The Property Management App: Part of a Larger Solution
The modern commercial real estate (CRE) market has gone through unprecedented technological change. With the value equation shifting from buildings themselves to the people who occupy them, tenant experience and engagement technologies — such as the property management app — are helping CRE leaders adopt a consumer-first model and embrace the most recent digital disruptions.
With these technologies — which range from standard property management apps to more holistic solutions such as HqO’s end-to-end operating system — property teams can blend the physical and digital workplaces to ensure innovative, engaging, and memorable experiences that streamline even the most challenging interactions. Thus, tackling the obstacles of attraction, fragmentation, and differentiation for any portfolio has never been easier; by giving CRE teams a custom toolkit for their portfolio to execute strategies, streamline processes, increase communication, and collect meaningful data, teams can be brought closer than ever before to the employees who work in their buildings.
What is Property Management Software?
Property management software, or software that helps streamline and automate the day-to-day responsibilities for property teams, has been around for the past several years. Ranging from basic functionalities such as marketing for one’s portfolio, to lease management, to measuring and maintaining portfolio performance, to tenant retention and customer satisfaction, property management software ensures that owners, managers, and operators can succeed in evolving markets. Such technologies can also help teams gather additional meaningful data about their buildings to help strengthen their strategies at scale in less time.
However, no one would have been able to predict the whirlwind of new digital solutions and their adoption before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted industries across the globe. In CRE alone, we’re now witnessing decades of technological progress being achieved within a single year. Current-day health and safety concerns are accelerating what was once a trend, and have solidified technology as a legitimate building standard.
The simple truth is that there’s no turning back — CRE has changed forever. In order to triumph among growing hybrid work models and successfully meet tenants where they are, landlords will need to first understand the true return on investment (ROI) of the physical office, and then create smart spaces where people actually want to work.
All this, and much more, can be achieved through tech-enabled office strategies and data collection. Thus, the market has seen the fairly recent introduction of advanced property management software and other technologies that aim to enhance any building. The growing ecosystem of technology partners in HqOS™ — which includes property management apps such as Join Digital, Jones, Building Engines, and Angus Systems — can not only reduce administrative processes for property teams, but also help create overall seamless experiences for tenants throughout your building.
At this point, you might be asking yourself: What should CRE teams consider when looking for the right property management software partners, or any technology partner? With over 8,000 proptech companies available to the office sector, it can be difficult to determine exactly which commercial property management software solutions are the best fit for one’s portfolio. Ranging from apps, to online property management software, to otherwise disparate building systems, the most effective office technology integrations require more than just the software alone.
In the next section, we dive deeper into what this means.
The Best Landlord App Isn’t Just an App
The key to any successful implementation of office software and technologies is managing the processes and complexity that come with new integrations. There is a ubiquitous concept in computing that speaks directly to this goal: the operating system (OS). Whether it powers a mobile device, a laptop, or a server, the prime directive of any OS is to abstract away the enormous complexities of the underlying system and to provide standard and streamlined methods of user security, user interface, data storage, communications, resource sharing, and most importantly, application execution.
The OS concept also means that the best property management apps aren’t apps at all, but rather entire platforms. An end-to-end property management platform will not only ensure easy processes for building occupants and tenants, but also give property teams access to more meaningful, actionable data that can help inform strategic decisions across multiple assets. However, adopting a data-driven decision making mindset requires careful thought.
It’s not uncommon for landlords to invest in technologies that only provide vanity metrics, instead of the quality metrics they need to understand their building occupants. Truly unlocking actionable data and insights that go beyond the surface-level requires a single platform with rich, API-based integrations that tie together all aspects of the tenant experience. Without these deep integrations, the technology trail ends abruptly, leaving property owners with no additional information that they can apply to their assets. This is why true API-based integrations — which can be found in HqO’s growing technology ecosystem — are so important. These technology connectors go beyond the initial click, capturing significantly more data because they’re both native and trackable.
The vision of a true OS for commercial real estate — which includes access to pre-vetted best-in-class technology partners, a tenant-facing platform, and data collection and analytics tools — has always guided HqO’s unique approach to tenant experience and engagement. A combined platform and mobile app model, alongside a marketplace for finding and configuring technology apps into white-labeled tenant experience products, an enterprise-grade user authorization model, and a cadre of analytics tools, all coalesce into HqOS™ — the first end-to-end operating system for office buildings.
