Resistance to change is prevalent in every aspect of life, and for good reason.
As human beings, we like to feel comfortable, and when we’ve spent a lengthy amount of time attached to something we are familiar with, particularly in business, it offers a rare feeling of certainty in a rapidly changing world that is full of unknowns. With this in mind, comfort can also have a blinding effect on our ability to recognise where we can improve, personally or in business.
It’s no secret that in the property management industry, few offices are being honest if they say they are 100% satisfied with their management software. Whether it’s clunky, doesn’t integrate the way it should, or is just past its use-by-date, many businesses are still settling for a program that causes more problems than it solves.
Why? Because at the end of the day, they know the software, they are comfortable with the software, and they believe this outweighs the headache of having to switch platforms and change the way they do things.
But, what many property managers aren’t taking into consideration is just how much it costs to leave that band-aid on. Sure, it may seem easier to remain comfortable and deal with the hassles your current software may cause as they come, but where do you draw the line?
Before you even consider the long-term benefits associated with cloud property software (such as accessing data anywhere, seamless integration between devices, automated communication, advanced security, and no longer having to worry about lengthy backups), it can pay, literally, to think further about just how expensive it is to stick with legacy software that you are ‘comfortable’ settling for.
Let’s start with the obvious...
While PropertyMe offers a comprehensive list of features at a more affordable subscription price than most major competitors, the first savings you can associate with a transition to cloud-based software come from the eradication of the need for large, physical servers. Costing up to tens-of-thousands of dollars to purchase, and subject to expensive ongoing maintenance (sometimes even demanding the need for a full time IT employee!), this outdated server setup can absorb a huge chunk of a business’s budget and time.
And while these servers represent a tangible cost, there is also an intangible cost that is represented by the big, black box in the corner; the hours upon hours spent backing up your data stored on said server. With cloud-based software securely storing data as you go, gone are the days of lengthy backups that can make end-of-month a day-long process.
By removing this server framework that requires local backups at each site, property managers are then allowing themselves to save a whole lot more as they centralise their business.
Queensland’s MPM Property operations manager, Kelly Higgins, says the benefits of transitioning to a cloud solution such as PropertyMe goes beyond just data storage. “The cost-benefit of transitioning to PropertyMe was not only seen in the savings of annual subscription costs, but the cloud-based structure allowed me to pull my branched offices back together into one program and one trust account,” Higgins says.
“This meant multiple subscriptions that were unique to each trust account were able to be reduced from three down to one. These subscriptions included form providers, trust auditors, bank fees, program licensing, security, and storage and backup requirements. The savings for the business were almost relevant to the costs of a new employee.”
Depending on the capabilities and offerings of the software provider, property management businesses are also able to cut costs while gaining access to more features. Thanks to the technology that cloud software takes advantage of, PropertyMe is able to offer a seamlessly integrated management app and an owner’s portal as part of our monthly subscription. This allows clients to utilise a number of time-saving features that don’t require third-party subscription fees or other expensive hardware.
As Higgins found, the use of a cloud-based solution which offers a more comprehensive list of capabilities, not only resulted in fewer overheads for MPM but improved their overall workflow and efficiency.
“I knew the price savings across IT expenses would be significant, but one area that I knew would improve, but at the time couldn’t measure, was time efficiency,” Higgins explains. “The ability to make administration procedures of property management much more efficient through the automation available with PropertyMe has allowed our team to increase service levels while providing staff with a greater sense of control and time for pro-active, quality property management.”
Accrediting the technology with providing staff greater job satisfaction, Higgins believes it has lead to staff retention and improvement in the overall culture of her office. “It has really contributed to cutting some of the most expensive costs in real estate businesses; staff retention and training fees,” Higgins says.
As the awareness and demand for cloud-based software in the property management industry grows, customers are in a great position to take advantage of the continual updates and improvements to the software, again, without cost or sacrifice of time. “We haven’t had to pay for anything additional since we joined, and with each upgrade, we get even more excited about what’s to come,” Higgins says.
“I know there are lots of even more cost-effective and efficient things in the pipeline, and being cloud-based, the software is upgraded and ready to go when we arrive to work in the morning!”