8 must-know leasing technology trends of 2024

Jon Park
Jon Park | 5 min. read

Published on March 31, 2024

According to Buildium’s 2024 Property Management Industry Report, 95% of rental owners are comfortable doing business with property managers online, marking a 15 percentage point increase from 2023.

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This familiarity is creating new expectations for property managers to bring their business operations fully online. Modern tech solutions are making it easier for property managers to meet those expectations. One particular area that’s seeing an influx of time-saving technology is leasing.

In this post, we’ll cover the most popular prop-tech trends in 2024, including the types of tools poised to have a lasting impact.

And if you want to see how to put readily available technology into action, take a look at our lease management software playbook.

1. Marketing Lead Generation Through AI and Automation

If you begin your tenant search only when a vacancy opens up, you’re already too late. To minimize vacancy rates and attract high-quality tenants, you need to build a lead pipeline ahead of time, so you’re proactively prospecting applications as soon as your current tenants let you know they’re leaving.

Today, automation and AI help drive a lot of the prospecting and outreach by identifying new leads, writing listing descriptions, scheduling appointments, following up, and even collecting feedback.

When creating new listings, you can use AI to write property descriptions or even enhance your existing marketing copy. For more inspiration, we’ve put together a guide of AI prompts to save you time.

One of the most effective ways to generate new leads is to make use of templates to upload your listing quickly to all the major listing sites. Software can help upload your listing automatically to multiple websites at once, so you don’t have to manage each listing individually.

2. Virtual Assistants and Chatbots

Right now, you’re probably getting inquiries about your listings at all hours of the day, whether they be emails, texts, or phone calls.

Chatbots added to your website, listing pages, or social channels respond and answer questions about your property listings automatically, 24/7/365. If there are positive indicators that the prospect is willing to take the next step, chatbots can help schedule an appointment and put it on your calendar, ensuring no lead is left behind.

While chatbots of the past had to stick to specific scripts, AI has remarkably improved their capabilities. Some AI chatbots can pull from existing help documentation to answer in-depth questions and generate responses based on previous conversations.

You can save transcripts into a CRM, so you have a full picture of what your prospective tenant is looking for. That helps you to address their most critical questions and move quality leads over the finish line.

Chatbots can redirect leads to helpful pages on your site—or even a live person—as well.

3. Self-Showings and Virtual Tours

Scheduling can get complicated when you’re coordinating tours with multiple renters at once. Self-showings can help resolve that issue, no matter how busy you are, while reducing the burden that comes with in-person no-shows, as well.

Virtual tours, meanwhile, help you pull in a larger pool of potential renters. Out-of-state prospects, for example, have the opportunity to tour your units without having to travel. Instead of relying simply on photos, they can get a realistic view of your property at any time that’s convenient for them.

But, keeping track of showings, both virtual and in-person, can still be a challenge. That’s where other technology can help. By syncing calendars and screening potential tenants, software features such as Tenant Turner’s Showings Coordinator makes scheduling all types of tours easier than ever. In fact, software such as Tenant Turner can automate your entire showings management process and collect every contact and relevant record for you to access at a moment’s notice.

4. Smart Property Inspections

Technology can speed inspections up without compromising thoroughness. In fact, they can reduce the chance of human error or oversight with intuitive work order management lists, digital management tools for larger projects, and interactive voice response (IVR) technology that captures and routes your missed calls automatically. It can also help you conduct walkthroughs quickly on any device, capture detailed notes and photos of the property, and open tickets for repairs and maintenance work.

A property inspection app can help you perform inspections on the go and sync all your data with fully customizable reports. There are a lot of software options to choose from. That’s why we’ve created a guide of the 5 best property inspection platforms you can use to be more efficient.

Property management software such as Buildium, for example, connects inspection, communication, accounting, and vendor management all in one place.

5. Enhanced Tenant Screening

The most important aspect of choosing the right tenant is a screening process that you can trust. An effective screening process will include all the data needed record to minimize your risk burden. And technology is making the screening process faster, with less burden on your staff while remaining thorough and compliant to your local laws.

TransUnion powers Buildium’s tenant screening feature, and makes it quick and easy to find qualified tenants. Property managers can request a background check from the platform, and even set credit score requirements.

When the screening is complete, a notification pops up in the account. Property managers can notify applicants when their screening is finished and if they’ve been accepted. Then, they can add accepted applicants to the Resident Center, Buildium’s tenant portal, right away.

6. Centralized Tenant Communication

59% of renters prefer communicating over text, according to the Industry Report, which is a 13 percentage-point increase since 2022 and a 22-point increase since the year prior. Email is the second-most preferred method of contact. But all those texts and emails can be hard to keep track of, which is why an organized portal keeps communication transparent and organized.

A resident portal provides the option to set up automatic notifications, as well, and updates so you can send timely reminders. Tenants can log onto the portal whenever they need information regarding their lease and find those details without having to reach out to you directly. This saves time for everyone involved.

When considering a communication portal, look for the ability to send text and email updates, access messages from any device, and build a tenant community with a messaging board.

7. Digital Lease Signing and Cloud-Based Document Storage

From the moment a prospect clears their background check, the time it takes to sign an agreement can make or break that potential lease. Traditionally, residents had to coordinate with their agent and handle all the paperwork in person. This involved copying, faxing, and even scanning a copy online.

Now, with digital lease signing and document storage software, tenants can complete the entire process quickly, on any device. Property managers can store all their files securely on one platform and collect digital signatures on the cloud, so you can access them at any time.

Buildium offers eSigning tools and leasing agreement templates that are tailored to your business needs in all the most common file types, so you can collect signatures and autofill important documents with a few clicks.

8. ePay Tools

Digital payments improves cash flow by increasing on-time payments and serving as an additional revenue source. Property managers can collect recurring payment options digitally, using automatic payments, which makes payments more convenient for tenants while helping them avoid late fees. ePay tools also help you track each transaction automatically, while syncing with your accounting software to keep accurate financial records.

Technology also opens the door to innovative and effective new payment services. Tools such as Obligo can also help attract more renters by offering a deposit-free rental program. They offer a credit-backed deposit alternative, that allows renters to move in without putting down a hefty cash deposit, while ensuring property managers don’t have to accept, process, and refund deposits.

Other services, such as Gravy incentivize profitable tenant behavior through renter rewards, cash back, and similar perks. Rent reporting services can even link on-time payments to tenants credit scores, further promoting a reliable revenue stream for your business.

Let Buildium Grow With You

The property management technology we explored above isn’t just a passing trend. It’s helped thousands of property managers scale their by automating tasks and freeing up resources to help you grow your business. Most importantly, the right software gives you access to the information you need to grow your bottom line.

From automating accounting to in-depth financial reporting, see how Buildium’s all-in-one platform lets you be more efficient and help you reach your business goals. We’re offering a risk-free 14-day trial—no credit card required—to help you get started.

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Jon Park

Jon Park a Content Strategist who started his career by building an online community of 150,000 beatboxers. During the little time where he's not consulting or heads-down writing content, he loves playing gaming, traveling to escape the NYC weather, and eating hot pot.

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