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In the inaugural release of AppFolio’s Property Management Benchmark Report, findings show a strong sense of optimism among nearly 5,000 employees of U.S. based property management companies. The report says that 81% of respondents expect their organization’s revenue to increase in 2023 and 72% expect net operating income (NOI) to grow. These increases in revenue and NOI are expected results from the addition of new units (55%) and improving customer service (42%).

“Property managers see the challenges before them but still view 2023 as a year of growth, whether that means expanding their portfolios, hiring new staff and improving culture, or streamlining and automating existing processes to create a more efficient organization. Notably, there’s a strong focus on staff happiness and hiring new employees—it’s encouraging to see the property management industry contributing to U.S. job growth,” says Shane Trigg, general manager of real estate at AppFolio. “We are thrilled to power the industry leaders that look at the projected challenges of 2023 not just as something to overcome but as opportunities to improve and thrive.”

While more than half of respondents (52%) plan to hire additional staff, hiring and retaining talent are top of mind, and increases in prominence among larger organizations with more staff. Other concerns cited by 46% of respondents include inflation and delinquencies across all sizes of residential property management organizations.

The report shares that 59% of respondents working for a company with more than 5,000 units say that cost reduction is a top focus. In terms of operational improvements, respondents for all size companies hope to make financial interactions easier for both residents and the companies they work for. This includes 46% who want to process more rent payments online and 42% who want to improve their accounts payable process.

Larger property management companies are more likely to use tech built for special functions, the report finds. For organizations with more than 5,000 units, 73% use document management and storage; 57% use maintenance management; 53% use utility management; and 51% use CRM solutions.

Only 24% of respondents have added smart entry or loT services, and 15% have added AI or chatbots for leasing communications into their existing tech stack.