Connected systems, one source of the truth
“The system should be accessible to multiple users and stakeholders.”
The Private Residential Sector (PRS) covers a broad spectrum of rental property. If you’re developing Build-to-Rent or whole block ownership schemes, known in some parts of the world as multi-family housing, you’re responsible for the entire property lifecycle, from developing a building, to attracting residents and processing their tenancy arrangements to the long-term financial and asset management of developments.
This means that touchpoints across the property lifecycle can end up being disconnected, unless an end-to-end PRS software solution is employed to link all stages of the resident journey, including property management, lettings management and a resident engagement system.
In this blog post, we consider how property investors and their management teams who are looking to move into the Build-to-Rent sector for the first time can avoid the problems associated with disparate data sources – including duplication of effort and inaccuracies. As a result, they can deliver exceptional benefits to customers and improve communication to all areas of the business throughout the building lifecycle.
The Development Process
All Build-to-Rent schemes require the right system architecture. This might include CCTV, networks, communications, parking, door entry, AV hardware, key management, IT hardware, telephony, in-flat broadband, TV packages and public Wi-Fi.
Importantly, there needs to be integration from the outset between this technology and the core property management system used to manage and maintain the asset long term; this integration is crucial to enabling automation of operational processes, gaining evidence at all stages, depth and breadth of reporting, and maintaining security of systems and data protection.
The Lettings Management Process
The lettings management process starts with attracting and securing residents, including marketing properties via a range of channels. This is followed by “on-boarding” – smoothing the tenancy processes and ensuring legal compliance. A rental solution plays a key part in this first stage, enabling automated processes and resident matching.
An add-on resident portal, fully integrated with the property management system, will help in delivering an improved level of customer service, offering more value to residents with amenity bookings, add-on services and local targeted marketing. The final link in the interconnected chain is the resident replacement and move out process.
The longer term life of the asset
Once the residents are set up in their new home, a smooth link with property management software enables efficient rent collection and arrears chasing, as well as effective facilities management, ensuring the reasons for any resident dissatisfaction are quickly identified and dealt with and the property is well maintained.
A property management system should be the single central source and location within the build-to-rent software solution, holding all key data and documents, such as rental agreements, inventories, and those relating to due diligence on residents.
The system will also enable agents to automate time-consuming administrative processes and reduce the costs and complexities associated with managing properties. It should be accessible to multiple users and stakeholders, with custom access levels depending on role and responsibilities.
The connected solutions approach can be taken a stage further still, by integrating your systems with those of your suppliers; this allows procurement and settlement to be accelerated. On top of the practical efficiency gains, potential residents are attracted by the thought of connected and smart buildings with app-controlled environments, where the infrastructure is scalable for future technology developments.
Ultimately, by linking data points within a core property management system, investors will benefit from a sophisticated PRS software solution to enhance effectiveness, service and profitability. If you are new to PRS – you may already have a very slick property management process in pace already (in-house, outsourced or a combination) and it may just be about adding technology components to this.
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