Technology in the Canadian apartment industry

Mainstreet-apartments-technology

The apartment business has evolved and changed drastically over the last decade welcoming technology into every aspect of the business. As of today just about every aspect of the apartment industry has been affected by the use of technology from the way an apartment is found to the way rent is paid for and it continues to change and evolve with advancing technology.

Starting with a search for an apartment there has been major changes. Gone are the days of waiting for the morning newspaper to arrive to browse through the classified ads to see what apartments are available. Now with the simple use of the internet you can find 85% – 95% of all available apartments in any given city with just a simple search.

Once an apartment is found an email can be sent to determine if the suite is still available, many businesses including ours even have it set up so an applicant can apply online for the apartment. An application can be processed much quicker and with the use of the internet a business can help screen the applicants in ways never possible before from credit and background checks to references.

Lease documents can be electronically prepared and we are on the verge of using tablets to sign documents then only needing to print off a single copy for the tenant reducing paperwork by half.

Technology is also used for repairs needed in a suite, electronic requests can be sent directly to maintenance staff by the building manager as soon as the request comes via smart phone, this helps ensure work is completed in a timely manner. The use of smart phones also puts staff and tenants in constant communication making sure tenant needs can be well looked after.

Tenant information is filed in a property management software where records of a suites entire history are kept right down to detailed interactions with the building manager, tenant lease and rent details, repair requests, rent payments, rent receipts, tenant ledgers and anything else that an apartment business may want to be record about an apartment. Gone are the days of having multiple filing cabinets for just one building’s records. Thousands of records can be stored in one easy to use software program that is user friendly and can be accessed quickly, from anywhere with an internet connection. Tenants can pay rent via multiple ways, yes some may still use post dated cheques, but most have rent withdrawn directly from their account monthly eliminating the chance for late rent and providing a convenience never available before. Also in use are portable debit machines giving the tenants the option of paying rent instantly at their door.

Building security is greatly increased with the use of security cameras and intercoms on lobby doors making safer homes for the tenants of the apartment.

Computer technology is involved every step of the way in the tenant and landlord relationship, and is sure to evolve at an even quicker pace than we have seen to date.

Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a publicly traded (TSX: MEQ) residential real estate company in Canada. Mainstreet currently owns and operates properties in Surrey, BC; New Westminster, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB; Cochrane, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort Saskatchewan, AB; and Saskatoon, SK.

Mainstreet provides affordable, renovated apartment suites to Canadians, and is committed to creating real value without diluting shareholder interests.

About the Author
Shawn LeBlanc

Shawn is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Mainstreet's Abbotsford portfolio.

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