Property teams can now manage all customer-facing technology tools within their buildings, while remaining empowered to activate real connections between people and their properties with digital-to-physical experiences, data-driven decision making, and fast implementation of innovative asset strategies.
Easy Property Management Organization
Of course, having so many advanced tools at one’s disposal also brings to light the question of simplicity and ease-of-use. Alongside an OS, having a command center that enables customers to quickly access and take advantage of the operating system’s functionality is a key feature to property management success. Having simple landlord software that enables teams to rapidly deploy and configure data-driven tenant engagement and office building strategies across any digital or physical channel — with absolutely no coding required — has been a key consideration of HqO’s platform since its conception, and is possible through the HqOS Headquarters feature.
Further creating efficiencies and easing the property management process also requires the right support. Some initial questions you might ask yourself are, “How can these new technologies conform and interact with the existing commitments I’ve made in my building so I don’t need to replace other systems?” and “Are these third party partners going to work together well and at scale?”
Selecting well-suited partners eliminates long development timelines as well as misalignment on the end product, and helps create an overall frictionless journey throughout your portfolio. By leveraging our HqOS Marketplace to procure new partners, commercial office owners can shop for technologies they know will be interoperable with the overall platform, and whose business relationships and deal structures are already in place. Additionally, they can even take advantage of technology partner profiles to access product demos and images — helping them determine if certain pre-vetted partners are a good fit for their business.
We empower CRE leaders to quickly identify partners of interest, while our team of experts helps consult across tech stack implementation and interoperability; third party assessment, procurement, and management; evolving compliance frameworks; data capture and transparency; and building access and facility management systems. They can also take advantage of our budgeting calculator to give them a general price parameter for their building and its systems.
A Day in the Life with a Property Management App
Now that we understand how this technology works, we can help you picture what it might look like for you and your tenants in your everyday life as a property manager. Below are three scenarios that you might find familiar:
- Scenario #1:
- Before HqO: Once you get to the office, you head straight to your desk to sort through tenant email requests. You have to review work orders and catch up on the other off-hours activities in your building such as service bookings, tenant access cards, cleaning information requests, and more. You notice that many of your tenants are requesting access to some of your building’s amenities, which causes you to have to individually respond to each email and create multiple calendar invites. It’s overwhelming.
- With HqO: You head straight to your desk and log on to HqOS™ Headquarters, where you have access to an easy-to-use desktop view that can help automate many of your work orders processes. You begin to automate email follow-ups to tenants, approve and deny requests as appropriate, and review everyone’s schedules — all in a matter of minutes. You now have extra time to start creating content that can help update your tenants about new building protocols, cleaning schedules, and more.
- Scenario #2:
- Before HqO: You answer a few cold-calls from vendors trying to sell you their services, and run through your daily meetings with several service providers and staff members. You have a difficult time finding out which vendors would be a good fit for your existing building systems, and which ones would actually add value for your tenants.
- With HqO: After reviewing tenant survey feedback and/or looking at your building population data, you have an idea of which amenities and services your building needs. You start to search through HqO’s growing Marketplace of best-in-class technology partners. You’re relieved because not only are they pre-vetted to ensure quality partnerships, but they’re also already interoperable with the larger HqOS ecosystem — and therefore with your building. You don’t have to worry about guesswork.
- Scenario #3:
- Before HqO: You still need to address some of the building queries from earlier in the day, so you write emails to your tenant point of contact to have them disseminate information to the larger building population for you. You worry the information won’t get to the right people fast enough.
- With HqO: Your custom updates and messaging from earlier are ready, and now it’s time to share them directly with your building’s app users. Using push notifications, you send out your content immediately. Furthermore, you use the Audiences feature to easily direct different pieces of information to specific tenants across your portfolio.
Where Can I Get a Free Property Management Software Download?
To learn more about property management software, alongside end-to-end solutions and how they could advance your portfolio’s strategies, you can sign up for a free demo of the HqOS operating system today. You can also check out our Marketplace of technology partners for specific property management capabilities.
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- Create rich digital experiences for the people who occupy your buildings with the Tenant Experience Platform
- Find and manage apps in one place with the Marketplace
- Capture & structure all data on how people use your buildings with the Digital Grid™
- Deploy your tenant experience strategy with Headquarters