3 Big Enterprise Property Management Trends to Watch in 2021

By Hanna Sorbito

Here’s the experts’ consensus for 2021: we’re gearing up for an economic rebound, and it’s happening fast. As economies regain footing from the blow of the pandemic, more and more industries are priming themselves to bounce back this year.

Property management is no exception to this uphill battle. We’re seeing less stringent restrictions as the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out for public use. That means more businesses are re-opening, and property managers are back to base to maintain order while business operations resume.

But here’s the clincher—we’re not expected to manage properties the same way we’re doing it a year ago. In 2021, we’re taking two main things into account: recovery and risk reduction.

In this blog, we talk about enterprise property management trends that you should look out for in 2021 and how these changes make a huge impact on our re-emerging economies.

1. Zero-touch processes and contactless technology

Smart buildings

Smart technologies seem like a huge investment for homes as we’ve seen in the past years, but it’s a different story when it comes to enterprise properties. Installing smart devices for multiple-storey buildings makes sense and promises benefits that will be worthy of your investment. 

For one, it provides easier access to different parts of the building and equips property managers with the technology to monitor, control, and resolve issues in a few clicks. Secondly, it allows touchless transactions and empowers technology that promotes minimal face-to-face interaction, which gives businesses the capacity to operate in accordance to COVID-19 restrictions.

Cloud-based property management software

In line with smart technologies, cloud-based property management software remains to be on trend as well. Cloud computing allows property managers to acquire and analyze information without being physically present on site.

Having processed and data-powered information on the go not only allows property managers to minimize on-site visits and tenant interaction, but it also reduces operational costs and speeds up decision-making, especially in a time when we’re obliged to respond accurately and quickly.

Virtual and augmented reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality both play a part in the industry, mostly in real estate. But we’re seeing more of these in enterprise properties as well.

To encourage less face-to-face interaction with prospective tenants, a lot of property management companies have invested in designing 360-virtual tours for their properties for lease. Tenants can now virtually tour buildings regardless of their location which, in a way, extends the reach of property owners beyond their respective city locations.

In addition, more cloud-based technologies allow property owners and managers to stage their rental properties virtually and design supplementary resource materials for their prospective tenants to see.

Machine learning and AI

Chatbots and pre-programmed virtual assistants are also on the rise as we implement more methods to communicate online. As tenants demand faster responses, more property managers have realized the importance of building knowledge bases for frequently-asked questions and culminating those into AI-powered chatbots.

With minimal to zero human touchpoints, issues can be reported and resolved in an instant. Data indeed expands the playing field for property management. By leveraging such technologies, property owners also gain pertinent information about their tenants which, in turn, equip them with predictive and actionable insights that they can use in creating more efficient processes.

2. Empathy-driven tenant management

In the best way possible, the pandemic has brought humanity back to various industries. As for property management, it is noticeable that property owners have expressed more empathy towards their tenants as they combat the repercussions of the health crisis.

In Buildium’s State of the Property Management Industry Report for 2020, it is found that 45% of property managers named “residents” a top priority last year, beating out efficiency and profitability for the first time. We predict to see more of these empathy-driven decisions in 2021 as government mandates become more clearer for property owners and tenants and more businesses crawl their way up from the dips that occurred last year.

3. Redefined workspaces

Demographic shift
Baby boomers are exiting the workforce, and millennials currently take over a huge fraction of workspaces on a global scale. For property managers, this means keeping up with the demand of this generation not only for high-tech and data-driven solutions but also for spaces that are conducive for growth and diversity.
Work-from-home setup
In 2020, 55% of businesses globally offer some capacity for remote work. This paved the way to spending less time in offices and investing more in work-from-home setups as companies find ways to proceed with normal business operations with the safety of their people as top priority.
This year, we’re looking at more companies slowly re-opening and asking their employees to report back to work, especially when more countries get access to the COVID-19 vaccine. With the unpredictability of the situation though, property managers are challenged to keep up with fluctuating volumes of people coming into enterprise locations. This also impacts their strategy in reducing operational costs and weeding out inefficiencies in order to optimize the use of their property assets.

The Key to Effective Property Management in 2021: Adapt

For many property managers, the past year was all about rethinking the way enterprise properties are maintained. Immediate response was essential in surviving a pandemic that shook us to our core and turned our worlds upside down. Priorities have changed. Spaces have evolved. Innovations have been intensely flexed.

This year, as we bring actionable insights and lessons learned with us, businesses are poised to thrive once more in a manner that we’ve never witnessed before. The key to successful property management this year? Adapt.

While we continue to reshape businesses and stay on top of a global health crisis, it is important to continually find and discover ways to make property management more efficient yet human. 

In 2021, we’re yet to see more developments in the economy, technology, and people management. Priorities will continue to change. Spaces will massively evolve. Innovations will be intensely flexed by upcoming technologies. The deciding factor that will ensure success in whichever new environment we’ll enter is the ability to adapt. We’ll witness an ever-changing face for property management, and a property manager’s role is to keep up with the times


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