The multifamily market is strong. This year, investment volumes grew alongside substantial nationwide rent growth and renter demand. With such strong natural growth, what is the incentive for property management companies to invest in new technology that promises to boost efficiencies? That was the chief question posed at the Innovative Investment & Facilities Management through Technologies panel at RealShare Apartments yesterday in Los Angeles. The answer unanimously from the panelists—which included Amy McGrath, director at Goulston & Storrs; Mike Ballard, partner at Ascent Multifamily Accounting; Ron Rossi, VP of business development of investor management services; and Gary Kao, general manager at Dealpath—was that technology adoption is imperative for future, sustained growth.

The millennial demographic is one reason why property managers need to integrate technology into an apartment complex. “We are seeing a demographic shift with millennials that are using technology for everything, and they want to manage their investments online,” Rossi said on the panel. “That is pushing firms to adopt technology.” This is a major driver of technology adoption, and both Ballard and Kao said that the millennial demographic is demanding more technology, but not only as renters. Millennials are also working in the property management field, and want to use technology platforms to manage properties. “Young individuals want to work with companies that are using new technologies,” added Rossi.

Technology integration isn’t the only hurdle. Management companies also need to make the most of the technology that they have. “We see a lot of clients don’t use half of the technology that the system enables them to do,” said Ballard. “So, companies should push employees to get the most out of their existing systems, because you are already paying for it.” Firms are also adopting new technologies from industry hires. Ballard adds that employees moving to new companies has been a good way to spread technology adoption.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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