How managing agents must adapt to changing technology

Property management companies today can exploit an exciting range of new technologies, all designed to make the job of taking care of residential or commercial buildings easier and more efficient. If you’re not abreast of the latest tech developments, you could be missing out on energy saving, safer buildings and time-saving processes. Find out how technology is changing the modus operandi of managing agents in the 21st century.

New technologies in residential blocks

Emerging technologies in residential block management span everything from home security appliances to energy-saving gadgets, and even smart water leak detectors (which alert property managers to the early signs of a leak, saving water and preventing damage to the property.) All these innovations are changing the way that managing agents operate – leading to happier tenants, better-kept buildings and cost savings.

  • Home Security is an essential aspect of property management, and gadgets like burglar alarms, CCTV, motion sensors and locks are nothing new. Smart locks, however, could make your property more secure by keeping track of who enters the building and when, and eliminating the need for keys.
  • Energy efficiency can make a big difference to your running costs. Communal heating systems in blocks of flats can reduce energy use dramatically as well as requiring less maintenance, while smart thermostats offer intelligent features that help tenants to only use the energy they need.
  • Automatic leak detectors sense extra moisture in the air and alert the property manager, who can take action to fix the leak before it causes serious damage.

Property management technology in offices and commercial property

Office blocks and other commercial properties can make use of all the above technologies to improve the process of building maintenance, and more. The following issues and applications are especially relevant to the commercial sector though:

  • Access control technology is a vital aspect of any commercial property, with security always a key concern for property managers. One emerging technology that tackles this issue is facial recognition software (particularly used in shopping centres), which is becoming more common as a way to grant or refuse access. Biometric technology, which utilises the unique features in the retinas or fingerprints to recognise authorised users, is another growing trend for access control.
  • Every commercial building has to have an energy performance certificate and will be given an EPC rating. From April 2018 it became unlawful to let residential or commercial properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’. If a property is below a D then it has to be brought up to standard and made more energy efficient. Some ways managing agents can make properties more energy efficient include:
    • use of LED lighting,
    • managing lux levels by reducing the level of light according to actual needs, so energy isn’t spent unnecessarily,
    • reducing solar gain by employing design solutions such as brise soleil to allow low-level winter sun to enter a building, but to shade higher, summer sun.
  • Building inspections are an essential but time-consuming aspect of property management. In the future it’s likely that drones will increasingly be employed to carry out surveys, with minimal disruption to the running of the building. (They can also be used to access hard-to-reach or unsafe areas).
  • Securing new tenants is a big part of property management, and it’s usual for property managers to conduct tours in person. With the advent of virtual reality and augmented reality, however, the initial tours may be a thing of the past, as potential business tenants can judge the suitability of a property without having to physically set foot inside.

The world of property management is changing fast. For advice on adopting the latest technologies or help taking care of your commercial or residential portfolio, contact the friendly team at David Charles Property Consultants.