The number of renters in the US is steadily increasing. According to Statista, 34.4% of the homes in the US are rented. Serving this market are around 326,000 registered property management companies in the US, with the larger firms having rentals, residential communities, and commercial properties across the country. The management company’s top priorities are to maintain properties in the best condition possible while keeping their tenants happy. When a large company owns hundreds or thousands of houses and apartments across many states and manages them through a call center, personal service and attention become a challenge.
Let’s say you are a tenant and have a problem with your heating system. Or a leak with the kitchen faucet. Both issues are annoying, but the heating is the top priority and should be taken care of immediately, especially in the winter. You contact the call center and explain your situation, but the best possible outcome they can offer would be for them to send someone out to your home. That could take hours or even days, depending on technician availability. But what if this is only a minor problem or can be solved through a set number of instructions with expert guidance? Here is where visual assistance can be a game changer.
How Remote Visual Assistance Benefits Property Managers and Their Tenants
Successfully Handling Problems Remotely
Using your smartphone and visual assistance technology, you can show the call center agent the thermostat and the heating unit and often get a resolution on the spot. The agent sees what you see through your smartphone, and by using augmented reality on their computer they can then guide you by drawing an arrow on that picture or video you took, pointing out which button to press or which LED lights should be working. Many problems like these can be fixed quickly when the agent has their eyes on the issue. When you are trying to describe the problem without the possibility of showing them exactly what you mean, this complicates the situation because the agent is literally “flying blind”.
Time Saved on Both Sides
If a technician needs to be sent to your home for a major repair, now they have seen the problem for themselves and know what parts and tools to bring. Making the right repair the first time optimizes the technician’s time and helps the customer prevail in a difficult situation. The benefits are obvious for all involved: technicians have more time to help other customers, agents can resolve more problems on an immediate basis, management saves money through optimizing repair processes, and customers get faster resolution and are not asked to wait for hours until the repair person shows up.
Saving a Trip For Home Inspection
When a tenant is moving out, it requires a walk-through of the property to inspect for damages. But what if the property is far away and scheduling the inspection is complex? Using a smartphone to visualize the property walk-through remotely through a live video call now becomes an option. If major damage is found that requires a specialist to determine costs, a second trip to the site can be saved with one video inspection.
Clear Billing Explanations
Customers will always have questions about billing items. Discussing any discrepancies over the phone opens up possibilities of misunderstandings and arguments. If the agent can actually see the statement and highlight specific items through an augmented reality feature (circling numbers being discussed or drawing arrows to call attention to a certain detail), it makes invoices easier to understand. With their eyes on the statement, the agent can also make sure both they and the customer are looking at the same bill.
Anticipating Future Problems Through Vision
If a tenant is showing an agent obvious damage through visual inspection, there could be additional issues that a trained eye could catch that the tenant might not recognize. Seeing another potential repair problem the tenant hasn’t yet noticed, like corroded pipes, can save both the tenant and the property management company recurring visits and aggravation.
Seeing is Believing for Property Managers
As rents increase in the coming years, tenants will expect better service from property management companies. Finding a way to (1) solve problems faster, (2) in a more personal way, (3) while saving money, (4) using available technology makes visual assistance a natural solution for property managers.
Schedule a demo for a free consultation with our experts to see how this technology can benefit you.