2020 has truly been unparalleled in so many ways due to the pandemic, which has radically affected our industry. The consensus is that many of these changes are going to be permanent. Industry experts say that COVID-19 really accelerated the digital transformation course we were on anyway.
The pandemic made us rethink what’s important to us, what our priorities are, and how we can be as successful by changing how we work. And forward-thinking property managers will need to meet us there.
Something to ponder about: In as little as 10 months, we have gone from managers having to work from home to managers having to work on-site.
Property management companies have some serious re-evaluating to do in 2021 and beyond. Working from home or in fact working from anywhere has proven to be very effective for thousands of managers throughout North America. Using the right technology, they have been able to manage communities remotely and at the same time also been able to provide a great resident experience. Executives also are beginning to understand why investing in technology built specifically for the need of managers and residents is important.
For the first time, executives fully understand what “digital transformation” really means. Managers have always used a mix of different solutions, and they are by default ‘digital’. But to truly digitally transform means we need to move away from manual processes and make use of Resident Experience Management platforms.
Let’s take a look at what this accelerated digital transformation might look like in our industry, and what changes we expect to stick around.
Residents working from home
The pandemic has normalized remote work, which has many benefits. Residents no longer have to commute, saving them time and money. Also, an improvement in work-life balance has been measured.
We believe that a workplace transformation in the wake of Covid-19 has occurred, meaning that buildings will be occupied by more residents during work-hours contra pre-COVID. However, we also believe that a hybrid working environment will be preferred by both employers and employees that will balance the efficiencies gained by working from home with benefits of social interactions at the office.
An increase in amenity booking
As residents are spending more time in their buildings, amenities are being booked as never before. Not only are party rooms, clubhouses, guest suites and service elevators being booked as ever before, we’ve seen pools, gyms and BBQs requiring reservations due to social distancing.
Residents also want to prevent increased exposure and prefer not to share facilities with too many people at the same time. We therefore believe that property managers will face challenges in limiting occupancy and allowing residents to book and attend a specified time slot for pools and gyms in particular.
An increase in parcel deliveries
The parcel delivery business throughout North America skyrocketed during the pandemic. The convergence of numerous factors – including millennials’ preference for online shopping, coupled with COVID requirements of physical distancing and contactless delivery – has changed the way we shop.
We believe that consumers may return to shopping at physical stores once social distancing begins to ease up, however a significant portion of online shopping may be here to stay. This may lead to an increase in unsecured parcels being dropped in lobbies and front-desk staff will have to deal with liability concerns around potential theft and managing these parcels efficiently.
Adapting to remote operations
As mentioned earlier, COVID-19 has forced property managers into a remote work environment, and while inspections and repair are onsite duties, the transition to remote working has proven that many other tasks can still be completed off-site.
Managers can address resident concerns, communicate with staff and oversee day-to-day operations being off-site. Board meetings and Annual General Meetings are being held online and online discussion boards are replacing physical events.
We believe that remote management will be an integral part of managing buildings for years to come, and it is therefore in the best interest of management companies to adjust to this post-COVID trend.
Schedule a meeting with our experts today and see for your self why our Resident Experience Management platform is the ideal solution to your management challenges.