2020 has been a year that will forever be etched in the memories of everyone on the planet, largely for all the wrong reasons. But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. The property management industry has shown incredible strength and resilience through very challenging times and we have seen the approval of a number of positive rental reforms that have been rolled out.
2020, what a year! Let’s begin our wrap-up of a tough year with the obvious: COVID-19. Not only did the global pandemic change the world and send almost all of us into lockdown for various periods of time, it also changed the way we conduct business, property management being no exception.
We started communicating more effectively than ever before, using whatever technology we had available, most notably ZOOM, Facetime, and some smart new apps created specifically for our industry, like KONECT. In fact, the crisis paved the way for fast-tracking new technology and rapid decision-making. We all became more adaptable and agile, with most of us working from home and using video streaming technology like KONECT to conduct our routine inspections. (Click here to read how this app helped property managers stay connected with tenants from a safe distance during lockdown and keep their landlords happy). As property managers you all proved yourselves to be quick thinking, adaptable and resilient during unprecedented times. We believe many of the positive changes that happened in response to COVID-19 will live on as they taught us all to work smarter.
You would be forgiven for thinking that COVID-19 was all that happened in 2020 in the world of property management. Here’s a brief rundown of other milestones that happened this year.
An annual national day was announced to celebrate property managers
July 24 was the inaugural National Property Managers Day, a day the Australian property management industry celebrated the hard work and tireless efforts of real estate’s quiet achievers. The brainchild of the REINSW and supported by the REIA and all other state and territory Real Estate Institutes, the initiative was launched to recognise the phenomenal efforts of residential and commercial property managers Australia-wide as you have all adapted your business practices through unchartered territory during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will now be an annual event.
Australia saw the need for rental reforms and took action
Before any of us had even heard of COVID-19 or WHO, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a series of evidence-based guidelines for healthy housing policies in 2019. It was found at the time that we were behind other countries like New Zealand, the US and the UK on healthy housing. In fact, we learned a lot from our neighbours in New Zealand about their Healthy Homes Standards, which came into effect on July 1, 2019. From that date, it became mandatory for all rental homes in New Zealand to have adequate ceiling and underfloor insulation. Since then, the country has been progressively rolling out the full Healthy Homes Standards. So, another good thing to come out of COVID-19 in Australia was that it forced us to closely examine how we approach health and its connection to our homes as a nation and protect our populations, especially those most vulnerable, with many tenants falling into that category.
We had begun a series of rental reforms with tenant health and safety a core focus. New South Wales’ new residential tenancy laws came into effect on 23 March 2020, the date the state went into lockdown. Click here for details or head to your regulatory body’s website for details on the current status of rental reforms in your state or territory.
We have also been extremely productive in 2020 here at Maintenance Manager. Some of the highlights were:
- The release of KONECT video streaming and recording service in response to COVID-19.
- A number of exciting new initiatives for tradies:
- RemoteQuote video streaming app with digital measuring technology to facilitate rapid, accurate quoting without the need to attend the site.
- Trade websites are now available to help support and grow their businesses
- The Maintenance Manager Trade Onboarding Team has grown to help, and support tradies get the most out of the platform
- Maintenance Manager’s partnership with Console Cloud launched Console Maintenance Pro – finally ONE SYSTEM! This exciting partnership provides property managers using Console with the ability to manage maintenance more efficiently and with greater automation all within Console Cloud.
So, while 2020 presented us with challenges we never saw coming, it also opened up a number of opportunities, that the industry grabbed and ran with as well as opportunities to shine and show the world what we’re made of.
Congratulations property managers! We always knew you were a resilient bunch, but you have proven that you truly have what it takes to go above and beyond.