Conrad Pool has seen first-hand how a new generation of high-tech tools can reshape an entire business sector. The president of Ottawa-based Sleepwell Property Management, one of Ottawa’s largest third-party property management firms, says his company’s experience shows how the strategic application of GPS technology, cloud-based software and video communications improves the experiences of property owners, tenants and employees alike.
“I came to the realization that the industry really had not progressed,” Pool says. “I was determined to find solutions for not only my company, but solutions that would help our clients – landlords and tenants.”
Technology plays a crucial role in the operations of Sleepwell on several levels, starting with its fleet of GPS-enabled trucks. With real-time tracking of the location of each company vehicle, office staff can dispatch the closest and most qualified service technician to each job. This reduces fuel consumption and allows Sleepwell to provide accurate estimates of when its staff will arrive at a property.
The efficiencies created by Sleepwell’s system allow work to be completed in the most timely and cost-effective way – critical for a firm that’s sharply focused on maximizing ROI for its clients.
“It allows us to know where everybody is and dispatch the most efficient resource,” Pool says. “Property managers, leasing agents and service techs – all three levels are dispatched and tracked on the GPS system.”
Insights for landlords
Sleepwell has also implemented mobile apps to help with everything from move-in and move-out inspections to maintenance reports. Sleepwell staff can take photos, record video and generate reports using mobile devices, and send this data directly to the office and team without having to physically return to the office.
The secure software allows Sleepwell to create fully accessible tenant profiles, organize maintenance reports, stay on top of rent collection, facilitate document signing and much more.
All told, it means Sleepwell can keep property owners informed and provide them with comprehensive, timely and easily accessible records.
“It’s a game-changer,” Pool says.
Sleepwell has also utilized technology to increase the ease of property showings. If a prospective tenant is unable to view a rental unit in person, Sleepwell can arrange a virtual showing that allows the would-be renter to view the property remotely.
“We take a video and post it for them online,” Pool says. “Everything links back to our software platform, where we keep the videos stored. It’s just a nice feature and an added benefit for those people who are unable to make it to the property, or who live out of the city.”
These capabilities also benefit landlords, ensuring every unit is being marketed to its full potential and to as many tenants as possible.
Pool says Sleepwell’s embrace of new technology is already paying dividends for its clients.
“Whether they’re a landlord or tenant, they’re really excited about having these new features available to them,” he says. “This is an industry that traditionally lagged behind other sectors in terms of technological advances. Not anymore.”
Learn more about Sleepwell's high-tech approach to property management here.