There’s a “Proptech” for That: Responding to the Needs of Residents
Updated: Nov 16
Property management is a complex and multifaceted field, encompassing an extensive range of responsibilities. From overseeing maintenance and groundskeeping to financial management and compliance, property managers must succeed in all these functions to achieve their number one goal: increased resident satisfaction.
In the 2023 National Multifamily Renter Study from Realpage, US renters across generations and regions were surveyed to gain valuable insights into their perspectives on apartment living. This important study will be able to inform the multifamily industry on what renters need, want, and expect from their rental experience, helping leaders make informed decisions about their properties and priorities.
One major revelation from the study claims that residents, regardless of age or location, “expect some degree of technological convenience” to be included in their rental experience. Let’s dive deeper into these insights and explore how AI and proptech can help property managers address these concerns.
Resident Expectations and Proptech:
Using Multiple Channels to Find a Rental: In the Realpage study, younger apartment seekers, particularly Gen Z, noted they use a variety of digital applications to search for rental options, ask questions about properties, and even virtually tour available units.
Property Search Platforms: Online property search platforms and apps can utilize AI algorithms to match a renter’s preferences with available listings. These platforms often provide personalized recommendations based on budget, location, and amenity preferences.
AI-powered Chatbots: Many real estate websites and apps now feature chatbots or virtual assistants powered by AI. These tools can answer questions, provide information about properties, and guide renters through the initial stages of the apartment search.
Virtual Tours: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are increasingly used to provide virtual tours of apartments. This allows residents to explore properties remotely and get a more immersive feel for the space.
Digital Interaction and Communication: The preference for more centralized, digital communication was a major revelation in the study. 79% of renters said, “they should be able to get everything they need from their property managers via direct message, text or chat,” calling for less face-to-face interactions. Simply put, renters want quick, easy, 24/7 access to their property managers through digital messaging.
Virtual assistants, mobile apps, and portals are transforming the way property managers interact with residents. These tools can be utilized to answer common questions, schedule maintenance requests, and provide information about the property, thus offering immediate, round-the-clock support. This improves resident satisfaction, as they can get quick responses to their inquiries and requests, ultimately leading to increased retention rates.
Security and Access Control: A key insight from older generations is the prioritization of enhanced security and smart safety features. Renters over 35 “expect more safety technology to be included, such as smart outdoor sensors, lighting, and cameras.” Across the board, renters were most willing to pay for cameras and electric doorbells.
Property managers can enhance security with AI-based access control systems. These systems use facial recognition, biometrics, or smart cards to provide secure, convenient access to the property. AI algorithms can also detect and respond to suspicious activities or unauthorized access, increasing safety for both tenants and property owners.
The 2023 National Multifamily Renter Study has proven to be a valuable resource, shedding light on the evolving expectations of renters across generations and regions. Notably, the study underscores the growing demand for technological convenience in the rental experience.
Embracing the power of AI and proptech, property managers can cater to these demands effectively. As the multifamily industry continues to evolve, embracing technology and proptech solutions is pivotal in not only meeting but exceeding the ever-evolving expectations of residents, thereby fostering greater satisfaction and retention rates.