Nat Kunes is the vice president of product management for AppFolio. He works on a daily basis with property management professionals to identify industry trends and product features that are included in AppFolio’s property management software.
Why All Property Managers Must Be Mobile
Content sponsor AppFolio explains how two trends will change the property management world forever and how you can get on top of it all.
March 3, 2017
Customer experience is the backbone of any successful business, and property management is no exception. Every interaction your team has with a customer or potential customer is vital to creating a strong relationship built on loyalty and transparency.
This has always been true. But there is one important change in what today’s customers expect from brands that will have a major impact on the property management industry in 2017: instant service. Offering instant service in your business can drastically improve customer relationships, but it’s easier said than done if you don’t have the right technology in place. This leads us to a second major trend that will hit the property management industry hard this year: mobility.
A Mobile-First Approach to Management
Property managers need to be mobile in all aspects of the business if they want to meet the demands of today’s tech-savvy, mobile-first renters. The stats are out there: Eighty-two percent of people actively search for apartments on mobile devices, according to a study by For Rent. Marketing Land recently found that 80 percent of internet users search the web on their smartphone. And research by Google reveals 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site if they have trouble accessing it, with many heading to a competitor’s website instead.
In fact, Google recently announced a mobile-first strategy around their rankings in search engine results. This means that if your property management website performs poorly on mobile devices, it might appear lower down in the search results and receive less traffic, which means fewer potential renters and owners. That’s why, with a large portion of today’s renters and owners depending on smartphones to get things done, it’s imperative that property managers adopt a mobile strategy.
From ‘Property’ Management to ‘Relationship’ Management
Property management software is a key tool in streamlining your entire leasing process; it’s also vital in building and fostering customer relationships. By offering features like online lease signing and payments, you give renters, owners, and your business the gifts of time and efficiency. But by taking it a step further and offering access via mobile devices, you give customers what they want most — instant service — making it the perfect way to tackle the two trends coming your way this year.
Many renters are constrained by a 9-to-5 workday, and finding time to go to the property management office can be difficult. For those on-the-go renters, immediate access to a computer might not be an option, and this is where mobility comes into play in a major way. People look for flexible and convenient tools to help them find a place to live, such as filling out an application or paying a deposit. As a company that offers these types of self-service mobile options, you’ll not only provide a positive renter experience from the get-go, you will also rise above any competition that does not prioritize the customer’s needs first.
As a property manager, you also benefit from mobile management. You can post a new vacancy, screen a new applicant, and send a lease from anywhere, reducing turnover times and moving new renters in quickly.
The same is true for property owners and vendors. Owners need a property management company that makes their lives easier and simultaneously protects their investment by keeping profitability moving in an upward direction. Mobile property management software makes it easier for those who own units in your building to make financial contributions, receive statements, and check the status of their properties quickly from their smartphone—which promotes transparency and keeps them happy.
Building a Stellar Customer Experience With Texting
Do you manage a large multifamily complex or have a high number of properties in your portfolio? You know that keeping everyone updated can be a real challenge. Since great communication is an important aspect of any relationship, mobile technology can help property managers connect to large numbers of customers efficiently, without sacrificing the personal touch today’s consumers expect.
Sending notices out via text message is one way to get information to your renters and owners faster, and also keeps customers informed using the method they prefer. According to the Pew Research Center, the most widely used app on a smartphone is the one for texting, with 97 percent of Americans accessing it at least once a day. Your renters will love the convenient engagement method, and your owners will be impressed that you use the most innovative forms of communication in your business.
Think about the companies you choose to do business with and why you selected them. They’re likely to be honest, fast, convenient, and a joy to work with. These are just some of the qualities that are invaluable when it comes to building strong relationships and customer loyalty. Mobile property management technology can help you be a better and more trusted partner. Adopting mobile strategies now will be essential to surviving in the property management industry as these trends increase in both popularity and prevalence in the near future.
VP Product Management of content sponsor AppFolio