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Choosing the right real estate automation solution

ARTICLE | February 03, 2023

Authored by RSM US LLP

Real estate firms in sectors like construction, investment and management often have millions of dollars on the line with any given project. And yet, many continue to manage these projects using manual processes and spreadsheets. Not only does this create inefficiencies and make it difficult to uncover insights, but these outdated processes also create an opportunity for inaccuracies to creep in. All it takes is one extra zero to be accidentally added or deleted to completely derail a project—and the people in charge of it.

With automation, data can be automatically generated and shared across systems, ensuring everyone has access to an accurate single source of truth. And by automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks, you can significantly improve the employee experience, creating a more engaged and loyal workforce.

Automation is often seen as a way to solve a specific business problem with software. By taking a more systemic approach, however, you can implement a business automation solution that addresses more than a single problem or use case to extend automation’s benefits across your organization.

When exploring business automation, here are five ways it can benefit your organization depending on your real estate sector.

#1. Use automation to keep track of costs

Real estate firms can use automation to gather the financial data they need to keep a project on track throughout its life. For example, real estate developers and construction firms can use automation to power the bid management and bid solicitation process, making it easier to gather and organize quotes.

Once a project is approved, that information, along with historical data from other projects, can be used to refine estimates. Automation can then be used by builders to ensure subcontractor invoices are accurate. After the building is operational, owners and operators can use automation to track and manage monthly costs, tax bills and credits, maintenance costs, rent payments and more.

#2. Optimize reporting

In addition to creating buildings, the construction process creates massive numbers of reports. Automation can help simplify the reporting process by automatically capturing data from different systems and making it available through visualizations and dashboards.

Not only does this save time by collecting and inputting data, but it also makes it easier to identify any anomalies in areas such as job safety or compliance, ensuring a real estate project stays on the right side of the rules.

#3. Improve collaboration with third party

No industry depends on the work of others more than real estate does. Automation can help construction contractors and subcontractors collaborate more closely by working with a common set of data. Real estate investment fund managers can use automation to stay on top of things like management fees, payroll and investor payouts—all things often managed by third parties.

#4. Empower preventive maintenance and optimize operations

With the rise of smart building technology, almost every building system now creates a wealth of data. This allows real estate operators and their maintenance teams to track all their building systems more closely—from HVAC to lighting to internet to elevators—and proactively identify if something is about to fail. Rather than wait for it to break and create downtime for tenants, maintenance can take it offline at a convenient time to fix it before a breakdown.

These smart building systems can now also help the building control itself by setting the optimal temperature and lighting based on real-time occupancy. This automation can help real estate operators control their costs and meet their environmental goals while ensuring tenant comfort.

#5. Optimize the finance department

By incorporating automation into your real estate operator finance function, you can help your finance team work faster and more accurately. This can help your accounting team close the books faster while giving your entire organization access to the accurate business data they need to make informed decisions about where to invest or where to cut costs. In addition to increasing your financial visibility, automation can also help improve your cash flow by giving you access to cash sooner.

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This article was written by RSM US LLP and originally appeared on 2023-02-03.
2022 RSM US LLP. All rights reserved.

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