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Property Accounting
Connected cloud can supercharge asset operations

Business leaders want three things in 2022: growth, digitalization and efficiency. Cloud software increases productivity and helps improve cash flow. It also offers additional benefits, such as the ability to access data from anywhere, anytime and on any device, and it brings all the daily activities into one centralized workspace for easy collaboration. Cloud software is designed to enhance the user experience, so it can provide tenants with value-added service. Additionally, with automatic data backups, which can be set to run daily, it eliminates the risk of a system failure, while providing leading-edge data security measures to keep data safe. With a pay-for-what-you-need model, it lowers the total cost of ownership and allows managers to scale to meet their needs now and into the future. Where are leading commercial property businesses focusing their attention? Property management and accounting are two mission- critical areas of a business. But are they operating in sync or in separate silos? What would it mean for your commercial real estate business if you could completely integrate property management tasks with your accounting function – in real time? It sounds great in theory but often is hampered by a disconnect between departments due to teams working from different information. Commercial landlords and property managers are now picking the programs that best meet the needs of each of their teams and connecting them in a specialized, fully integrated ecosystem – essentially creating one super platform. This Swiss Army knife approach maintains data accuracy and integrity across all departments while being flexible and scalable. What is the Connected Cloud? The connected cloud, otherwise called an integrated best-in-class ecosystem is a network of SaaS products, chosen by you, that meet the exact needs of your business, both now, and in the future. You are able to start small and expand your software as your business grows, change out services that aren’t working for you and choose software tools that are designed specifically for what your different teams require. There is no need to commit to over-engineered “all-in-one” solutions that you need to change in the future, the connected cloud meets you where you are, and delivers specifically to your requirements. When it comes to property management if you try to be everything to everyone you will undoubtedly end up not serving one part of the party correctly. Accounting is complex with regional differences and over 100 different types of reporting standards. It needs specific tools, as does property management. An all-in-one approach is like using a lawnmower to cut your hair, it won't work as it's not the right tool for a specific job. By using an integrated ecosystem you are able to select the best property management platform, the best accounting software, the best email platform, and connect them together to work as one. The benefits of this include:

Tips and Trends
Stop Applying Residential Approaches to Commercial Property Management

While the business of commercial and residential property management appears to have many similarities, they are fundamentally different and require a different approach to run successfully, from both a personnel and software perspective. All too often commercial property management is run with residential property personnel, and legacy software systems - a model that is increasingly agreed to be broken. As part of a recent webinar, we spoke with Wendy Thompson, owner of Wendy Who? a highly respected professional property consultancy, and Jason Luckhardt, National Manager of NAI Harcourts, the world’s largest network of owner-operated commercial brokerage firms, on why residential approaches don’t work for commercial properties. Watch the full webinar or read below for key takeaways: Why residential and commercial property managers are not made equal While it may seem like a simple transition, not every residential property manager is made for commercial real estate. And vice versa. At its core, the driving motivations between leasing residential and commercial assets are starkly different. “People don't have the necessity in life to have occupied commercial premises, it's a choice that they make, whereas people have a necessity of a roof over their head. So you start off with two very different bases in terms of property management. ” - Jason Luckhardt. These differing approaches then directly affect the service offering and landlord expectations associated with the role, which of course then flows through to the job description and ultimately the appropriate personality type of successful candidates. The role of a commercial property manager is extremely technical and complex, while a residential property manager is largely concerned with efficiencies around property maintenance and tenant satisfaction, From understanding legislative requirements in every region they work in, to managing tax, completing accurate lease administration, and ensuring all compliance is met by both tenant and landlord, the role is extremely business development focused. Being able to interpret macro and micro level reporting and offer timely advice to landlords is another part of the role and requires a person who thinks critically, and is extremely efficient. Given the difficulty of the role, and the vastness of the responsibilities that fall under it, a key component to the long-term success of the property manager, and therefore the business as a whole, is the need for appropriate available software. The importance of fit-for-purpose commercial real estate software “It's so critical to have good systems to be able to help you manage and simplify complexities so that you can focus on the landlord’s investment and maximizing the income to the agency.” - Wendy Thompson. When it comes to commercial real estate management, good reporting is imperative. Whereas a residential property is bricks and mortar and contains one type of tenant, commercial properties can be much more complicated. A multi-level property may have stacking plans, different business usages, car parking - and unique utilities. In a property such as this the landlord will want to see a detailed breakdown of expenses, track the vacancies, negotiate leases and identify the efficiencies in order to be able to derisk their investment and maximise the value of the asset for the owner. This requires both a level of macro and micro reporting that residential software simply cannot supply. "You need a system that allows you to put data in and analyze it locally to look for efficiencies. That's really where you're going to win business” - Jason Luckhardt The complex nature of the amount of information required to manage a commercial property portfolio effectively is not only a brain tangle but hugely time-consuming. Having a software system in place that is fit for purpose also greatly reduces the amount of admin time property managers spend inputting information and double-checking data. A good software system will automate everyday reminders and critical events, ensuring you are reminded of upcoming activities so that you don’t miss a beat, which in turn frees up time to get on with building your business. “Having a software program that makes it simpler for you at the end of the day is so important.” - Jason Luckhardt Of course, there are many services that are the same in managing residential and commercial properties, and this is why so many businesses persist in using legacy residential software with a few workarounds. But given the many unique challenges that commercial property managers face, this model is the business equivalent of fitting a square peg into a round hole. Check out our latest FREE guide on the ins and outs of making the transition from Residential to Commercial Property Manager and our expert tips like the ones above.

