Organized and centralized communication is the foundation for efficient building operations.
The multi-family real estate landscape is evolving at a rapid pace. Advancements in communication technology and the inclusion of novel services to target new audiences have substantially increased the complexity of managing properties.
Consumer adoption of digital technology is growing, while property management is still largely analog. In most properties, managers are still handing off written maintenance tickets to their building engineers and communicating with tenants via email and phone. At the same time, predominantly Millennial and Gen-Z residents prefer mobile and text communication in almost every aspect of their lives, from their apartment experience to buying goods and services.
More digitally advanced property managers (PMs) use text messaging and native apps to manage communication between tenants and staff. These more innovative apartment buildings are also implementing marketplaces with goods and services available on-demand to their tenants to enhance the quality of tenants’ experiences. As owners extend new services, such as dry cleaning and dog walking, management of the marketplaces becomes even more complex, further exacerbating the need for technology.
While the service offerings are expanding in traditional multi-family buildings, so are the various stakeholders of the property. In cities throughout the United States, the most innovative apartment buildings now serve renters, visitors, pop-in consumers, short-stay hotel guests and amenity members. It is increasingly difficult to triage staff to support of all these different personas at once.
If owners and managers stick to their traditional practices of building operations, these challenges will become even more difficult to overcome. The variety of tech savvy “consumers” (a.k.a. the mix of stakeholders in your buildings) will only increase over time.
How can technology streamline building operations?
Livly believes that organized and centralized communication is the foundation for efficient building operations. To be clear, even the most progressive technology companies still struggle to maintain singular communication channels for vital information. For field-level property managers, maintenance engineers, cleaners and other building staff, efficient communication is even more challenging. Across many buildings, these employees are spending large chunks of time simply tracking down emails, text messages and phone calls before addressing actual needs.
The right approach to fragmented communication methods is to centralize the core functions of property management, staff coordination and resident communication. This way, key stakeholders in property management have a top-down view of all field operations with a singular log of important information to reference.
Imagine a future in which property managers can track all employees, residents, vendors and guests in a portfolio of buildings and communicate easily with all stakeholders. Staff can use their phones and desktops alike, with data flowing in real-time across devices. With modern technology layered on existing property management systems, PMs can tackle even the most complex buildings. They can chat internally when confronted with a particularly messy issue and present a polished resolution to residents, guests and members alike. Along the way, they can provide added transparency with clear and concise status updates to customers in the building. Modern communication will go a long way in reducing management pain and increasing time efficiency as buildings evolve to sustain new applications of spaces.
Of course, communication is only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to increasing operational complexity in buildings. Access control, payment and maintenance systems all need to be realigned to these new mixed-use hospitality buildings. For example, the same technology or service that coordinates resident maintenance requests also needs to accommodate the emergency repair needs of a short-term guest. Additionally, organizational requirements and job descriptions in property management will need to evolve to support new stakeholders in buildings (think door staff as task managers and property management as community management). Still, the key to successfully managing this new multi-family building is providing the existing building management team the tools necessary to coordinate efficiently and effectively.
We believe communication is key to future building operations. To learn more about Livly’s approach to building communication, please connect with us via www.livly.io.