A new breed of software is about to change the way property managers, asset managers and landlords work with their portfolios – in fact, that silent revolution is already gathering pace.
Software as a service, or SaaS, has left a sizeable footprint on the business world. From accounting software to online banking, file storage to document collaboration, SaaS provides powerful tools for businesses of all sizes. And with the advent of the cloud, those tools are becoming more intelligent, integrated and valuable than ever.
But what is the cloud?
Cloud-based software is built to run online. Usually, the all-important data is stored safely in multiple geographical locations, meaning protecting against theft, fire, water damage and hardware failure is possible. APIs mean software can integrate seamlessly with other best-of-breed tools, extending each service’s usefulness and functionality. And information can be securely accessed anytime, anywhere, on any connected device. So far, so simple.
But there are endless benefits you might not imagine. Businesses are freed from costly server-based systems, data is more secure, back-ups are automatic and reliable, hardware updates and maintenance can be left behind… the list goes on. Though you might hear luddites bumbling on about unsubstantiated risks, the reality is that the cloud is more secure, more reliable and more affordable than any on-premise solution.
Where property management comes in…
In the 2011, an earthquake caused catastrophic damage in Christchurch, New Zealand. When the people of the city recovered, property managers found their losses even greater than they had initially imagined. Important data was lost forever, bound by the limitations of failed hardware on geographically isolated computers and servers. People’s livelihoods had been destroyed. The Queensland, Australia floods of the same year caused similar crises.
Cloud-based property management software provider, Re-Leased, found people in need of a solution – and knew they’d find the answer in the cloud. Building a powerful property management tool that was more secure and reliable, as well as being more convenient and intelligent, than legacy systems meant changing the rules. And the powerful Microsoft Azure cloud platform allowed them to do just that.
From a super-secure and endlessly reliable online platform, Re-Leased set about automating the most tiresome elements of property management. They knew they could make a difference to businesses by reducing the time it takes to notify tenants of rent arrears, so they created a one-click notification system that reached tenants via SMS and email.
Customers wanted to have more visibility, more connectivity. So Re-Leased was integrated with inventory apps allowing property managers to provide real-time reports on the condition of the property while on site. Multimedia integration let property managers add videos and photos into an online system, so landlords could log in remotely and view the exact condition of a property the moment following an inspection. Integrations with accounting software like Xero cut out duplicate data entry and input errors between property accounting and business accounting – it all flowed through two-way synchronisations.
These innovations are live, here and now, enabling property managers to do more than ever in next to no time. And all without the looming threat of data and productivity losses through failed hardware, natural disasters and human error. The cloud really does change everything.
What the future holds
The major players in cloud software are heralding the end of the beginning, and the future holds promises of big data that can rewrite the rules once more. Before you know it, the public cloud will enable access to mass data and machine learning, with the capability to provide the kind of insights previously confined to science fiction.
Soon property managers will be able to perform rent reviews at the click of a button, making automated decisions based on market trend data – the same data used by banks for property valuations. Predictive analytics tools will anticipate the date a tenant is likely to be in arrears. It will be possible to tell when people are most likely to sell a property, and the best time for an agent to contact them. The possibilities are endless.
We are at the start of a revolution. And property managers around the world can look forward to a productive, prosperous future.
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