By Travis Knipe, CEO, StarRez
Ease, convenience, reliability, and community are some of the fundamentals that lure many a resident to Build to Rent and keep them happy and engaged. But ease isn’t always easy to deliver, convenience not that convenient to manage, reliability ultimately fickle, and community a seesaw that can vacillate between complaints and compliments. It’s enough to give building managers a headache and, when combined, can erode the premium that Build to Rent strives to command. Thankfully proptech that has been developed to support and deliver on Build to Rent’s fundamentals is filling the void and making it easier for providers to deliver consistently above expectation.
Technology driving positive returns
Proptech platforms in Build to Rent aim to automate the customer experience, streamline communications, track engagement and create efficiencies.
Software can improve the customer experience, helping providers create brands that command a premium, while reducing costs by performing some roles autonomously.
There are many important features to look out for if you’re looking for an improved customer experience and reduced costs, including:
- Community tools that efficiently manage incidents, concerns and experiences – ensuring all residents feel safe and secure.
- Self-service portals that give residents 24/7 access to pay rent, submit maintenance requests or find out what is happening in their building.
- Resident profiles that give teams a complete at-a-glance view of all resident activity and engagement, enabling them to focus on what matters to residents and reduce cost wastage.
- Payment platforms that integrate into general ledger solutions and provide reporting, charting and dashboard projections allowing for occupancy, turnover and more to be forecast.
- Website and mobile integration to improve connectivity and provide scale across buildings, while also allowing staff to easily manage inspections and maintenance requests.
Internet of Things integrated
Where proptech can take buildings to a new level is when Internet of Things technologies can also further integrate into the resident and building management experience – think keyless entry, building management and much more.
With a Covid lens applied, integrated proptech across Build to Rent portfolios can provide thermal screening, help residents view occupancy levels in areas where capacity is limited (e.g. gyms), automate cleaning after a space is used, and improve the performance of assets in regards to electricity usage.
It all comes down to picking the right platforms and identifying providers who are pursuing collaboration and integration with existing technology companies. Great technology can make a marked difference to creating and supporting a thriving community.
For investors and the fiscally motivated, there are also the benefits of optimising rents, higher retention, more referrals and higher occupancy. It begs the question: is your software solution really working?