Jo Oliveri: Why property management is facing a do or die moment

The property management industry is hurtling towards a definitive ‘do or die’ moment in history, and it is time for the industry to take action.

Remaining stagnant in the face of advancing technologies and shifting consumer expectations could render the industry irrelevant, unsustainable, and ripe for disruption from external forces.

The narratives of industry upheavals, such as the taxi industry’s tussle with technology and Uber’s emergence, serve as cautionary tales.

The taxi sector’s journey from denial to challenging ride share giants took years, with the once-valuable taxi licenses now rendered worthless, highlighting the profound consequences of resisting change.

Similarly, turning our gaze back to the corner grocery store reveals a parallel story.

Once thriving and cherished family businesses, they succumbed to the dominance of large grocery chains, because they failed to grasp the changing demands for convenience and competitive pricing.

The demise of the friendly neighbourhood corner store underscored a failure to recognise evolving consumer preferences and the consequent devaluation of customer relationships.

Fast-forwarding to 2024, and the decline of department stores mirrors a struggle against the onslaught of online shopping.

Major closures, including Myer’s Brisbane city store and Macy’s across the US, highlight the struggle to balance online and physical store experiences.

These department stores faltered in adapting to rising overheads and declining in-store sales, ultimately paying the price for neglecting to strategise and future-proof against the evolving demands of shoppers.

This brings us to the candid discussion about property management.

It’s time for an honest conversation, fostering collaboration with the aim of disrupting the property management industry from within.

While some argue that technology has already disrupted the sector, there’s a deeper potential waiting to be unlocked.

Contrary to the belief that technology contributes solely to the demise of property management, I believe that it’s the key to the industry’s transformation and, ultimately, disruption from within.

The industry needs to get savvy and use tech tools, not as threats, but as catalysts to ‘uberise’ and ‘futurise’ property management services.

It’s an opportunity for a paradigm shift, one that positions technology as an enabler for continued relevance and viability in the dynamic landscape of real estate.

In 2024, we have witnessed the tectonic shifts in numerous industry sectors.

We must acknowledge that property management, too, has reached its own watershed moment.

The current technological landscape is not just a harbinger of change; it’s a toolkit waiting to be harnessed for internal disruption.

Gone are the days when property management was synonymous with cumbersome processes, chatty property managers, outdated technology, and disconnected communication.

The vanguard of this transformation is a cadre of industry insiders who recognise the need for a progressive approach to meet the evolving demands of property owners, tenants, and stakeholders alike.

Acknowledging the industry’s reluctance to embrace change due to perceived client relationship risks, the reality is that existing processes are already causing substantial client and financial losses.

The future of property management isn’t a distant concept; it’s an exciting reality that beckons a new era of sustainability, viability, and profitability.

Embracing advanced technologies and new skills, along with artificial intelligence, data analytics, and smart workflow programs and streamlining operations, enhances decision-making, and ensures tasks are completed timely and effectively, are key to internal disruption.

Automation is becoming the cornerstone of property management operational strategy, expediting routine tasks, and enabling property managers to focus on more strategic aspects of their role, such as delivering on promised results and client experience.

Contrary to the perception that technology contributes solely to the demise of property management, it actually holds the key to its resurgence.

The likes of Trudi AI and Flussos workflows are not just the undermining platforms for disruption, but rather the launchpads into a reimagined future of property management.

However, as with launching the most sophisticated rockets, a solid launchpad is crucial.

To maintain relevance and profitability, property management demands heavy-duty thinking from inventive, innovative industry thought leaders and collaborators.

The formula for success lies in seamlessly amalgamating team, talent, and technology.

In a meeting of minds in South America scheduled for later this year, a collective of industry thought leaders, time travellers, and paradigm jumpers have been invited to converge to collaborate, challenge and create.

Representing diverse facets, including technology and external influencers, the elite group will work together to strategise, uberise, and futurise property management.

Sculpting together, a robust platform, ensuring that property management not only disrupts from within but also emerges stronger, adaptive, and resilient in the face of an ever-changing real estate landscape. 

As Dave Clare, CEO and Founder of Circle Leadership Global, astutely noted, “It is less about the future of property management and more about how the future will impact property management as it stands today”.

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