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October 21, 2021 10:00AM

Choosing the Right Technology for Your Growth Plan

When it comes to running your real estate business, having a clear plan and putting strategies in place is vital. Growth planning allows you to plan how your business will expand and track the relevant metrics as you grow. 

But your growth plan is only as good as the resources you use to carry it out. This includes your people, your marketing collateral, and your technology systems. In this post, we will show you how to map out your current and future processes and align your operations with technology that will support your business in its short, medium, and long-term goals. 

Why You Need a Real Estate-Specific System 

The right real estate software solution makes your business far more efficient and productive. You will be able to automate many routine tasks, particularly those that are repetitive or take up a lot of time. 

Using specific software also reduces the risk of problems caused by human error, especially around data entry and manipulation. When data is entered and fields are populated automatically by the software, you run far less risk of a stray digit or an accidental typo creating issues down the road. 

Using a real estate software system can actually increase the profitability of your business. Whether you’re automating your marketing communications to ensure you never miss a follow-up or fostering deeper and longer-lasting relationships with your residents, the evidence is clear: Using a tool specifically designed for the real estate industry makes financial sense. 

When Is My Business Large Enough to Enjoy a Proper ROI on This Technology?

If you’re a small or very new company, you might be wondering whether you even need a real estate software solution and if it will represent good return on investment. So what size of company can get a good ROI on this technology?

The short (albeit frustrating) answer is that there is no magic number or easily identifiable cut-off point. However, adopting the right technology as early as possible will save you headaches later. 

Smaller firms might be able to get away with just having a data admin or data entry person instead of using expensive technology. This person will be able to help run numbers and pull spreadsheets together into reports. But if you don’t have or want to hire this type of role, or if your staff members are already overwhelmed, having the right software in place can alleviate the need for additional support. We often see technology implemented when firms do not want to take on the additional overhead of hiring more staff—so if this sounds like a predicament you are in, now might be the time to take a closer look at the technology available to you. 

Using software can also free up your existing staff to focus on more value-added tasks that cannot be automated. This means the ROI is twofold: It’s one less hire that you need to make, and you can use your team to help further grow your business, rather than trying to understand the current state by sifting through disconnected information. 

Which Types of Tasks Indicate that Real Estate Software Is Needed? 

If you and your team often find yourselves creating reports from scratch or having to do a lot of time-consuming manual data entry, it might be time to invest in software that can automate these processes for you. You might notice that you’re spending a lot of time working in disparate tools such as Excel, Xero, or QuickBooks, or searching various systems for data in order to put it into Excel for analysis. 

Similarly, if your team is frequently putting together reporting packages manually, this can take a week out of every month or even more. Think how much time you would save if you could easily streamline it. The right software will allow you to reduce a week of staff time down to a few hours, or potentially even automate this task entirely. 

Also, consider the amount of physical paperwork your team has to undertake. This may be a more important factor than specific tasks. If you’re swimming in paper, it’s time to implement a software solution. 

Consider Impact

When you’re deciding whether or not to invest in real estate software (or choosing which tool to invest in), you might be considering factors such as cost, ROI, and the time it will take to implement the tool. However, you should consider one factor above all else: impact. In other words, what benefits will the software bring to your business and your customers? 

Impact on Customers

Real estate software often offers customer-facing modules and features. These allow your customers and residents to do anything from requesting viewings and applying online to posting maintenance requests for their property. These simple and streamlined functions directly impact the customer experience, from the prospecting phase to relationship management with long-standing tenants and every stage of the customer journey in between. 

Being able to make use of self-service tools keeps your customers happy. This ultimately means you will enjoy a longer and more profitable relationship with them. It also saves your team time, freeing them up from taking unnecessary calls and emails and allowing them to focus on other, revenue-generating activities instead. 

Impact on Project or Investment

Real estate-specific software can provide robust analytical information and guidance. Systems can prompt you to adjust lease prices based on daily market fluctuations. Having the right software in place can also give you detailed analytics on your project’s performance, all the way down to an individual flat or room. These details allow you to make better strategic decisions, thus improving the overall performance of your Built-to-Rent (BTR) scheme.

Aside from the direct impact on your project, your software investment can also help improve communication between your company and its investors. Investors have high reporting expectations. This means you will need to make use of the most accurate and timely data to create those reports. Fortunately, this data is all easily accessible from within a properly established real estate software system.

Some of the Best Systems on the Market 

As experienced real estate technology consultants, we recommend our two favorite tools to clients: Yardi and MRI Software. Both of these systems offer extensive features, including portfolio management, payment processing, vacancy management, billing and invoicing, and full capabilities for BTR/residential real estate businesses. 

But which is best? Both are excellent systems and which one you choose will depend on the specific needs of your business and which one you’re most comfortable using. Both companies offer robust capabilities, with Yardi being a robust platform and MRI Software offering an extensive partner program with leading applications. Getting a demo is a great way to get a sense of how the software works and how it will fit your needs. 

The REdirect team can work with you to conduct a needs assessment based on your current and future business needs, develop a requirements matrix, and guide you through the entire process from arranging demos to the review, ROI analysis, and final implementation phase. 

Need Help Selecting Your Software and Getting Started? 

No matter where you are in your journey with implementing real estate software, REdirect can help. Whether you need advice on whether Yardi or MRI is best for your business, help installing the software and getting it up and running, developing reports, or additional training to bring your team up to speed, our experienced and friendly team will be happy to assist you. 

Drop us a line today for a no-obligation chat to see how we can help. 

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Josh Malinoff
About the Author

Josh Malinoff

Josh joined the REdirect team as a Principal in 2007. He brings over 28 years of real estate technology expertise to REdirect and is often a go-to source for any complex projects.  

 

Josh spearheaded REdirect’s involvement in Investment Management software, creating a dedicated practice group focusing on the growing …