Properly established real estate systems and software are vital components of running a real estate business, but they bring their own set of reporting challenges. Fortunately, there are useful tools on the market that can help you streamline your processes, make life easier on your team, and save you time. One such tool is Spreadsheet Server by insightsoftware.
Today we will delve into what Spreadsheet Server is and some of the problems it can help to solve in the real estate space.
What Is Spreadsheet Server?
Spreadsheet Server is an Excel plug-in that provides a direct data connection from your real estate system, offering real-time reporting capabilities in a familiar platform. This tool allows you to build financial and operational reports, drill down into the data behind the figures, and make critical business decisions with greater speed and accuracy.
Spreadsheet Server’s innovative and useful features include customizable reporting, preconfigured queries, and the ability to combine GL and non-GL data from multiple sources.
Spreadsheet Server is also fast and easy to install, integrates seamlessly with Excel, and allows you and your team to start building reports with very little training. Read on to learn about seven typical real estate business problems that Spreadsheet Server can help to solve.
Top 7 Problems Spreadsheet Server Can Solve
1. Manually exporting and reformatting data into Excel
Your team members are likely comfortable using Excel. But importing, exporting, and reformatting data takes a lot of time. There is also significant room for human error. A copy/paste mistake or mistyped number during manual data entry can cause big problems that take up even more time (as well as costing money) to put right.
Because you are able to pull data directly from your Yardi or MRI software, using Spreadsheet Server allows you to analyze and report on data in Excel while saving time and mitigating many of these issues associated with mistakes made by human users.
2. Reliance on IT to create queries and reports
Perhaps you’re using your real estate software solution, whether that’s Yardi, MRI, or something else, to build reports within the software itself. However, this can be tedious and might not be as powerful as you’re used to or would want.
It can also be difficult if you don’t have a software expert within your accounting or operations teams. This can result in having to raise tickets with IT to help you build queries, pull data, and solve problems. This is likely to be time-consuming and inefficient, and it could create an additional burden for your busy IT colleagues. If your IT team doesn’t have the knowledge, outsourcing these reports can get expensive quickly.
But what if you could create a report yourself in under an hour, instead of having to wait half a day or more for a response from IT?
Using Spreadsheet Server makes it easy for anyone to pull data and create reports, and having access to your data in a familiar platform eliminates the need for additional IT support. Wasted time costs money, while speeding up processes makes your business more efficient. The easy and intuitive self-service reporting function within Spreadsheet Server means that non-technical specialists can use it with little training required.
3. Difficulty preparing ad hoc reports
In the course of running a real estate business, you’re likely to need specific reports on ad hoc occasions with little warning. Perhaps an investor has requested a report on the performance of a particular property, or you need to see a balance sheet for a specific subsection of your portfolio.
Accessing all this data and pulling a report together can take significant time. By using Spreadsheet Server, you have easy access to ad hoc reports and can get your hands on the information you need, when you need it. With real-time updates and seamless integration across multiple platforms at your fingertips, you will be able to wow your investors with the speed at which you can respond to their requests.
4. Difficulty reporting or drilling down across multiple data sources
Sometimes the surface-level information just isn’t enough. This is when you need to drill down into the details to understand the high-level data. This type of reporting allows you to understand the “why” and the “how” of what is happening in your business, as well as the “what.”
Using Spreadsheet Server allows you to bring together data from multiple sources and systems into one convenient location. A more complete collection of data provides far more robust and comprehensive reporting. The result? Better business decisions at every stage, improved performance, and increased profitability.
5. Difficult distribution and sharing of reports
When you’ve created a report, you might need to share it with colleagues, clients, or investors. Spreadsheet Server allows you an easy and automated way to do this, saving you time and ensuring the right people receive the right reports at the right time. You will no longer need to print out reports, create PDFs, or send email attachments manually.
The Distribution Manager tool within Spreadsheet Server allows you to automate your distributions as frequently or infrequently as you wish. Send reports every day, quarterly, or anything in between. You can also utilize unusual frequency settings such as “every third Monday,” if necessary.
6. Difficulty planning or budgeting
Analyzing data and creating reports is a vital part of the financial planning and budgeting process for a real estate firm. By creating sophisticated budgets and forecasts, you can predict your firm’s financial performance and take steps to ensure it is as healthy as it can be.
Spreadsheet Server has excellent built-in budgeting and forecasting tools, allowing you to make use of all the data at your disposal to make the most accurate predictions. Simplify budget entries and approvals, shorten the budgeting cycle, build consolidated reports, and view budgeted figures versus actual numbers with the click of a button.
Spreadsheet Server can also come with the optional Bizview add-on, a web-based planning solution that works alongside the main platform to give you the strongest possible planning and budgeting solution all within Excel.
7. Difficulty customizing reports
Have you ever created a report that you consider “good enough,” but wished that you could include additional information or change a particular detail? Perhaps you’d like to add the beginning balance rather than the current balance to your report sheets, for example. Thanks to Spreadsheet Server, you can now make these small changes easily.
You’ll no longer need to spend hours figuring out how to change a report within your software or raising tickets with your IT team. Instead, you’ll be able to customize your reports in 10 minutes or less without ever leaving the Excel platform. This built-in flexibility means you will never again have to think, “If only I could customize this report in this way…”
Need Extra Help with Spreadsheet Server or Your Real Estate Software?
If you need some additional support with implementing or making the most of Spreadsheet Server, the team at REdirect Consulting can help. Get in touch with one of our Yardi or MRI consultants today, and we will be pleased to talk you through the ways in which we can work together to connect your systems to Excel.
Our friendly team has decades of combined experience and will be delighted to help you make the most of the available tools to grow your business, improve ROI, and make better business decisions now and in the future.