With the growing amount of technology now at the hands of Property Managers, the job is inevitably changing a great amount. Now with such application as MonBuilding, tenants of a building are able to log issues directly through a digitalised platform, rather than seeking out an actual person. As well as streamlining the service for tenants, this procedure saves the Property Manager significant amounts of time in terms of organising repairs or checking mundane problems throughout the building. The potential for apps and future types of technology to take over such low-value tasks is extensive and means that technology will certainly become a much greater part of the lives of both the tenants and the Property Manager.
Whilst many of the current tasks of a Property Manager are going to be taken up by computing applications, this is not to say that the role of the Property Manager is in any way going to be diminished, indeed the increase in technology will most likely drive tenants to want greater human interaction with their Property Managers. This idea is highlighted incredibly well in a recent interview that our BNP Paribas Real Estate Germany team had with Silke Möller and Kay Lehmann, Property Managers at TRIANON High-Rise in Frankfurt.
Property Managers: Human contact is key
“Even if I’ve written up a detailed to-do list, I’m usually only able to check off one or two items before the first person is knocking at my door”, says Silke Möller, who has been managing the 186-metre TRIANON high-rise for more than 20 years. Kay Lehmann, who has been a Property Manager at TRIANON for two years, backs up this idea by adding, “Our roles include that of a counsellor and city mayor not to mention all of our duties as Property Managers.”
Whilst of course technology in buildings will provide a means of streamlining minor problems and ease day to day activities, the importance of human connection cannot be underestimated. “To do our job you need to be solution-oriented and able to respond quickly to new developments. People often come to see us with problems and worries and don’t leave until we’ve found a solution”, says Kay Lehmann.
Being at the centre of it all
What is particular about the job of Kay Lehmann and Silke Möller is the fact that they work directly from the TRIANON. This means that being in face to face contact with tenants of the building is of huge importance to their jobs. “We couldn’t be effective at our job if we weren’t on-site” says Kay Lehmann, “the only way to nip tenant and owner problems in the bud is to enable direct communication.” After almost a quarter of a century at TRIANON, Silke Möller has established a basis for trust among tenants that is unique. “Silke is an institution. Standing at the entrance to the high-rise, she can greet almost everyone by name and even has a small anecdote to share with each person,” Kay Lehmann says.
Changes to the role of a Property Manager are inevitable. PropTech is a huge driver for this as real estate becomes more and more aware of the humans within a building and what exactly their needs are. Technology is enabling real estate companies to interact better with the people living or working in these buildings, providing them with digital solutions. This means they are able to interact with a range of services and have a better relationship with the building, be that by being able to book an exercise class at the corporate gym, signal a problem with a faulty lightbulb or consult what’s on the menu at the canteen. It is therefore true that a Property Manager who chooses to embrace technology and the ways that it can enhance and change their job is likely to be successful. It is this combination of technological know-how and human relations skills that will set the bar for the Property Manager of the future. Kay Lehmann and Silke Möller point out that their experiences as Property Managers have meant that they are well equipped for the changes in their jobs, having experienced a range of innovations and building certifications in their time.