We’ve seen it used in these ways:
- Virtual Open Houses. Tenants can either tour the property through a 3D platform or in some instances, actually go into the property and do a self-showing.
- Lead generation and qualification. You have hundreds of leads coming in at all hours of the day and don’t have the time to adequately respond to each one. Two-way conversational AI can pre-qualify leads, reach out to those that fell through the cracks.
- Remote leasing. Digitizing the leasing process means you and the tenant don’t have to sit in the office for what seems like forever to go through each page.
- Tenant support. All those work orders and complaints about the neighbor’s dog get automated and prioritized as needed.
- Property security. Smart technology has improved surveillance and other safety measures so that it can act as a “doorman” to monitor who can access the property.
What can virtual property management do for you?
Those are just some of the ways we’ve seen virtual property management at work. Finding ways to automate your work can bring you lots of benefits:
Brings more efficiency and speed to the process. This is especially true if you’re a small shop or an independent property manager that got into the real estate business. You’re finding that lead follow-up is one of the toughest parts of your job.
After a successful showing or an email or text message blast to prospective tenants, you have to try to respond to each response — and then respond to their response. That’s pretty inefficient.
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An AI chatbot can help you with leads, answering them at 2 a.m. Monday morning as they’re trying to get into that dream spot you were showing on Sunday. It can help engage through multiple channels, so you don’t get confused.
Provide consistency in messaging and accuracy.
You’re leaving a voicemail to a prospective tenant who’s interested in a place. You got the goods and spelled out the details, leasing terms, rent, utilities, the whole shebang.
You get off the phone and see you got a text from said prospective tenant…”Hey, thanks for the information but I was interested in the other building across town. What you’re telling me sounds great, though...for someone else!”
Hey, it happens and if you’re fielding inquiries left, right, and center, you need to ensure you’re being consistent in how you’re providing information. Virtual software can ensure the right tenant is hearing about the right information and also that you’re correctly describing the property and the terms.
Meet the expectations of new tenants
Like we mentioned earlier, tenants are expecting a digital experience that caters to their demands and needs.
Sure, they can make it to the Leasing Office before 5 p.m. some of the time, but they are conducting online research and if there’s not a quick reply, they’re moving on to the next place.
You can meet their expectations, and then exceed them.
By focusing on the human touch. Most of virtual property management is about zero-touch: contactless tours, AI conversations, digital leasing. Those are elements of the leasing process that can be automated and save you time and money.
What it does do is give you the bandwidth to do what you do best, which is work with prospective tenants to help them find their dream house or apartment.
As you can see, there’s a lot to virtual property management. Finding ways to use it to automate your processes will make your job easier and make you a better landlord.