How technology can help you manage your built-to-rent investments

Research carried out by the British Property Federation (BPF) has found that the number of build-to-rent homes completed in Q4 of 2018 increased by 29% from 2017 in the same period. In total, there are now 139,508 build-to-rent homes complete, under construction and in planning across the UK.

Build-to-rent offers great opportunities for property investors, and demand for more affordable private rental properties is expected to increase alongside the development of new build-to-rent units. Recent forecasts by PwC property consultants expect to see 60% of Londoners living in rented accommodation by 2025.

Build-to-rent has experienced considerable growth in the last few years, and for the first time the total number of completed build-to-rent homes across the UK regions has caught up with the total in London. Outside London there were 14,615 completed homes while in London there were 14,801 completed. At the end of last year it was announced that there are 66,718 build-to-rent homes in planning.

With the build-to-rent market successfully growing, it is important that focus now turns to what technology will be able to improve efficiency and transparency in the property sector. There is a clear need to modernise property management, starting with more transparent and consistent levels of service.

So, what’s the solution? Companies need to innovate and adopt cutting-edge business processes and advance the use of technology as a means of measuring, monitoring and maintaining consistent standards.

The rise of digitisation has led to more and more property professionals moving their businesses online onto the “cloud”. By introducing software designed specifically for the property sector, landlords and agents can streamline their businesses, allowing them to scale more easily or simply reduce the cost of running their current businesses. PropTech platforms also allow companies to further professionalise and formalise their business processes, thanks to the many white labelling and customisation options available.

There are now lots of different software out there to make your life easier. Arthur Online offers an innovative property management software solution that simplifies management of tenancies.  Arthur Online has everything you need to manage properties in a single platform, connecting property managers to tenants, contractors and owners.

For the occupiers, using an app allows them to raise and track maintenance issues, access documents, track their rental statements and so much more. This gives landlords peace of mind, and in the long term this will help promote a more fruitful relationship with tenants, improving trust and therefore tenant retention.

Today’s market has lots of different software being used in a disconnected manner, increasing the costs of running office technology. Arthur Online’s open API technology offers one platform with several integrations, eliminating double entry and providing additional services such as references.

One of the areas that property managers can waste a lot of time on is financials. Property managers can now using cloud accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks to follow live payments and reconcile charges to easily see the state of their portfolio, both of which are integrated on Arthur Online.  There are also new payment portals such as GoCardless and Stripe which allow property managers to have greater control over charging and recharging tenants.

By linking management platforms together, automated communication can be set-up to notify tenants of outstanding charges. In creating a more streamlined process, arrears can be reduced and time can be saved, thus making the management of a property built-to-let portfolio easier.

The next few years will see a lot of change as we continue to see accelerated adoption of PropTech in the build-to-rent sector, with the UK leading the way.