Archive for the ‘real estate management’ Category

Connect and Empower Real Estate Business Intelligence and collaboration platform – Using SharePoint 2010

Monday, March 15th, 2010

SharePoint has become the predominant Business Intelligence and collaboration platform in the real estate industry. With the imminent release of SharePoint 2010 firms will be able to extend their corporate Intranet platform delivering customized out-of-box solutions addressing specific business requirements. SharePoint 2010 includes the tools and capabilities that allows businesses to maximize the impact of existing investments and knowledge, and to provide all users with robust interaction with line-of-business data. These tools and capabilities make it possible to shorten the time between recognizing a business need and delivering a business productivity solution to address it.

A major advancement in SharePoint 2010 allows users, regardless of their technical expertise, to interact with line-of-business data, surface it in their SharePoint sites, analyze it, and make updates to be reflected in the external data sources. Furthermore, tapping into SharePoint’s expanded integration features with SQL Reporting Services will provide exciting new tools to deliver Key Performance indicators
based on information stored in industry leading real estate systems like MRI and Yardi..

Technology Grows as a Business Strategy Driver

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Property owners face steady pressure to stay ahead of competitors, to grow or diversify their portfolios, to full fill varying reporting commitments and accounting practices, to satisfy senior executives, tenants and other stakeholders, to stay abreast of industry best practices.

How can those leaders reconcile so many demands into a coherent business strategy that drives efficiency and profitability?

Much of the answer lies in a technology strategy?

Specifically, the adoption of advanced business systems that comprise a central element of a strategic business plan.  Technology solutions allow a comprehensive visibility that gives a complete picture of a portfolio, illuminating a path to organizational growth, efficiency and profitability. Heeding demands from property owners and managers for these advantages, leading software providers consistently deliver innovative solutions that give rise to the next wave of real estate best practices, including the latest in operational efficiencies and sustainable initiatives.
When all the crucial elements of an integrated, business-wide solution are present, the benefits become clear: better-informed decision-making and immediate access to a broad spectrum of relevant information.  The strategic payoff: risk mitigation and competitive advantage arising from cost savings, efficiency and economies of scale, and effective portfolio management and growth potential.

Consolidation into one solution

How do Internet-based software packages work to property and asset managers’ advantage?

They consolidate portfolio, financial, lease and other information into one database, while extending the solution to automate business processes and encompass all factors in the real estate lifecycle.  These factors include capital formation, investment management, acquisition and development, leasing and property management, electronic transaction processing, tenant services, portfolio analysis and reporting, and valuation and forecasting.  This kind of business-wide solution gives all network users instant, secure, real-time access to a single global repository of information from which all of these functions can be integrated and automated.

Integration of multiple management systems into one means that managers’ access to source data is immediate, avoiding the costly, time-consuming process of summoning ledgers and other reports from other data systems.  CFOs seeking underlying financial data, for example, can access that information in real time, rather than endure the costly, time-consuming process of requesting ledgers from a separate program.

Electronic processing drives efficiencies

Also crucial in such end-to-end technology is the capability to achieve operational efficiencies through systems that enable electronic transaction processing for both invoicing and payment processing.  Capability to scan mass invoices into digital images, automatically send them through the approval workflow electronically according to custom approval rules, and activate an electronic transfer of funds to the vendor?

With bank accounts is built into the most advanced business solutions.  Other characteristics of such systems including allowing residents and tenants to pay rent online using a credit card or ACH; and the mass-scanning of checks into digital images, the auto-application of these payments to charges, and deposit of the payments using electronic file transfer.  In such systems, images are stored in the central operating database, and processes are digitized and streamlined.  Meanwhile, the elimination of paper and paper handling introduces a more sustainable business practice.

MRO purchases standardised

Another potential element of an integrated technology solution for real estate properties includes online purchasing of building MRO supplies.  This practice ensures corporate-wide standardization for those items, along with integrated spend management.  In addition, procure-to-pay systems, in conjunction with systems described above, can eliminate paper invoices and reduce the costs of storing, sorting and printing invoices.

The routing and synchronization with various accounts payable systems across an organization that arises from centralized invoice processing cuts invoice-handling cycle times and costs and enforces consistent processes.  And again, if your company is interested in sustainability, such an e-procurement solution offers the opportunity for customizing green catalogues for your sites.

Portals extend dynamic access

Another of the latest strategic elements in an integrated real estate management solution is portals, which delivers the ability to extend dynamic access to services and information to external stakeholders such as tenants and residents, prospects, owners and vendors.  With its dynamic marketing capability and online resources, portals promise clear competitive advantage to property managers who leverage them.

Testaments to integration benefits

Users of an integrated property management software system validate its benefits.  “A principal benefit of a unified system is getting answers quickly and being able to discern, in real time, what the good and bad business decisions are,” said David Hott, CIO of the commercial and residential real estate owner/manager Legacy Partners.  “It’s also highly efficient to have one point of entry, without having to reload data from one platform into another or hiring extra staff to do that.”

Ken Kalman, Director of Information Services for the commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., added, “Our centralized system allows us to extract data for clients who might want two hundred general ledger accounts, for example.  Along with portfolio-wide information, we can access repair and maintenance information at the building level when we need it.”

Real estate technology has fully matured as a strategic element of a business plan, providing superior service, risk reduction, business-wide visibility and many other benefits.  Fully integrated systems with capabilities that were virtually unthinkable even 30 years ago are now within easy reach.  Companies are well positioned to achieve their strategic priorities across the full real estate lifecycle for their entire portfolio.  By adopting integrated technologies, real estate business leaders can reap the rewards of a more efficient, agile and competitive enterprise.