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Property Data – Why Visibility is Vital

Concept Evolution

09/08/21 | Rebecca Drewett

Understand the power that your property-related data can have on the performance, efficiency and costs surrounding your buildings, and why it’s crucial this information is visible at all times.

Modern buildings are more complex than ever before. They are increasingly interconnected with technology and are built with more sophisticated, innovative materials. And, fittingly for this article, they contain and influence an extraordinary amount of data.

From rents, rates and leasing costs, to an ever-expanding degree of asset data, this extensive information is crucial to achieving optimal efficiency and maximising performance across your property portfolio. But, that is entirely dependent on how visible this data is.

Because, as the complexity of buildings grows, so does the burden on real estate management teams to capture and control this data to ensure companies are getting the most out of their buildings – and what they can do if they aren’t.

Data-driven decision-making is now at the heart of successful property and estate management – and it is time for more companies to wake up to this realisation.

The challenges facing property managers

Gaining a deeper understanding of the data that underlies property performance and efficiency is crucial to overcoming the hurdles that today’s property managers face – particularly those that are soldiering on without access to comprehensive real estate management software:

Faulty, unreliable information

When data is the driving force behind many business-critical decisions and key to enhancing property performance, if this information is incorrect or untrustworthy, it can lead companies down a wrong path or lead to costly oversights.

£5.9 million – the average annual loss due to faulty data, according to a survey of 140 property management companies (360 Visibility)

For instance, if rent or utility costs have risen in the past year, but this hasn’t been reflected in your data, then this could lead to conflicts with your suppliers at a later date. With asset and property data frequently fluctuating, it can be a real headache to keep track of without an automated, reliable solution in place.

Greater transparency over your data will heighten the likelihood that any inconsistencies can be spotted and rectified before they have unfortunate repercussions.

Conflicting data from multiple sources

On a similar train of thought, if your property data is being generated and delivered from a range of systems, this can lead to confusing conflicts. If one system is contradicting another, then it immediately puts your data into doubt, and consequently makes strategic decision-making more difficult.

Visibility is more than just having all property-related data at your disposal – it is about having data presented in a clear, digestible way. Without this ease of understanding, it is much harder to engage with the data you have available, and therefore use it to make effective, meaningful choices that will drive more value from your properties.

Poor communication and siloing

This conflicting data builds on an already pertinent problem of property managers working in isolation from other key professionals within their company. If they are receiving valuable data but this is not being communicated effectively to decision-makers, or is not presented to them in a manner that they can easily understand, this information can quickly go to waste.

Making property-related data more visible and accessible through the right software solution can help bring everyone on the same page, and align them towards making the best decisions for the future of your buildings.

How real estate management software makes a difference

In the past, these challenges were exacerbated by inconvenient ways of capturing and storing data, such as manually inputting it into spreadsheets, and old-school attitudes to determining crucial information.

For instance, property managers and investors would previously have to determine a property’s value based on a combination of rent rolls, net revenue and sheer intuition. For a while, this was considered good enough, but now the tools exist to monitor even more information and form even more accurate assessments.

That is where real estate management solutions are so essential in the current landscape. They empower property managers, owners, landlords, tenants and more to capture the immense amount of data behind today’s buildings, and present it in a way that is clear, understandable and immediately actionable.

Consider the extensive range of data sources that property managers should be using to gauge performance across their portfolio:

  • Net cash flow

  • Revenue

  • Debt

  • Cash-on-cash returns

  • Appreciation and depreciation

  • Occupancy rates

  • Space usage

  • Asset performance and lifecycles

  • Maintenance costs

  • Contract values

  • Utility costs

  • Leasing rates

This is just a sampling, and already it is too much to try and contain within a collection of spreadsheets. Without a solution that can collate all of this information into one location, which can then be accessed and analysed by relevant professionals, it can quickly become lost, distorted and confused – which then restricts the benefits this data can have for your business.

Again, it all comes down to visibility. Without accurate property-related data to hand and available to all key decision-makers in your organisation, you risk your company operating at a suboptimal level for weeks, months, even years.

6 benefits of real estate management software

1. Clear understanding of current site status

Above all else, by improving your ability to capture and house all of the meaningful data either generated by your buildings or critical to their operation, your entire team builds a more robust understanding of how your properties are currently performing.

No more guesswork. No taking action based on outdated, unhelpful data. Just a clear picture of everything related to your property portfolio, giving you a strong foundation from which to build.

2. Enhanced decision-making

As your real estate management software consistently monitors and manages the data across your properties, you can swiftly identify if there is any scope for changes that would enhance the performance of your buildings, save money or boost productivity.

We noted earlier that data should be at the core of how modern property managers guide the future of their portfolios. As a result, this information must be accurate, reliable, and accessible to all personnel responsible for making these big decisions.

By visualising this information in a straightforward, digestible way, this software gives you everything you need to formulate effective strategies that will ensure you get the most out of your buildings.

3. Extended asset and building lifecycles

BIM data is something that more and more facilities managers are harnessing to build a deeper understanding of their properties and the various assets, fixtures and spaces within them.

Our own real estate management solution inputs this data in an ordered, coherent manner, so FM professionals can then use it to spot potential issues or identify areas that could make a massive difference to operating costs and overall business efficiency.

If this wasn’t made visible at the outset, it could be months or years before a company recognises that they are avoidably wasting resources. With this software, strategies and solutions can be introduced that will help assets run optimally for longer, and make a long-term difference to your operating costs.

4. All information in one place

Having your property-related data scattered across a range of folders, files and spreadsheets puts an immense amount of pressure on your teams to keep track of everything and ensure it is always up-to-date. Consequently, mistakes are going to be made, and your property performance will suffer as a result.

By enabling you to house all of this data in one place, which can then be viewed either through a digital dashboard or distilled into concise reports. Again, this offers complete oversight over your property-related information, and creates order out of potential chaos.

Plus, if you have an extensive property portfolio, the right software should allow you to group your buildings together and compare property and lease information across all your buildings. This can help you spot areas where particular buildings are going against the general trend in a positive or negative sense, so you can then make adjustments accordingly.

5. Digitised paperwork

Along a similar thread, taking steps to digitise your property data and move away from traditional, long-winded paper trails does more than make your operations more streamlined and benefit the environment around you.

It also helps keep track of leasing documents, payments, property rates and other financial figures in preparation for audits or due diligence processes. This provides total transparency and helps preserve your compliance.

6. Smarter, structured buildings

If you integrate your real estate management solution with an IoT Hub, monitoring performance throughout your buildings with sensors and cameras, you are in a strong position to handle potential problems in a short window of time, build proactive maintenance schedules, and identify techniques that will heighten overall performance and efficiency.

Real estate operations, space usage, utilities, building systems – all of this and more can be tracked and improved upon via the property-related data these systems generate.

Achieve real-time visibility across your property portfolio

Taking control of the immense amount of data surrounding your properties can unlock a substantial level of cost-saving and revenue-generating potential across your portfolio.

For this to be possible, you need data that you can trust, and for this to be visible and comprehensible, so it can be used to guide the decisions that will maximise property value and enhance how they function day-to-day. In both areas, FSI’s real estate management solution has you covered.

Our single, easy-to-use platform helps you follow vital property-related information, scalable based on the size, reach and complexity of your portfolio. With in-depth information available at all times, you can align the performance of your buildings to your specific business strategy to reap optimal efficiency and value across your properties.

For more information on our comprehensive solution, get in touch with our team today.