When was the last time you wrote a personal check for something? Do you still visit the office of a travel agent to book a trip?
Almost everything is done online. We pay bills, we buy groceries, we book travel, and we communicate electronically. Technology has been on a fast track for the last few decades, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
What does this mean for the way companies like Bell Properties California manage real estate investments?
It means we’re able to be creative and innovative, and that’s good news for owners and investors like you. It’s good news for tenants, too. We’re able to lease and manage your rental property more efficiently. We can automate preventative maintenance and take care of invoicing and rental payments with ease. This leaves us more time to focus on tenant relationships, retention, property improvements, and helping you meet your investment goals.
Technology has had a huge impact on property management in Los Angeles, and we want to share some of the ways that it helps us serve you and your investments better. If you’re in the process of looking for a property management partner, like Bell Properties, make sure you choose a team that’s willing to invest in good accounting software, excellent property management platforms, and all the best technology that’s available to us. It makes a difference.
Artificial Intelligence – A.I. for Property Managers
As with anything and everything, there are benefits and risks to A.I. Could it potentially steal our bank account information and take over the world? Let’s hope not. For now, we can focus on some of the ways that it helps us work more efficiently.
If you’ve ever used a chat bot on a website or while dealing with a customer service agent, you’ve had experience with A.I. It’s simply a tool that anticipates the information you may need based on the questions you’re asking or the data you’re providing. This saves us a live person answering the same questions from owners, tenants, and prospective clients. Those professionals we employ can spend their time doing what they do best while we harness the power of artificial intelligence to take care of answering easy questions and providing general information.
There’s no possible way that A.I. could reasonably take over the work of a live property manager. This is still a relationship business, especially when it comes to working with tenants, turnover over properties, and helping owners make decisions about their investment goals and properties. But, we can use it to make our jobs easier, and that’s been a benefit that we’re excited about.
Using the Internet of Things (IoT)
Have you heard of the Internet of Things? This is a new technology that is currently trending, especially in property management and real estate circles. It refers to the interconnectedness of everyday objects to the internet, such as the use of sensors.
We can apply it to our rental industry in the following way: IoT can assist landlords in monitoring energy usage, lighting, and even the water supply. It provides landlords with real-time data and reduces the need for manual entry tasks that can consume a lot of time and increase expenses.
Self-Showing Technology and the Leasing Process in Los Angeles
The time you spend showing vacant properties can really add up. This is fine when there’s an entire leasing team in place, but when our staff is busy helping current tenants and answering questions for owners, we’re happy to have invested in self-showing technology. When prospective tenants want to see one of the homes for rent that we have available, they can let themselves into the property using a digital keypad or lockbox.
Several different softwares and platforms are available to enable self-showings. Some companies are using apps where tenants upload their identification before being granted access to the property. It’s secure and convenient, and it saves a ton of time. It also moves the leasing process along faster. We’ve found that homes offering self-showings get rented a lot faster than those where we show up and meet tenants to give them a tour in person.
We know that some landlords and even some property managers insist on being present when showing a property. We understand that, but it may come with a huge opportunity cost. If you’re not already using self-showing technology, here are some of the best reasons to start:
You don’t waste time. If you’ve ever shown up for a scheduled showing only to have the tenant not show up and not call or text, you know how frustrating that can be.
Your prospective tenants appreciate the privacy. It’s awkward to walk through the house you might rent with a landlord following you. When tenants can see the place on their own, they feel more comfortable.
There’s no risk. Every self-showing platform we have explored has precautions in place to ensure both the person touring the home and the home itself is safe.
Prospective tenants who like what they see will generally complete an application right away, moving the leasing process alone and reducing your vacancy days.
Self-showing technology is one of the most innovative tools to come out of the property management industry in the last few years. It has changed the way we lease and market rental homes, and while it was especially popular during the worst of the pandemic, it’s definitely here to stay.
Maintenance Technology: Repair Requests and Documentation
Maintenance requires responsiveness, resources, and a lot of communication.
There’s technology that helps. Plenty of general maintenance tasks can be automated so that property managers have time to devote personal attention to the tasks that really need our presence. We use apps, software, and online technology to handle:
Preventative maintenance scheduling
Rental property maintenance can be time consuming, especially if there’s an emergency or a complex problem that requires a lot of attention and thinking. In order to keep your investment in the best possible condition, we have to establish great vendor relationships, get an idea of how old your systems and appliances are, and mitigate any further damage that a simple problem can cause.
Thanks to innovative technology, we’re able to manage maintenance more efficiently and cost-effectively. We save you money and we save ourselves time. We’re also able to deliver better service to your residents, which results in better tenant retention and satisfaction.
Documentation can be difficult without a great system in place. At Bell Properties, we invest in a strategic property management platform that integrates maintenance and provides tenant portals, which makes it easy for us to follow every maintenance issue from request to resolution.
Tenants can report routine maintenance issues and make repair requests electronically. This is a major benefit to owners, residents, and our own team because it gets us the information we need quickly. Even better, it documents the repair needs, the actions that were taken, and the recommended next step.
It helps with documentation because we can provide a written record of all the work that’s been done on every rental home we manage. We can tell our owners exactly when their water heater was replaced, their HVAC was serviced, and their roof was replaced.
Having access to a documented maintenance history like this can save our owners money. You won’t find yourself making unnecessary repairs. You’ll have a better idea of when you should replace a washer rather than repairing it.
With the innovative technology and integrated platforms we use, our team can track the necessary repairs, collect invoices, and provide you with as much information as you need when we’re completing work on your investment.
Smart Home Technologies for L.A. Rental Properties
We also leverage technology to attract and retain well-qualified Los Angeles tenants. Technology is more of a priority for tenants than ever before. Your best renters are going to want access to good internet speeds and they’ll be willing to pay more for technology such as video doorbells. With so many renters continuing to work remotely, they’ll be at home more. Your appliances will be used more, your security will need to be as up to date as possible, and you’ll need to deliver what tenants are looking for.
Smart devices such as smart thermostats, lighting systems, and security cameras are especially in high demand. And, these systems can be interconnected to create a seamless network of operations that are intuitive and efficient.
With smart thermostats, landlords or tenants can regulate temperature settings remotely, saving on energy bills. Smart lighting systems ensure energy savings and added security features that can be controlled through an app. Smart cameras and video doorbells have also become essential in maintaining property security. These devices will alert landlords of any movement in the property when it’s vacant, keeping you on top of the upkeep of your rental properties.
Tenants will appreciate the ease of engaging with this type of technology. It will serve you by encouraging retention and reducing turnover. When tenants can turn on lights, start their coffee maker, and set their security alarm using an app on their phone, they feel more secure and in control. Smart home tech is good for your tenants and for your property.
If you’re interested in talking more about how innovative technology can help you have a better rental experience with your Los Angeles investment properties, please contact us at Bell Properties.