Excuse me while I check my phone – oh, I’ve a message! It says, “Mobile property management is the new reality.”
The rise in mobility (i.e. the explosion of smartphones) has affected more than your social life and phone bill – it’s creating trends in the workplace. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen an increase in the adoption of smartphones to the point where estimates are that over 70% of all adult Americans now own one. I recently sat down with Mat Brogie, the Founder and Principal Consultant of MobilityCIO to discuss the impact of mobile trends on CRE and property management.
In our discussion, he pinpointed four trends impacting mobility in the workplace:
1. We’re Not Scared Anymore
The rapid adoption of smartphones has left most people with a small computer in their hands and a new set of expectations. They know they can use it in their personal life for a directions, Google searches, restaurant reviews – so why not use that power when at work? Why should they have to go back to their desk, make a phone call, or look through a binder to have a question answered? Why can’t they just access that information on their phone when that’s what they would do at home? End users -workers – are more comfortable with mobile technology and now expecting more, including more from their companies as far as tools to be able to get their jobs done better. (Read: Please Help Us Get iPads!)
No drinks involved, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a trend capitalizing on existing computing power. You probably have a smartphone or tablet, and you probably carry them with you all the time. Enterprises are starting to recognize that mobile workers in their organization have this power that they’re carrying around in their pocket. And they want to leverage that power – which means ensuring that the necessary mobile applications can be accessed by a hodgepodge of devices.
3. Doing More with Less
Workers in all organizations are being asked to do more with less. They’re being asked to wear multiple hats- none of which are the fun Derby kind. In the property management and buildings operations space, management is expected to be out there with tenants, not tied to their desk, answering questions, solving problems in real time. Those are pressures to work in-the-moment and solve problems immediately, as opposed to creating a backlog of paperwork that needs to be addressed later in the day. Mobility is really taking off because it gives you the ability to make those decisions no matter where you are and pretty much instantly.
Work today is much more an action as opposed to a place – you’re not chained to a desk anymore. You don’t have to go to your desktop computer in order to complete work that you do. Instead, you’re out working with your constituents, customers or tenants. Questions come up in real time, issues come up in real time, and you deal with them in real time – without a stack of paper or through a tethered computer.
4. Getting App Happy
With an increasing number of apps on the market, it’s not always easy to know which is the best one for your company’s needs. Consider these decision criteria:
Versatility- Does the application allow flexibility in terms of hardware? If your personnel work on their own devices or at home sometimes, you’ll want to find an app that runs on all mobile devices and doesn’t just tie you down to one kind.
Security – Mobile devices can be vulnerable to unauthorized access when lost and unprotected company data. Choose an application with rigorous data encryption and device management technology.
Functionality – What sort of tasks do you need done remotely or on-the-go? For many property management companies, important mobile functions include managing work orders, incident tracking, inspections and preventive maintenance.
Data Synchronization – A native built application with robust data synchronization retains functionality even in areas with no WiFi or cell connection and caches data so that upon reconnection queued changes are time stamped with the true time of action.
Want an app that meets these standards? Check out BE Mobile, an app that empowers property and facility teams to stay connected to critical building information at all times and manage and respond to tasks remotely.