Technology impacts real estate in many ways — with the residential housing market in the U.S. worth roughly $23 trillion and commercial real estate worth another $15 trillion, there is no wonder that an ever-growing industry like tech has nurtured a symbiotic relationship with investments and real estate development.
Josh Guttman at TechCrunch reports that real estate is the largest asset class in the U.S. worth an estimated $40 trillion according to an analysis from the Federal Reserve for December 2014.
“Venture funding of real estate technology startups reached a peak in the fourth quarter of 2014, with 32 companies raising nearly $300 million. In total, venture funds invested $605 million in real estate tech in 2014 versus $241 million the year before – more than 2.5x growth. There are a number of signs suggesting the trend will continue through 2015, as the category moves from niche status to one that gains widespread attention.”
Chicago: The “Start-up City”?
Chicago is no stranger to either real estate or tech news. The Second City has been named a great location for innovative entrepreneurs and has been referred to as the “Start-up City” on account of experiencing a huge growth in new business and digital technology developments. For instance, Google will be moving its offices from a River North location to the Fulton Market area in 2016, which has not only added jobs internally but has also attracted other tech companies to the area making the West Loop the go-to hub for techies and real estate developers.
As for technology within the real estate industry, there are many apps and resources to make investing and managing rental properties more efficient than ever. Tech has made rental management much easier by streamlining rent rolls and automated notices with software that makes collecting rent and monitoring tenant payments easier— essentially apps that work as virtual property management tools.
The following tools can help with ensuring that your properties and investments are thoroughly looked after through highly-efficient systems:
A property management system for real estate, Appfolio is a mobile app used for accounting and property management functions with the ability to email work-orders, owner statements, and resident communications. Users can also post vacancy ads and a personal website to better manage their investments.
With a five-star rating, RentMonitor effectively allows landlords and business owners to issue automatic invoicing for online rent collection or past-due notices. This is an inexpensive solution to keep track of all property and tenant situations.
Outsourcing a virtual assistant to help manage your properties and scour real estate directories to generate potential leads can better allow you to focus on other areas of your investments. Costs can be as low as $3-per-hour and delegated tasks for your virtual assistant could include posting relevant information to real estate-centric news or social media platforms, preparing notes for blog articles, managing tenant concerns, following up on leads, and so much more.
Weaving apps into your real estate investment management plans can make it easier to access your properties without having to carry so many keys. This can especially be a lifesaver if your properties span multiple cities, states, or even countries. Increase your productivity and decrease your worries by making an effort to keep up to date with the latest real estate management technology.
This article originally appeared on Realty Times.