Managing Rental Real Estate Globally and Digitally
The key factor driving the widespread optimism about the rental market today is the adoption of new, innovative technologies for enhanced property management efficiency. For example, web-based property management gives property managers a distinct advantage over previous management strategies. Today’s agents, tenants and landlords are all looking for frictionless engagement and digital services, prompting many rental property managers to rise to the occasion and innovate. With more convenient ways from screening tenants to paying rent, it’s clear that new technologies are changing the property management business for the better.
If you are a real estate agent, there will inevitably be a lot of documentation to manage and screen. Research has shown that as many as 80% of new real estate agents fail or quit within their first year in real estate. It’s both – because they don’t fit in and because they don’t want to continue. One big challenge is the validation of clients. How do you know who will be the best tenant? If you have just one client application, then there’s not too much to validate, but if the number of potential tenants is already two-digit, then you have a lot of research to be done. And that takes time. And time is money. But exchanging documents or human actions during the rental process is a thing of the past already in most of the developed countries.
Which brings us to the tools, that agents and/or landlords have at hand to work with. There are manuals and policies, even handbooks for real estate agents to download from the internet. They are helpful and should be worked through, especially for novice agents, but if you are an experienced agent already, then you have your routine in place. And that’s all about how to satisfy both sides – the landlords and the tenants. This routine takes certain amount of time and the negotiation process with now mostly web-based “paperwork”, which used to consist of getting all those bank- and/or employer’s statements that you, as an agent, have had hard times to validate. It is and will be your responsibility as the negotiator.
The good news is, that the real estate market, as every other market, is being digitized and modernized as we speak. A lot of software and platforms are coming on the market. They use machine learning and AI to help saving our time and accelerate decision-making processes. Algorithms do the job, but the final word still remains with the agent. And now an important question arises – how to choose between them? Like everything else, it depends on your priorities. You can google and discover different rankings and Top-5s, Top-7s, Top-10s etc. Most of them work as well, but they all are slightly different. They have to be.
As an agent or landlord you must pay attention to your own specific needs e.g., either you are dealing only with local clients, or you attend to go global. Most of tenant screening platforms or apps are local. This means they have no access to the data abroad. If the potential tenant is a student from another country for example, they cannot help you. Let’s say you are operating in Amsterdam and are going to use Ockto. Then you get the data from Netherlands only. But by using TenantPass you’ll be able to get data i.e., tenant’s income verification and well deducted tenant score, and therefore clients from around the world.
Talking about the world, another big shift in the rental market that has prompted enthusiasm for the near future are new markets outside of urban centers. In fact, it has never been clearer that there are two different rental markets: city-centers and everywhere else. As the country contended with widespread unemployment and pandemic lockdowns, these two markets reacted very differently. No longer tied to the cities by their employment, renters began a mass shift to the suburbs in search of more space and lower rents. As a result, rental markets outside the cities experienced a sudden boom, while many inner-city properties struggled with high rent and high vacancies. And that might be the most unpredictable added value to agents grabbing for proptech – you just can’t stay analog on that market…Pen, paper and two pairs of sandals?