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Software Property Managers Must Build Into 2019’s Budget

October 12, 2018
Bill payment software -- Woman at desk

Property managers often look for new tools and strategies to improve profits while cutting costs. They’re still tasked with juggling multiple properties, maintenance, and budgets and most property managers lack the right technology to handle it all.

According to the recent State of Property Management report, in the coming decade, the property management industry is expected to grow by at least 12.5 million new households. For most property management companies with limited resources, keeping up with growth goals can seem impossible.

With plans for profits and portfolios taking shape for 2019, there are a few resources your property management company needs to improve efficiency, relationships, and spend. Here’s a look at the top three tools that property management companies must budget for to maintain control and gain a competitive edge.

Maintenance Management Software

Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) is far from new tech for property management companies, but the latest cutting-edge features can transform the routine property management tasks. Today’s CMMS gives property managers the power to schedule maintenance and renovations, process work orders, record safety permits, and manage inventory.

When regular maintenance is needed, CMMS features eliminate guessing. the technology gathers information from individual records to predict when service is required. With modern CMMS, your team will often have visibility to these records for compliance, audits, and reporting for data-driven decisions.

When considering a new CMMS, look for one that’s cloud-based to improve mobility and visibility regardless of where your team is. Also, find a CMMS that allows you to keep your existing systems. Most CMMS can be linked to existing accounting software to effectively manage budgeting, purchases, and payments without scattered emails and piles of paper. Connecting the two also makes it easy to streamline the purchase-to-pay process accurately without manual approvals or invoice entry.

Data Integration

Property management companies are often faced with choosing between increasing profits or portfolios – rarely both consecutively. However, it’s impossible to make the right moves without data.

According to BOMA’s 2018 Commercial Real Estate Technology Trends, only 36 percent of businesses are highly effective in integrating available data into systems and processes to support business decisions.

As critical as data is to make the right decisions, it’s also important to find the right technology to support your property management company’s demands. Crunching numbers and juggling formulas can make data digestion tough. Your team should consider a fully integrated database to relieve the stress that comes from inefficiency. The database should have the ability to easily handle all aspects of vendors, properties, tenancies, and purchases. A few gains to gradually expect include:

  • A clean, centralized, controlled view of your property portfolio and purchases. Your team will also have better visibility to manage cash flow and budgets effectively.
  • Better reporting with accurate data. Your team will also be able to report on the progress and success of projects to make better projections for new ones.
  • Report on your property and business performance with ease. You’ll also be able to determine your company’s priorities and key performance indicators to make future investments confidently.

Operationally speaking, you’ll have a reduced risk of human error.

Additionally, you’ll have all the information needed to improve internal processes at your fingertips. You may also develop better relationships with other departments and partners that drive your company’s success. As a team, you’ll be able to collaborate using the same data sets without confusion. Most importantly, you’ll have the numbers needed to determine ineffective spend and cut costs with clarity.

When researching and comparing data systems, consider one that integrates seamlessly with your ERP and property management systems. For example, some systems enable integrated management of all real estate and facilities costs, suppliers, and purchases. Seamless data integration eases the accounts payable process with paper-free centralization.

Accounts Payable and Payment Automation

Unfortunately, many industries are sticking to manual AP processes and cutting paper checks to pay vendors. In property management, the AP manager is responsible for managing bills, expenses, purchases, employees, maintenance, and other critical payments that drive the company.

Reaching growth goals while scaling is complex. It’s about balancing time, money, and resources. Many industries, including property management, are hesitant to implement AP automation solutions for a few reasons.

PayStream Advisors listed top arguments for not implementing automation including current processes working just fine, lack of budget, and lack of executive sponsorship. But, here are a few figures to consider:

2018 ePayables Benchmarks show that the average company takes over eight days and pay $11.57 to process a single invoice. On the other hand, best-in-class businesses that implemented AP automation only take three days and spend $2.52 to prepare a single invoice. They also have a 2.4x higher rate of straight-through invoice and payment processing.

AP automation solutions handle the heavy lifting of manual invoice data entry, approvals, payment disbursements, vendor verification, and data reconciliation. Another bonus of AP automation is less work in the long-term. Tax season, audits, budget, and month-end closings are simplified with all of the data in one centralized, cloud-based location.

When researching automation solutions, there are a few features to look for. Ensure the solution connects seamlessly to your existing ERP or accounting system to maximize use and streamline the accounts payable process. Your AP automation or payment solution should also allow customization to digitize your organization’s existing manual operations in a way that mirrors how you work today. Most importantly, your team shouldn’t worry about a steep learning curve. Your solution’s support service should make the transition smooth and simple. For more information about AP and payment solutions for property managers, our experts are ready to assist. Schedule a demo today!

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