Guides and eBooks
New Property Management Software: How To Make The Move

Congratulations, you’ve decided on a new property management software to boost your commercial real estate company’s performance! But before you start seeing the benefits, you’ll need to get the system setup and running. This process can have many names – implementation, onboarding, migration – and it can be an unknown if you’ve never gone through it before. The ideal scenario after you’ve purchased your software is that the implementation runs smoothly, you get to learn the ins and outs of the platform, and then you’re ready to hit your target go-live date. In this blog, we’ll outline 4 steps to get your company ready for the move and get up and running without any headaches. If you haven’t quite settled on your new software of choice, read through our guide to selecting the best platform for your company here. Understand what’s involved in the implementation Firstly, it’s important to know you will have to commit time and effort to the project during implementation. Having someone in your office who will own this on your end is key. They will act as the bridge between the software provider’s implementation specialists and your team. There will typically be a kickoff call with the software provider and this is where they will outline what will happen each week and the training sessions that will take place. A standard implementation can take three months, so having buy-in from your team is critical to keeping the momentum going as you progress through the onboarding. Working together with your software provider and asking for transparency in each stage, helps to stay on top of the implementation. While some companies might be looking for a quick fix when it comes to bringing on new software, the reality is that you have to be prepared to commit to learning and understanding a new system to get the full benefits. Clean up your data One of the main questions companies have when moving to a new system is, ‘What should I do with my data before migrating it?’ The simple answer is to clean it up by making sure everything is correct and up to date. Often, businesses are not as vigilant as they should be in ensuring data accuracy. But, once again, putting the effort in before making the move will streamline your data migration and the overall implementation. Important data to check and update: Inspections and maintenance tasks that need to be closed off Reviewing owner and tenant profiles - name, contact number Rent reviews and lease renewal dates Outstanding invoices that need to be paid Check your whole database - have you got information in there that you don’t need? Attend the training sessions No one expects you to become an expert on a property management system straight away. That’s why it’s essential to attend the training sessions and get familiar with how the different features, workflows and dashboards work. These are some of the typical sessions you will have with your provider: Introduction to core features and functions Property management functions Tenancy management functions Expense recovery Trust Accounting functions Before or after these sessions, your software provide might also direct you to their Knowledge Base or Help Centre which will have articles and videos with comprehensive step-by-step guides on how to use specific features. The Knowledge Base is a valuable resource that should be taken full advantage of to help speed up your learning. Inform your clients, tenants and owners of the change While you would have communicated the system change with your staff internally, it’s just as important to notify your clients, tenants and owners. This is a great opportunity to reach out to your clients and let them know all of the benefits they’ll now experience with the new software, such as access to a mobile app or online portal, or greater visibility of a property’s performance. Keeping clients updated avoids any surprises on their end when they see some of these changes. Going live Reaching the end of your implementation should mean you are ready to go live with your new software. But don’t fret that you’ll be left on your own, the implementation team will be on-hand for that first month while you get fully acquainted with the system. After that, you’ll have access to the customer support team who will be your port of call for any issues, guidance, or questions you may have as you start a new chapter. Check out our in-depth guide for more tips and insights on streamlining the implementation process so you go live in time for the new fiscal year. Get the guide

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