Like just about every other industry in our rapidly-changing world, property management is in a constant state of evolution—so long as those in the industry are willing to stay in sync with the latest trends. At a recent event hosted by CRE Tech (Commercial Real Estate Technology) at the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) in Manhattan, industry thought leaders discussed how technology is transforming property management, and what these trends mean for the future of real estate.

Though CRE primarily focuses on commercial real estate management, the same trends influencing commercial real estate are gaining prominence in residential. Here are some of the trends they discussed, and how they are transforming all forms of property management in America.

AR & VR for Space Planning & Marketing

Augmented and virtual reality may bring gaming to mind first and foremost, but for real estate, they have pretty big implications. At the event, Marc Rehberger of Matterport led a session about how 2D representations of flat data are being transformed into 3D renderings of complex datasets, providing more insight on physical spaces than ever.

Matterport creates virtual tours for buyers and renters to provide immersive, online viewing experiences of real-world spaces. As technologies like theirs gain prominence, virtual tours of commercial and residential real estate will become commonplace. This capability is one that property management companies should take note of, or even adopt, to stay ahead of the curve.  

Cloud Services for Real Estate Management

Another educational session was led by Peter Boritz of Real Data Management (RDM), who discussed the potential of the cloud as a platform for innovation in the real estate industry. Smart property managers, Boritz explained, will adopt cloud technology to manage properties and entire business ecosystems on-demand with great efficiency.

RDM’s software and solutions are tailor-made for the commercial real estate industry, and their flagship software RealAccess is designed to help real estate professionals market, manage and lease their entire portfolio with ease.

Cybersecurity for Smart Properties

Buildings are becoming more and more connected to the Internet of Things, making cybersecurity is a growing concern. As real estate takes on this extra virtual layer, the protection of its digital property becomes as critical as its physical one; in many cases, the two are linked.

At CRE Tech’s event, Michael Mullin of Integrated Business Systems (IBS) explained why this is a growing concern for the real estate industry, and a potential liability as well.

Experience Management & Community Building

The event also delved into the idea that property management must take on “experience management” and community building to adapt to the changing nature of life and work. Building Engine’s Scott Sidman led a session on this concept and the necessity of a shift in approach to management.

Building Engines provides software that helps property managers set service delivery priorities, alert and notify tenants, vendors, and staff, and track performance against goals. Their software was designed “from the ground up,” first gleaning insight from industry thought leaders and customer feedback, then building a unified platform with their needs in mind. This people-oriented approach is one reason Sidman believes property managers need to view their duties more holistically moving forward.

Tech Improving Operations & Efficiency

Lastly, a distinguished panel of industry experts addressed the more general idea that technology can help improve the overall operations and efficiency of property management. The panel discussed smart buildings, technology adoption by tenants and property managers, data transparency and sustainability, among other pertinent topics.

The overall theme is that technology is—and will continue—shaping property management’s advancement. Embracing these trends will help tenants and industry insiders alike move more seamlessly, and harmoniously, into the future of real estate.