Technology and the successful property manager

Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua | 4 min. read

Published on February 2, 2012

It’s the kind of job that requires a lot of patience; and today, being a property manager also requires keeping up with technology. Property managers work with many different personalities, which requires them to have some important skills that help make the job of managing properties a success. But they also need to keep up with where their future tenants are spending their time: Online.

Get Social with Residents

Interestingly, social media and technology play a critical new role in the job of property managers. Now, tenants and prospective tenants aren’t just stopping by to see a property; instead, they’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms learning about rentals in your area before they have even set foot in the neighborhood.

Through these and other social media sites, not only is information shared, but also reviews and feedback about properties are posted. That’s why today, many companies are hiring social media managers to actively “listen” to these sites. It’s part of online reputation management, and it’s a good way to see if and what people are sharing about your properties.

As a multimedia video journalist, I am often asked about how to respond to a negative review about your company, product, or property. Should you roll up your sleeves and fight back? No. Often, this will cause the person who is negatively commenting to start a full-blown war. The campaign can get very ugly and turn into an over-dramatized sensation.

My suggestion is to counter the attacks by addressing the issues in a positive manner. How do you do this? Article writing and posting on many sites is a great way to get the information you want out about your properties.

So, for instance, if there’s a negative comment about your property being poorly kept up, writing a post showcasing photos of the well-manicured property and its unique attributes.

Resist the urge to fire back a comment that sounds defensive. Instead, think of the negative comment as a question: “How well-maintained is your property?” Then write your post. Of course, this is assuming that you are keeping your property in good shape!

Make Info Readily Available

Quick Response (QR) codes are showing up everywhere. How important are they to the property manager’s job? Very. These little codes can help carry vital information to prospective tenants when used appropriately.

QR codes are used by people with smartphones. They download a free app and then scan the code, which is linked to a website. You can create a QR code very easily and for free using online resources; just search for free sites to create your code.

The QR code is meant to provide information to the user in a quick fashion. In order to be useful, the information must be valuable. So, if you link the QR code to a video that gives good information about your property, that’s useful. If, on the other hand, you embed a faulty link or the link just opens to a generic website, the QR code can be seen as nothing more than advertising–useful to some, but others may feel it was a waste of their time to scan the code.

Placing a QR code on your brochures, business cards, and marketing materials with helpful links to very valuable information such as rental listings and frequently asked questions can be a big help for prospective tenants.

Enable Online Payments

With so many people doing online banking, getting your residents to pay their rent online makes sense. There are many advantages, such as the ability to schedule payments, make automatic monthly debits, stop hassling with paper, and pay rent from anywhere instantly.

If you’re finding that your tenants aren’t as hip to signing up for online payments, try using sign-up incentives, such entering them into a raffle from a pool of all of the tenants who signed up that month.

Technology can help you to streamline and better brand your business. In this day and age, how you use technology is a big part of what determines how successful you’ll be as a property manager.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua owns and operates San Diego Real Estate Help in California.

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