Prior to being a product manager at Building Engines, I was lucky enough to be a property manager for over eight years in Boston. During this time, I was exposed to challenges that many of our clients in the commercial real estate industry still face today. This hands-on experience and an understanding of what property managers endure daily has equipped me with a unique perspective and skill set to contribute to our product team so we can create the best technology possible for the commercial real estate industry.
This unique perspective has helped me identify a few key areas where technology could be more effective in easing the daily challenges of being a property manager. One area is task prioritization; there are so many tasks and business objectives that property managers think about daily and it can be difficult to know what is most critical and should be addressed first. This challenge comes in part from the technology itself in that it displays a lot of helpful information but can be slightly overwhelming and difficult to parse through.
The good news about technology being part of the issue is that it can also be part of the solution when designed well. The relief could be a dashboard that clearly delineates top priorities. For example, when a property manager logs into the system on a Monday morning they should be able to see their to-dos at a glance. A better dashboard would enable them to see if they missed anything, such as an overdue work order or a COI that expired over the weekend. A dashboard that clearly shows what is most important will help organize a property manager’s day and ultimately save them time and effort.
Another challenge that property managers face is that many times property management technology isn’t collaborative enough. Although there are ways to communicate through technology today, it’s not as simple or intuitive as it should be. Having a simple chat tool or a message board that enables teams to interact with each other similar to Slack directly in the product would ease this pain. A message board would allow people to notify others when they need help or if they have important information about a certain task they are scheduled to perform. For example, if an engineer had a question about a work order, they’d be able to tag the property manager and ask them right away rather than hunting them down. This would allow teams to collaborate on demand instead of wasting time chasing each other down.
All of this is not to say that current technology doesn’t alleviate some of the daily challenges that property teams face – it does. But it doesn’t solve them fully. Our mission is to continue to work on finding ways to improve property manager’s workdays so they can focus on more critical tasks and manage with control and confidence.
For more insight into how technology can improve the days of property management teams read this helpful eBook.