Utilizing The iPad For Building Owners and Managers
by Paul Dorian
Monday, July 16, 2012
As technology continues to transform the real estate industry, one tool promises to empower both building managers and tenants: the iPad. This famed product, which is the now the standard for tablet computing, already has a variety of applications and critical praise. But, as an IT resource which streamlines the way residential properties operate, the iPad is the ultimate convenience for consultants, realtors and renters alike. From my perspective, which reflects insight concerning trends within the residential arena and the individual interests of building owners, there is a clear demand for a technical solution to the so-called everyday challenges that are part of running a multifamily property or condominium.
For example: by automating everything through the iPad - by enabling tenants to quickly send requests (for, say, plumbing repairs or carpentry work or wiring), and by allowing owners to manage this material through the ease of a tablet - people save time and money. These features are in stark contrast to the way many residential properties currently operate: tenants must call someone or file a form, followed by the management company then cataloging this information into a database, followed later - often much later - with a dispatcher ordering a professional to visit the property. The problem with this system, aside from the wasted hours and cost, is that is highly inefficient; it requires people to handle responsibilities that can easily be transferred to an error-free piece of software.
The iPad also acts as a selling point for building owners and managers, since they can attract tenants by promoting the conveniences associated with using this device. In this instance, a property can have its own page, which tenants can access with the iPad, where all services are available via a simple touch of the screen. (As a sidebar: many hotels now offer similar opportunities for their guests, where, rather than use the phone to call the front desk or in-room dining or housekeeping, all of these things can be done from the iPad. Some hotels even outfit each room with an iPad, so guests can enjoy these benefits without having to bring their own tablet.) These advantages distinguish a property from the competition, which is important in this economy, winning the attention of large pool of applicants and future residents.
The savings are real and immediate, which is welcome news to owners who need to preserve funds without compromising quality of service. If anything, this option - the freedom to access, respond and manage property-related issues through the iPad - improves quality. Tenants do not have to deal with long hold times, inexperienced personnel or technical problems. The fact that all of these tasks can be done from an iPad, that residents no longer have to become prisoners of the calendar (particularly on weekends where a building manager or operator may not be reachable by phone), is good news for the real estate industry.
The challenge, from a technology viewpoint, involves working with IT consultants who have the expertise to seize this opportunity. Specifically, these professional have the experience and availability (in the United States) clients require. Their knowledge is also critical to creating a plan for building owners and property managers, which can translate into increased efficiency, better satisfaction (among residents) and increased occupancy rates.
This new technology is a chance to promote innovation and success. For the real estate industry, the iPad is a worthwhile piece of hardware – something we should use and enjoy. That summons to action means, in the end, better results for everyone. With these rewards before us, we should make the iPad a gateway to efficiency.