By Daniel Berlind, CEO of Snappt on Oct 27, 2020

COVID-19 has impacted the U.S. economy in unprecedented ways, but this is not the first time we’ve experienced a recession, and it will not be the last. While it is impossible for any industry to be completely recession-proof, property managers can take steps to make their portfolios more recession-resilient. It is essential to be proactive during times like these, not reactive. This post looks at key areas in which property managers can leverage technology to shield themselves from the impact of a recession.

Property management technology can help attract the right tenants.

Even before the pandemic, prospective tenants seek a digital experience when it comes to finding a rental. Software like forrent, apartments.com, and apartmentsguide.com make it easy for prospective tenants to find your properties online. Not only do these platforms offer robust interfaces for prospective tenants to perform the basics of searching and applying for a new place to live, but also employ advanced features like 3D tours and neighborhood insights that allow prospects to learn about your property in fun, engaging ways -- which hopefully lead to happy new tenants for your property.

Simultaneously, they enable landlords with the capability to reach millions of in-market renters, easily screen prospects, and offer lease signing and rent collection capabilities. The bottom line? Don’t just list online, list on the right platforms.

Tenant screening technology can prevent future financial burdens.

Evaluating a tenant in 2020 is more than income and credit screening. You’ll want to be aware of modern-day fraudulent practices that can trick property managers into renting to unemployed, financially unqualified, or otherwise deceitful persons. Snappt is the only financial document fraud detection software on the market designed specifically for property managers to identify these types of fraud. Catching fraud before it impacts your portfolio can prevent future evictions and save properties millions even when we are not in a recession.

Tenant retention is one of the most efficient ways to remain profitable.

The tenant experience is the foundation of a building’s value. A variety of software solutions like Rent Café are available to make meeting your tenants’ expectations a breeze. For example, tenant portals make it easy for your tenants to pay rent, request maintenance, or review their leases. The right software can facilitate various communications efficiently, saving you and your tenants the headaches that come with miscommunication and manual forms of engagement. Your tenants will appreciate the convenience and transparency, which hopefully encourages them to continue renting from you.

Proactively manage leases with predictive insights.

How accurately can you forecast your properties risk? Advanced property management technology like YARDI can provide valuable insights enabling property managers to assess performance and identify any needs to proactively adjust lease rates or length of term to manage the risk of lost rental income. Some solutions offer in-depth data analysis that combines your data and market data for unprecedented insights.

Keep on top of maintenance the smart way.

Property maintenance can be time-intensive and can get very expensive if not handled and managed efficiently. Make it easy for tenants to report a problem before it becomes a disaster with convenient portals. The benefits outweigh the software cost when it comes to losing tenants, property damage, or worse! Empower your team with tools that make it easy to plan, track and optimize your maintenance. Most property maintenance tools allow maintenance request portals, reporting features, vendor maintenance and in-app messaging to wrap it all up in one cohesive, efficient package.

Improve operational efficiency by automating your workflows.

Maintaining a first-rate operating level while also being efficient with resources is a challenging yet necessary requirement for property managers, especially during a downturned economy. Keep your operations running efficiently by maximizing the contribution of your staff by optimizing and automating workflows. In addition to using Snappt to identify fraudulent applications, both YARDI and Rent Café are excellent options for improved operational efficiency.

Use a scheduling tool like CRM to understand staff and contractor availability. Assign and dispatch work automatically while keeping tenants in the loop in real-time. Additionally, property managers can use software to streamline preventative maintenance activities and inspections. Some tools can also enable operators to implement an improved bidding process for vendors to ensure the best prices and highest-quality services are being procured. Saving time AND money? Now that’s a no-brainer even in a booming economy.

Up-level your business intelligence capabilities.

Maximize management efforts by maintaining a portfolio-wide view of your properties. Modern BI platforms enable property managers to monitor operations at a glance, compare properties against each other, and measure performance against standardized metrics. YARDI boasts a mobile-enabled platform with more than 200 built-in key performance indicators and powerful, flexible reports and dashboards. Putting operational technology into action gives property managers a way to procure the insights needed to maintain and safeguard their portfolios and catalyze differentiation and future competitive advantage.

The Takeaway? Be Proactive

Don't wait for a recession to invest in technology to help manage your property. This is not the first economic depression and unfortunately it will not be the last. For proactive property managers, the value of high-functioning technology will start accruing immediately. As a bonus, their properties will become more resilient to economic fluctuations.

Snappt can help you fill your units with great tenants. Want to know how? Request a demo today.

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