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Technology

“What is proptech, anyway?” How to use real estate tech to your advantage

Learn how digital solutions can elevate tenant experiences, streamline operations, and boost satisfaction. Dive into expert insights on choosing the ideal Proptech platform and leveraging its potential to complement your tech ecosystem.

What is proptech? For anyone aiming to make a tenant-centric transition, it’s your best friend.

Not only can it give you the data you need to adapt to tenants’ wants and needs, but it can also speed up your operations and improve transparency. The result? More time and energy to direct toward the living experience.

That said, the market is flooded with digital solutions. It can be difficult to find one that suits your organisation.

When shopping around for technology to consolidate your tenant-centric transition, ask yourself: what should the ideal proptech platform do, and how can it complement my existing tech ecosystem?

We spoke with some industry experts to help answer that question for you. 

First of all, what is proptech? 

Proptech, short for Property Technology, refers to the use of technology to innovate, streamline, and enhance processes in the real estate industry. It encompasses various technological solutions, software, hardware, and platforms designed to improve different aspects of property management.

How to use proptech to your full advantage 

Now you have a definition, let’s explore the various ways Proptech can assist you in improving operations and becoming truly tenant-centric. 

Use proptech solutions to enhance your ERP systems. 

Until now, real estate providers have generally relied on ERP systems as tech partners in asset and property management. However, in an age of ‘living as an experience’, ERP systems have the most value when used alongside other technology. 

In recent years, Proptech companies have developed apps to help manage both the functional and the more ‘human-focused’ aspects of property management.

While ERP systems are essential for the functional side of things, tenant experience apps help enhance communication, community-building and customer service.

“Real estate is still quite conservative and not always that adaptive to change,” says Quintin Schervenels, tech investor and former CEO of Funda. “But you see more and more digitization happening and it’s becoming more accessible”

“Digital apps can make processes more user-friendly. For example, it can make communication a more dynamic thing that happens in real time, which can save time and get things done easier.”

That’s reflected in how tenants experience digital apps. Whether they’re currently using a tenant app or not, a large portion of tenants in our recent tenant survey stated that using a digital app would save them time, give them a voice and put their minds at ease.  

 

Turnover report 23-2

Streamline communication

Far too often, digital communication involves going between various different channels like calls, text, email, WhatsApp or through contact forms—which can be frustrating and inefficient.

In most cases, an average of seven calls and emails are needed to resolve a single issue. This can lead to up to 320 hours wasted.

Proptech platforms help facilitate communication and foster positive tenant-landlord relationships. This benefit should not be overlooked, in our recent tenant survey 57% of residential tenants said they value good communication and responsiveness in a landlord.

“It’s important to maintain contact with tenants and understand their needs. Each tenant has different priorities and preferences. In a tenant-centric business model, it’s crucial to adapt to what tenants value.” says René Voortmeijer, commercial director at Van der Vorm.

However, getting tenants to draw full benefit of technological solutions presents a challenge to property managers. For new developments, Bert Van Lunteren—CEO of Dutch real estate firm Schep Vastgoedmanagers—stresses the importance of making tenants aware of these solutions.

“Real estate professionals are increasingly realising the importance of preparing buildings and their occupants for efficient operation before occupancy. This includes teaching residents to communicate via apps or other customer contact tools before they move in, so that by the time they move in, the activation rate is already close to 100%. This is easier to achieve for new construction projects, but can be more challenging for existing buildings.”

Offer services, not just products 

The best way to deliver convenience to your tenants is by providing services, both physical and digital.

But it's the level of service a company delivers, and the accessibility to those services they offer tenants, that sets them apart. Those services should be fast, consistent and comprehensive.

Therefore, you need to be able to provide useful services like vehicle and bike rental, coworking spaces, childcare, gym and wellness facilities. These services deliver convenience, create value and drive satisfaction.

 Use tech to your advantage 

Embracing technology and proptech solutions in the real estate industry is crucial to achieving success in today's competitive landscape.

Tenant experience apps, when integrated with ERP systems, play a vital role in enhancing communication, community-building, and customer service, ultimately leading to increased tenant satisfaction and engagement and more operational efficiency.

As the real estate market evolves into an age of 'living as an experience,' it’s becoming essential for real estate companies to offer high-level services that deliver convenience, create value, and drive tenant satisfaction while maintaining operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

A well-chosen tenant experience app, equipped with an open API and advanced functionalities, can act as a one-stop-shop platform to meet diverse tenant needs effectively. 

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