The Role of Technology in Property Maintenance: How Apps and Software Can Improve Efficiency

Feb 22, 2024 | Owner Education, Property Management Education

Leasing, managing, and maintaining rental properties can be a complex and time-consuming process, even for professional and experienced Grand Rapids property managers. It takes time and resources to field inquiries about vacant homes, manage tenant disputes and complaints, and keep up with repairs and preventative maintenance. 

There’s a lot to do in the short and long term. And, we don’t want to neglect the relationships we have in place with owners, tenants, and vendors. It’s important to ensure residents are having a pleasant rental experience and that owners are having a profitable rental experience. 

Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to streamline and automate processes. By using property management software, accounting platforms, leasing technology, and custom-built apps, we can improve operations and make everything run a bit more efficiently. 

Let’s talk about the role of technology in maintenance, especially. This is where a lot of time and money is spent, whether you’re a landlord managing your own property or a management company looking for ways to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. 

Maintenance Technology Saves Time

There’s a lot of value in automating what can be automated so that you have time to give your personal attention to the tasks that only you can do. Using apps and software to handle maintenance requests, invoice tracking and payment, and reviews can be a huge time-saver. One of the reasons that rental property maintenance is so challenging is that it requires a lot of your time. Keeping rental properties in peak condition requires planning, execution, and analysis before, during, and after the repairs are complete. 

Thanks to technological advancements, property maintenance has become more efficient and cost-effective, saving landlords time and money. 

What can you do with all of that extra time? As Grand Rapids property managers, we use that time to pay more attention to the needs of your property, the growth of your investment portfolio, and the satisfaction of your tenants. 

Technology Helps with Maintenance Documentation

We invest in a strategic property management platform that integrates maintenance and provides tenant portals. Those portals are valuable because they allow tenants to pay rent on time, ask us questions, and review the resources we provide them. The tenant portal also works when it comes to repairs and maintenance. 

Tenants can report routine maintenance issues and make repair requests electronically. This is a major benefit to owners, residents, and our own team because it gets us the information we need quickly. Even better, it documents the repair needs, the actions that were taken, and the recommended next step. This gives us and our owners a written record of all the work that’s been done on your rental home. You’ll have a well-documented file that reflects exactly when your water heater was replaced, your HVAC was serviced, and your leaking toilet was fixed. 

Having access to a documented maintenance history like this can save you money on unnecessary repairs or help you make better decisions about when to replace something rather than repair it again. 

Our technology allows us to track the necessary repairs, collect invoices, and provide you with as much information as you need when we’re completing work on your investment.

Investing in Smart Home Technologies

Technology is more of a priority for tenants than ever before. Many of your renters are working from home, and that means they are using the systems and appliances in your property more. It also means they want and expect access to tech. One thing they love is smart home technology. 

Smart home technologies work well for landlords and property managers, too. It makes maintenance more manageable. Smart devices such as smart thermostats, lighting systems, and security cameras can be interconnected to create a seamless system of operations that are intuitive and efficient. 

With smart thermostats, landlords or tenants can regulate temperature settings remotely, saving on energy bills. Smart lighting systems ensure energy savings and added security features that can be controlled through an app. Smart cameras and video doorbells have also become essential in maintaining property security. These devices will alert landlords of any movement in the property when it’s vacant, keeping you on top of the upkeep of your rental properties.

When tenants can turn on lights, start their coffee maker, and set their security alarm using an app on their phone, they feel more secure and in control. Smart home tech contributes not only to better maintenance, but higher tenant satisfaction. 

Using the Internet of Things (IoT)

As technology advances, rental properties can now also utilize the Internet of Things (IoT). This is an often-discussed trend that is having a huge impact in the property management industry, especially when we’re talking about maintenance. It refers to the interconnectedness of everyday objects to the internet, such as the use of sensors. In a rental scenario, IoT can assist landlords in monitoring energy usage, lighting, and even the water supply. It provides landlords with real-time data and reduces the need for manual entry tasks that can consume a lot of time and increase expenses.

Improving Communication with Tenants and Owners

Improving CommunicationThere’s also the matter of communication, which we know is essential when it comes to maintenance. Technology allows us to communicate with owners, landlords, and vendors as seamlessly as possible. There’s no need to wait and have a phone call returned; with the right app or online platform, everyone can keep up with when work has been scheduled, who will be doing the work, and what the cost will be. 

Investing in technology allows for different methods of communication when maintenance is needed, in-process, and completed. 

We understand the importance of using online platforms, apps, and new software as it becomes available to make maintaining rental properties in Grand Rapids easier.  

If you’d like to talk more about how our investment in good software and automated systems allows us to manage and maintain your property better, please contact us at Short South Realty Group. We welcome you to leverage our technology and our resources towards the more responsible maintenance of your investment.