There’s no doubt that one of the best investment an individual or a company can make in the 2020s is real estate. The advantages of owning real estate for business entities and high net worth individuals is especially appetizing when it comes to tax implications and the many write-offs that can potentially reduce the overall tax burden.
Obtaining and managing commercial real estate isn’t limited to your backyard anymore, but to the entire world thanks to new online technology like commercial real estate software. If you are so inclined, the average individual can invest and manage commercial real estate anywhere you choose over your smartphone via apps like Fundrise.
With all this in mind, what should companies that own significant real estate keep in mind when it comes to more complicated property management software applications? According to a new business report by Forbes, when compared to other asset classes, real estate remains the biggest of them all, worldwide. As of seven years ago, the holdings were valued at whopping $217 trillion.
However, when it comes to digital innovation and technology that allows you to manage commercial real estate, the industry is said to have been lagging. All properties, be they industrial, condo, retail, or purely commercial, are going to need facility or property management at some point in their lifetimes.
Defining Property Management
When it comes to commercial real estate, property management is a relatively simple task that involved rent collection, accounting transactions, managing assets, maintenance, and enhancing the value of the property on behalf of its owners.
In the recent past, most global real estate businesses ran their asset portfolio by utilizing a combination of real estate management software developed in the early 2000s. They also used numerous applications for differing businesses and tasks, along with APIs engineered to connect all the systems. API, or application programming interface, is how two or more computer systems communicate with one another and in turn, exchange crucial data.
All that said, the overall approach most software businesses have embraced over the past couple of decades has been to develop applications for commercial real estate that’s based on building operations or accounting platforms.
Most of the businesses that offer software solutions for real estate management have utilized accounting platforms that revolve around several business real estate modules, or so claims Forbes.
Challenges Facing Real Estate Management Platforms
Just a few of the main challenges users of real estate management platforms face include the following:
–Software that’s engineered around accounting and not the business process in general.
–Outdated interface and lack of useful UX and UI.
–Higher licensing fees.
–Problems of platform integration.
Most applications developed for building operations and maintenance are also said to be limited in use. The answer for some companies is to add new features to software products that are considered obsolete.
Lacking any real options, real estate businesses have no choice but to work with outdated management solutions, then make them “smart” via API. For certain applications, it’s possible you might need to hire an entire support team to maintain all of your old software systems. This only adds to your already overburdened monthly payroll.
Just a quick look at Microsoft or Apple for both iOS and Windows gives you an idea of how they have evolved over the past two decades from a functional and user perspective. However, applications for real estate management are said to look almost identical to what they did a decade and a half ago.
Real Estate Management Platforms are Changing
Says Forbes, over the past two to three years, along with the proptech boom, new tech startups and companies have developed niche software products for the real estate management industry. Today it’s not unusual for a garden variety real estate company to utilize 10 to 20 applications for project management, operations, property inspections, property management, lease administration, compliance management, vendor management, analytics and accounting, communications, and more.
These new, faster software applications are said to be a step in the right direction when it comes to managing properties all over the world.
DIYing Your Property Management Software
According to Forbes, a smaller number of real estate companies have constructed their own in-house management software solutions. They have literally started from scratch, tapping into their strong comprehension of how the real estate business must operate effectively.
Software engineers have created vertically integrated applications for most or all business aspects including property management, project management, leasing, communications, accounting, and other necessary tasks.
These innovative real estate companies have engineered their in-house applications in a manner that’s said to be more competitive over rival companies whose software was designed to be modular in nature.
Yet other companies, have chosen to subcontract their property management software solutions to companies that specialize in modern real estate needs. In the short and long-term, this might be the best solution for maintaining your properties no matter where they are located.