Property managers and landlords have had to move fast to adapt to the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their new policies, designed to keep associates and residents safe, are now starting to reshape their business priorities too.
Property management tech firm AppFolio recently carried out a survey of 1,000 property management professionals and discovered how they’re shifting their strategy to reflect the new reality of the coronavirus era. Technology is becoming more and more essential, with some 71% of property managers saying they’ve increased the number of virtual showings they give, and another 43% embracing digital transactions.
A majority of property managers cite three main outcomes they’re focused on, including increasing or stabilizing occupancy rates, collecting rents, and leasing vacant properties.
Just over 80% of resident property management firms say that at least some of their staff are working remotely. This has led to new ways they’re engaging with residents. In-person meetings are more limited, and digital interactions are becoming more common, though tasks such as leasing, maintenance and collecting the rent are more challenging as a result, the survey found.
To counter these challenges, property management firms are looking to setup online portals to handle maintenance requests, and doing more bulk communications to keep their residents up to date. And 87% of property management firms say they expect bulk emails and text messages to remain even after the pandemic passes.
Overall, property managers say they’re upbeat about the future of the industry. Some 66% of firms say they have a positive outlook for their business, with just 4% negative and the remaining 20% neutral.