Property Technology – Setting our Business Apart

Property Technology – Setting our Business Apart

The opportunity to modernise property technology is not new. In fact, there have been three waves of PropTech since the 1980s, and each wave mirrored trends in being able to create efficiencies and bring automation to customers in a developing market. However, systems have rarely been able to reach inside homes until the Covid-19 virus propelled the digitisation of customer and supply-chain interactions by three to four years.

After the introduction of personal computing and later the popularisation of tools like Lotus and Excel, real estate institutions began to adopt technology to drive more quantitative approaches to investment and portfolio management. Software companies emerged to address the industry’s demand for better tools for critical functions such as accounting, and analytics. Unlike the enterprise software solutions we see today, the products introduced during this period were closed-form software services that did not communicate or integrate with one another, and in many cases, they required expensive customisation by the end-user.

Watsons have leapt forward with technology over the past five years as these capabilities have appeared – our Chartered Surveyors were amongst the first to adopt iPad technology into their appointments as well as their customer reporting processes and we have embraced opportunities to invest in our call center technology, develop e-signing solutions within terms and conditions and encourage iPads into our property listing presentations and site inspections – all exchanging data to core platforms than solely relying upon human interaction within our data management processes.

We are not as far along the journey as we wish to be, but a further step in this direction is the current automation of our property management functions as we transfer our existing systems to leading software providers, MRI Software Qube property management. This now presents our Block & Estate Management teams with new customer and client front end solutions including:

Budgeting

Qube PM provides a full set of budgeting tools, integrating with Microsoft Excel, while comprehensive financial reporting capabilities offer us complete insight into all levels of information. Accruals and prepayments, balancing charges, period breakdowns, and current versus actual reporting are all standard functionality within the solution.

Demands and Statements

We can handle demands and statements quickly and efficiently using the leaseholder’s preferred delivery method. These are issued in line with lease terms, including appropriate section notices, across multiple portfolios in one run and with 100% confidence inaccuracy.

Reporting

The in-depth reporting capability is one of Qube PM’s key benefits. Alongside a wide range of standard reports, user-defined templates that are simple to create – while a Report Wizard also provides a range of analysis and reporting options to allow us to interpret data in a way that enables strategic decision-making.

Documentation

With our document management tool, we can link directly to any file type for easy storage of key information. Items stored in the system can also be collated with ease – for example, invoices that have been scanned and uploaded to the main database can be organised into a pack for leaseholders. Reports can also be grouped and produced.

Workflow

To assist, support, and enhance our day-to-day internal processes, Qube PM’s integrated workflow engine and graphical flow designer enables us to define systematic and efficient process flows reflecting our unique business practices. It can also incorporate proactive alerts, escalations, and approvals where needed.

Leaseholder and Resident Engagement

We can utilise a range of in-built utilities to make leaseholders aware of issues, obligations, and progress. This includes automated emails, mass, and segmented broadcasts, and SMS messages. Additionally, we can provide residents/leaseholders with live access to information on their balance, transactions, and service charge positions, as well as offering an option to make online payments.

Now mid-way through this project, our customers will reap the rewards of this new system in the new year as we turn on portal options for customers and clients to communicate through. No doubt this heralds further system developments which can only benefit us all in the long term and address the necessity of online business solutions.

For further help and support in managing leasehold property, or to request a quote please get in touch using our contact form.

Watsons Property

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