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Managing Today’s Technology Demands

Online Leasing

When Joell Bunge, Business Manager at The Preserve at Forest Creek, began her career in the apartment industry more than two decades ago, managers documented rent in ledgers. Customers signed leases on paper and paid via check (or even cash) in person at the leasing office. Offices tracked visitors with paper guest cards.

A lot has changed since then. While some operational processes have been automated, the efficiencies gained have created additional demands, such as reporting requirements for traffic, leads, work orders and more customer care. “Today, residents are needier than they used to be,” she says. “They want more attention. You better check your emails and respond right away.”

The Internet drives queries and provides transparency that enables price comparisons. “When we send renewals, they look online to see what our pricing is today and compare it to what they’re paying,” Bunge says. “Then they shop around.”

Online leasing, online renewals, resident package deliveries and everything, it can sometimes make even the best property manager’s head to spin.

Melissa Smith, Chief Administrative Officer at Fogelman Management Group, says succinctly, “I wonder if technology and the amount of data we have access to is making us crazy or helping us.”

Fortunately, some management companies are trying to carve out a path to sanity and their technology partners are continuously improving their products. By properly utilizing technology, effectively navigating immense amounts of data and strategically providing data in manageable portions to onsite teams, community managers can begin to take a proactive approach with client and joint venture partners.

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