Making property management digital: five lessons the property industry can learn from digital transformation in accounting

Accounting has seen many changes since the dawn of the digital age. Until recently, it hadn’t been considered a field of productivity—but rather, of accuracy. Now, thanks to technological advancements, accountants can have it all.

Because we have seen the positive transformation that technology has brought to accounting, it can be helpful to compare and contrast that against other industries, like property management. 

With day-to-day tasks like vetting candidates, filling vacancies, overseeing repairs and maintenance, resolving tenant disputes and maintaining financial records, property managers who are not embracing technology are faced with many of the same challenges that accountants once were. 

There are task backlogs, overlooked duties, misplaced messages, miscommunications…and that’s just the beginning of what can go wrong without the convenience and coverage of industry-specific software.

Let’s take a look at how accountancy has changed with the use of technology, as well as what the property management industry can learn from that.

The convenience of cloud-based systems

With 24/7 access, accountants can now answer questions for clients (and themselves) in the blink of an eye. What used to be “I’ll look at that when I get into the office” is now, “I’ll have that in just a moment.” 

What’s more, everyone in the accounting firm has access to the information, meaning no one accountant is holding important data “hostage.”

Property managers can have the same level of convenience and precision with cloud-based property management software, or PropTech. Issues can be dealt with in real time, without having to put off (and potentially lose) important information and tasks.

Communication and delegation are streamlined, as are day-to-day responsibilities. Landlords, tenants, contractors and property managers are beginning to see the benefit of doing away with paper and moving to all cloud-based transactions (where records are secure, automatically backed up, synchronised and accessible, with unlimited storage). 

The time to focus on what really matters

Everyone knows traditional accounting tasks can be tedious and time-consuming. But when it’s all digital, the accountant is free to take on more innovative tasks, like looking for ways to cut costs, or analysing ROI, or devising a new tax strategy. Instead of just “getting it done,” she’s making it better.

The same is true when property managers use apps that do the tedious work for them. Imagine how much more time a manager would have to settle tenant disputes (face-to-face with a personal touch), search for more reliable contractors, or carefully screen renters. 

Growth and development are always possible, but more so when the day-to-day is handled. PropTech works hard in the background, so property managers can work hard for all the people relying on them.

Greater efficiency and convenience for everyone

In the past, there was driving across town to meet with a client, waiting for clients to show up at the office, and communicating numbers and other details over the phone. 

Technology has changed this, and it’s working.

When property management is digitally enhanced, managers, tenants, contractors, supers and owners get the information they need quickly and accurately. Data is highly accessible, meaning the manager has to be in fewer places. Precious time is saved when fields are auto-populated, data is pulled from other sources, signatures are gathered electronically, financials are centralised, and documents are scanned, read and stored.

Technology just makes everything easier, and property management is no exception.

The ability to conduct business “on the go”

Few of us go anywhere without our phones, and when accounting software became accessible through mobile devices, a number of things changed.

Accountants could now gather signatures, document receipts, calculate costs, create invoices, send attachments, keep track of expenses, and much more…all with their phones. They had once been tied to their desks; now they were able to meet everyday demands whilst anywhere in the world.

Property managers who feel tied to properties are sure to appreciate the freedom that comes with mobile accessibility. The convenience of having everything at your fingertips is huge; however, the ways in which it enhances relationships with key players will prove to be even bigger.

The pleasure of specialised software

Technological advancements in accounting have practically eliminated human errors that can result in tax penalties, discipline and damage to reputations. It’s been a safety net—a sigh of relief—for busy professionals who could be one keystroke away from a fiasco.

Now, their focus can shift to helping clients grow their businesses.

Property managers can experience that same sigh of relief. When they know that all communications and work orders are documented, that all transactions and contracts are recorded…they can rest easy knowing all is well, that nothing has been overlooked, and that they are backed-up and covered.

Technological advancements are property management advancements

Accountants and property managers have a lot in common. They both shoulder significant responsibility, and are answerable for a variety of unpredictable circumstances.

When they have unfailing support in the form of digital advancements, designed by people who understand their respective industries, they can be more accurate and more productive. 

The peace of mind that comes with that? Simply priceless.

Rochelle Trup- 

Arthur Online

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