The pandemic has been the catalyst for a bevy of changes in realestate. While there have been a lot of predictions as to how longthe pandemic will last and the long-term impact, some changes arecertainly here to stay. Property managers are busy weighing thelong-term changes, and a recent survey fromAppfolio shows that many are prepared for thesenew norms to be permanent.


"The changes property management is facing due to the pandemicare both temporary and permanent," Stacy Holden,industry principal and director at AppFolio, tells"While it is impossible to predict which technologies will beadopted long-term, our survey respondents did have some thoughts onthat topic. For example, 62% of respondents think virtual showingsare here to stay. Eighty-seven percent of respondents think bulkemail/text messaging is here for the long term, and 84% think thisis true for mobile data access."


The pandemic has also highlighted inefficiencies that existedbefore, and forced some property managers that had staved offtechnology adoption to make the transition. Those changes willalmost certainly be permanent. "Property managers that previouslyhad gaps in accessing their data and business performance insights,communications and virtual leasing experiences, are now feelingthose gaps even more because of the rapid pivot to remote work,"says Holden. "There now exists a new and lasting urgency aroundsolving these gaps with modern technologies. Technology is notgoing away—once property management sees the value of differenttechnologies in action, why would they revert to not using it?Digital transformation is going to continue to filter into everyaspect of property management."


From the consumer perspective, ease of virtual tours andincreased sanitation will also continue to be in high demand longafter the pandemic. "The other aspect to consider is that digitaltools make the experience for renters and prospective renterseasier and more intuitive," says Holden. "Prior to COVID-19, theexpectation of consumers was already transformed to on-demand andmobile experiences—as property management businesses moved tomaintain service levels during the pandemic, meeting theseexpectations became even more urgent for them. There is also thesafety aspect, many residents may still be weary of in-personinteractions, so any technology that can eliminate the need forthose interactions can put them more at ease."


In many ways, the pandemic has only accelerated the trends intechnology for property managers. "Innovations in propertymanagement technology enable property management teams to spendmore time developing relationships with prospects and residents,which is always good for business, no matter what outside realitiesexist," says Holden.

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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.