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A 2020 vision for the property management industry

Rental property management is a growing business and has become attractive for many new companies. Therefore, competition in property management will increase in2020. Established property management companies that want to continue being successful and grow their business will need to be more strategic and monitor the opportunities and threats that will be created by this competition. 

Now is a great time to take a strategic look at property management trends that are expected to appear in 2020 in order to be prepared for business growth. Here are six trends that will be important to look for and monitor in 2020

New technology trends

Technology is rapidly evolving and having a significant impact on many industries and the real estate industry is no exception. Savvy investors, landlords, agents, and property managers are capitalizing on opportunities that come with new technology entering the real estate and specifically the property management market. 

Today, technology plays an integral role in every part of the property management industry. Technology amenities are key factors in marketing to and satisfying tenant desires in their rental units. Tenants are looking for: increased ways to connect with their landlord; online payment; charging & docking stations; keyless door entry; enhanced security; enhanced and free Wi-Fi; energy conservation; social communities and hi-tech fitness. Smart technology, using sensors and integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI), is having a significant impact on meeting tenant wants.

Property management software

Lead generation has and always will be the most important part of growth for any property management business. New software has created additional paths of generating property management leads. Property managers need to identify the right investment for their clients and get more properties under their management. New software technologies help facilitate the search and the due diligence efforts related to those properties.

Generation Z is a big focus

Baby Boomers have been the big influencer in the marketplace for a long time, but this is changing with the aging of the Millennials and Generation Z, which will grow from 8 million to more than 55 million in the US workforce in the next decade. Generation Z has experienced technology their entire lives and this means leasing and marketing campaigns must incorporate technology to reach Generation Z where they are most active, on apps and the Internet. 

Generation Z places a high priority on trust, equality, and more casual, personable messaging that speaks to them like a friend. Therefore, real estate businesses in the rental housing industry will need to use casual messaging, rather than very formal language, to successfully reach Generation Z prospects.

It also is important to also remember that Millennials and the generations before them have become more tech-savvy and sometimes they will not appreciate the “old school” way of doing business.

Apartment rental demand will remain high

Monitoring rental demand is an important trend in the property management industry. Over 80 percent of renters still believe that renting is more affordable than owning even though rents have increased in the recent past. There is a high demand for rental units as seen by an 11 percent increase in apartment demand this year, and even more demand projected for 2020. Affordable housing is a very significant issue for many people across the United States. Demand for rental units, as well as rising rental prices are still increasing annually.

New and different competition

Real estate investment continues to gain momentum, especially with new and different players buying up rental properties and managing the properties themselves rather than using a property management company. Established property management companies need to carefully monitor what is happening in the marketplace. 

Many rental property owners will become competitors as they realize and understand that being a landlord is a business. They operate the business themselves, without the help from off-site managers, and this gives them a good segue to enter the property management business. The more entrepreneurial real estate investors will eventually start expanding by growing their portfolio. This creates new and different competition. 

New marketing strategies

There will be a stronger focus on digital marketing through the Internet because of the market segment property managers must reach. An effective way to do this is to produce informative content regarding important topics for people in real estate. Creating a Frequently Asked Questions page or writing a Blog that answers some of the widely asked questions by clients can generate traffic to the property management company website.   

Google is the “Go-To” source for most people if they have a question about anything. Property management companies that provide a blog, infographic, or video answering that question will show a potential customer that the company is knowledgeable about the subject matter of the question asked. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for property management companies for any content the company posts online. This kind of marketing is a popular trend in the property management industry.

Relationships are critical and challenging in all businesses and especially in property management. 

“The relation of landlord and tenant is not an ideal one, but any relations in a social order will endure if there is infused into them some of that spirit of human sympathy which qualifies life for immortality.” George William Russell, Irish writer, editor, poet, partner and Irish nationalist.

Glenn Ebersole 

Glenn Ebersole is a professional engineer and is the Business Development Manager for CVM and CVMNEXT Construction in King of Prussia. He can be reached at gebersole@cvmnext.com or 610-964-2800, ext. 155.

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