Elite Property Manager - - Contents - MARK WOSCHNAK CEO RENT.COM.AU

Mark Woschnak

FIRSTLY, I’D LIKE to pass on my hearty con­grat­u­la­tions to Sa­man­tha and her team for the launch of this mag­a­zine, which marks a mile­stone achieve­ment in the evo­lu­tion of our prop­erty man­age­ment in­dus­try.

There is an abun­dance of in­for­ma­tion, trends and re­search that is yet to ar­rive and be shared in this evolv­ing in­dus­try, and this new mag­a­zine helps bring to­gether the many parts we all need to be aware of, con­trib­ute to and learn from.

In the first edi­tion, we saw some great in­sight from ex­cep­tional peo­ple across a num­ber of top­ics. En­gage­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween prop­erty man­agers and sales de­part­ments, the strate­gies for rent roll growth and ef­fi­ciency, deal­ing with new sys­tems and tech­nol­ogy, per­son­nel ap­ti­tudes and train­ing are all im­por­tant and cur­rent themes in these chang­ing times.

This is­sue puts the spotlight on dif­fer­ent types of tech­nol­ogy avail­able in prop­erty man­age­ment, so with the priv­i­lege of a some­what ‘he­li­copter view' of the in­dus­try, I thought I'd share some ob­ser­va­tions that come from years of fo­cus­ing on the rental process and PM teams, work­ing with over 6,400 agen­cies, about 60 por­tal and soft­ware up­load­ers, dozens of ser­vice providers and feed­back from over 350,000 renters ev­ery month.

From my own per­spec­tive, I started over seven years ago and, like any grow­ing busi­ness, have had to deal with the im­pact of tech­nol­ogy, its ef­fi­ciency in one place and its so­cial and com­mer­cial im­pacts in another. Hav­ing had all the chal­lenges faced by a grow­ing small busi­ness, I

We all want bet­ter tech­nol­ogy, but more than half the in­dus­try has not cap­i­talised on the op­por­tu­nity these medi­ums present.

can say the most im­por­tant thing I've learned is to fit the use and adop­tion of new tech­nol­ogy to suit the stage of busi­ness you're in at any time. In the past 12 months we've ex­pe­ri­enced a 250 per cent growth in traf­fic, peo­ple and ser­vices, and again I am re­minded about the fine bal­ance of peo­ple and tech­nol­ogy.

It's clear the prop­erty man­age­ment world to­day recog­nises a need to im­prove ef­fi­ciency. A num­ber of new tech­nolo­gies are be­ing in­tro­duced to achieve this, in­clud­ing Prop­erty Con­di­tion Re­ports, Main­te­nance Pro­grams and In­spec­tion Man­age­ment Sys­tems, which will con­tinue to im­prove in ease of use and flex­i­bil­ity.

Our re­cent mar­ket feed­back in­di­cates that the great ma­jor­ity of prop­erty man­agers want to em­brace new tech­nol­ogy, but not even half (44 per cent) be­lieve tech­nol­ogy makes their life eas­ier. Video and dig­i­tal floor­plans are emerg­ing, but over 80 per cent of the in­dus­try is in­cor­po­rat­ing this new prod­uct-re­lated tech­nol­ogy in less than 25 per cent of their list­ings.

The ver­dict is out: we all want bet­ter tech­nol­ogy, but more than half the in­dus­try has not cap­i­talised on the op­por­tu­nity these medi­ums present. It's a clas­sic case of the 80/20 rule, where some adap­tive and IT-pro­gres­sive agen­cies are mak­ing head­way, and most agen­cies are catch­ing up in their im­ple­men­ta­tion be­cause there are real is­sues of cost and train­ing.

Trends also show that core tech­nol­ogy tools, such as iPads and smart­phones, are fast be­ing used to im­prove pre­sen­ta­tions and re­fer­ral pro­grams. We're also see­ing a move to­wards ser­vices and ap­pli­ca­tions shift­ing to the in­creas­ing flex­i­bil­ity of cloud­based com­put­ing.

Mov­ing for­ward, I can see a re­newed fo­cus on the mod­ern renter and how they in­ter­act with web­sites. Their ex­pec­ta­tions when look­ing at a prop­erty are un­doubt­edly go­ing to in­crease in line with faster in­ter­net. 3D vir­tual tours, which a renter can con­duct from the com­fort of their own home, are one such ex­am­ple. Fur­ther to that, I think the abil­ity for an agent and ten­ant to in­ter­act through a video feed has enor­mous po­ten­tial, of­fer­ing the op­por­tu­nity for re­mote in­spec­tions.

Other likely out­comes of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment will be the fur­ther au­to­ma­tion of pa­per­work pro­cess­ing, end to end. We'd be look­ing at ad­vance­ments such as dig­i­tal sig­na­tures and a bet­ter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem to make that pos­si­ble.

Ser­vices and por­tals ded­i­cated to the rent­ing process, such as au, will also im­prove the way prop­er­ties are show­cased to renters. There'll be bet­ter ways for renters to fil­ter and find what they're look­ing for, with more in­tu­itive search­ing. was started be­cause I saw huge growth and op­por­tu­nity in prop­erty man­age­ment, the un­ad­dressed needs of the renter and land­lord, and that as an in­dus­try over­all it lacks the em­pow­er­ment it de­serves. As such, this mag­a­zine is fan­tas­tic and we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to raise the recog­ni­tion of and sup­port all prop­erty man­agers, and of course renters, for whom rent­ing is be­com­ing more of a long-term lifestyle choice.

Tech­nol­ogy and its rapidly chang­ing land­scape will con­tinue to grow, in­spire and shape the in­dus­try. It's ex­cit­ing and dy­namic – but at the end of the day it will al­ways be the peo­ple and the qual­ity of our re­la­tion­ships that make all the dif­fer­ence.

It's all about find­ing your place and the right bal­ance be­tween tech­nol­ogy and peo­ple skills as dif­fer­en­tia­tors. There are many sto­ries that pay trib­ute to this, and we should all stop to celebrate the achieve­ments in prop­erty man­age­ment along the way.

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