December 04, 2018
The 3 Risks of Not Using a Cloud-Based Property Management System
Keeping all systems on the premise, within your own four walls, used to be seen as the safest, most secure way for a property management firm to do business. Then along came SaaS (software as a service) solutions. Early on, moving data or processes to a cloud-based property management system was viewed with suspicion. Surely, it couldn’t be as safe as keeping everything in-house, could it? Well, it turns out, it’s safer.
Here are three risks of not making the switch to a cloud-based property management system.
1.) No “One Truth”
Working on a cloud-based system provides quite a few benefits, like the ability to work in-the-field. For example, your teams can work on-site while overseeing some plumbing repairs, or in-transit, on the way to show an available unit. Not only does this improve collaboration, it means that everyone is working from the same data and information. This greatly reduces the danger of “multiple truths.”
When there is no “one truth”, the risk is that you’ll make decisions based on data that is incorrect or not complete. Without access to a master document, the projected numbers for, for example, a repairs budget might be different for operations than they are for accounting.
It can cause a breakdown in customer services as well. Without a cloud-based system, a tenant will phone or drop by the office to ask for a repair. If the property manager is out that day, or forgets to put in the request manually there is a risk of that maintenance request slipping through the cracks.
Without a singular version of the truth, teams are siloed, collaboration is impaired and the risk of poor decisions is exponentially multiplied.
2.) More Work, Less Efficiency
Cloud-based property management systems act like a common thread that helps to stitch together disparate systems. It’s this new connectivity that enables efficiency gains like streamlined processes and automation.
When systems don’t work together, it directly translates into more manual work, more cutting and pasting info between systems, and more rework caused by errors. In short: more work. These types of clunky, non-unified processes get in the way of creating the seamless, elegant workflow needed for automation.
When you can automate vast swaths of processes from online applications to tenant screening to automated welcome packages, you’ve greatly increased efficiencies, while freeing up your people’s time. Fewer mistakes and lowered admin costs are an extra bonus!
3.) Higher Costs
Speaking of costs, this is the Number 1 reason landlords, property management companies and housing and condo associations seek us out. As touched on above, the ability to automate can save thousands and thousands of dollars in time and labor costs.
But there’s also another way to save. Companies reap the benefit of going digital by getting rid of paper-based solutions. Digital documents are filed in the cloud, and do not require rooms and rooms of filing cabinets. Digital documents are safer than paper, as you can set permission levels and they won’t be misfiled, or at risk of data being stolen. They are also easier to find and retrieve, saving money in lost time.
Typically, a property management company with an on-site approach would have to vastly increase its IT footprint, with large, physical servers on the premises. This takes up space and energy, but also requires a team to set-up, maintain and constantly upgrade. Desktop-based solutions often include per-person license fees.
Whether you’re a smaller local operation or a large state-wide property firm, a cloud-based property management system helps to reduce your infrastructure. This saves your company a lot of money in hardware, software upgrades, service fees and labor costs.
But, It Doesn’t End There
The risks to your business for staying behind in a paper-based, siloed technology environment include many other dangers, like less security or a lack of anywhere-anytime access (both of which are huge dangers!) You risk looking “old fashioned” to both your clients and your tenants. If you haven’t made the switch, it’s time to start thinking about it.
How Property Vista Helps
With a cloud-based property management system, you can go from everyday tactics to strategic thinking. It frees up your time through automation and better processes. If you’re in the market for an SaaS solution, check out our pricing.