Across the USA, from San Francisco to Boston, there has been massive growth in rental demand. For residential properties, the past decade has seen the largest surge in rental demand. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University found that, regardless of age group, income or household type, an estimated 45 million households are tenants.
In commercial real estate, Deloitte’s Commercial Real Estate Outlook for 2018 states that ‘fundamentals remain strong with positive rent growth’. According to a 2017 report by Cushman & Wakefield, industrial asking rents per square foot (psf), increased by 4.6% in Q2 2017. In the same period under review, the national weighted average rent for office space was up by 0.9% from the first quarter.
This growth in rental demand has resulted in a stronger demand for property management services, but the property management industry can’t seem to meet these demands.
Some of the observed inefficiencies may be ascribed to the industry’s slow adoption of technology, but some of it is also due to the change in roles of a property manager. Managing CRE now involves responsibilities beyond rent collection, paying maintenance staff, bill paying etc.
Among other roles, property managers now have to:
- play a part in developing the company brand identity and marketing plans.
- manage increasingly complex property insurance.
- ensure compliance with government legislation.
- ensure efficient bookkeeping especially as accounting and taxation becomes more property specific.
- attract and retain tenants, to maintain positive cash flow.
To accomplish these, the modern PM must evaluate and respond to the ever-changing micro and economic environment i.e. local, national and even global trends.
More property managers are realizing that they can no longer operate successfully with multiple, different technology solutions. To successfully manage a portfolio, there can be little room for error and they must be constantly optimizing their businesses to keep operating at the most efficient level possible.
The juggling of multiple, stand-alone applications, manually combing through numerous databases and fiddling with legacy systems, to find relevant data, can only lead to inefficient processes and forecasting based on unreliable data. A more efficient way is to consolidate and assess business data on a robust, industry specific property management software with unified Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform.
However, when choosing an ERP platform, there is a lot to consider. For one, how large is the firm? Do they have branches in locations around the globe? The ERP best suited for a global firm will differ from the solution employed by a small company.
Another factor to consider is the available budget; with small businesses spending more of their revenue on IT than larger ones (6.9% vs 3.2%), it’s cost effective to get it right the first time around.
Solution Options for SMBs
A popular enterprise application on the market right now is Microsoft Dynamics.
The Microsoft Dynamics suite (a group of ERP and CRM products aimed at different markets) is popular among businesses in the retail, manufacturing, service sectors. One reason is its seamless integration with the entire MS suite of tools including Office 365 and Microsoft cloud.
This enables users to manage all their processes, from lead generation to final sale. In property management, tracking the customer journey is vital to improving tenant retention. If you’re not tracking metrics like this, how do you know which marketing methods are working?
Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics for Property Managers
The Microsoft Dynamics platform does more than just track customer journey; some other benefits include:
- offering secure access across multiple platforms and devices to keep business data safe and secure.
- a customizable business intelligence dashboard to translate raw CRM data into insightful analytics reports. With such advanced analytics, an organization will be able to make informed business decisions about every element of the business.
- eliminating consolidation errors by having one-click access to your financial data. This has the added benefit of reducing the time it takes to close the books.
- increasing organizational efficiency by having a centralized base of resources. This also causes a reduction in duplication of efforts.
Based on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform (a product of the Microsoft Dynamics family designed to help businesses manage financials), industry-specific solutions like Soft4RealEstate have been developed for the property management market.
At Admiral Consulting Group, we partnered with Soft4RealEstate to provide an integrated, turn key ERP solution for your property management business. It’s designed to help you reduce IT support costs, eliminate legacy systems and thus the total cost of ownership. In addition to this, it’s a solution that can help improve your customer service.
When you select Soft4RealEstate, powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you’re not just choosing a software suite with an ERP, a CRM system and some random apps thrown in. You’re getting what is essentially a ‘forever’ system; a system that integrates all the best parts of the Microsoft ecosystem of tools to bring you a scalable solution that provides you a comprehensive view of your entire business. This information allows you create better customer experiences while keeping a tight rein on costs.
By delivering a great customer experience, you’re ensuring a higher level of satisfaction which often results in longer tenancies. And as managers for CRE, isn’t that what we all want?
Are you interested in learning more about what an ERP solution like Soft4RealEstate can do for your property management business?
Don’t waste any more time sorting through out-of-date databases or babysitting legacy systems, contact Admiral Consulting Group today for more information.