Like all UK industries, property is impacted by COVID-19 and the effect of the gradual lifting of lockdown on the way it works. But despite this ‘new normal’, we cannot ignore our sector’s other key issues. For property managers, the pandemic has elevated customer service to prime position and technology is now key to the ways in which our customers’ property journey can be enabled and enhanced.
In response, today the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) publishes the fourth part of its 2020 Tech Insight programme. Consumer experience counts: how data is transforming the customer’s property journey is a white paper focusing on the ways in which technology can support the transition of property management from a mainly technical operation to a far more customer-facing business, while at the same time empowering residents and promoting their wellbeing.
The IRPM brought together a group of leading industry experts to discuss the way in which digital solutions can be used to communicate with and provide more carefully tailored services to customers. Property managers must rapidly become more consumer-focused and building management services must be moved up the value chain via carefully considered use of technology. If this isn’t clearly demonstrated to the customer, there is an increased risk that roles will be replaced by AI.
The white paper captures this conversation, highlighting the challenges now being faced and sets out next steps for the property management profession.
Key points are that:
- Two-way communication and transparency of information are central to building trust and meeting consumer needs.
- Effective use of the digital toolkit to power-up service levels is likely to be one of the future benchmarks against which the value of property management services will be measured.
- Having a coherent and cohesive vision for the future across the sector is crucial.
To address these challenges, the paper pinpoints the need for:
- Cross-industry collaboration to identify the actions required to promote transparency and inter-operability of the platforms we use.
- Property industry professionals to come together to protect customers’ data and create effective standards to govern the way we operate.
- Improved communication channels to find out what customers, managers and regulators want from technology and work collaboratively with providers to deliver the right solutions.
Launching the White Paper today, Andrew Bulmer, CEO of IRPM said: “These discussions and white papers are intended to kick-start the conversation on how technology is already impacting residential building management services and how the sector will capture the best possible outcomes from future changes coming towards us. Customers are now benchmarking their customer service expectations against Amazon, Google and Netflix. These businesses are built around the customer experience and property management services will follow suit.