Comparing Old Information Systems and New Property Sector Software- A Tale of Chalk and Cheese

by Robert Mclean

If you’ve been in the property sector long enough to remember the old paper systems, you’ll also remember the hard work it took to just get to the starting line with a development. You’ll also be aware that some of the existing systems have many of the same bad habits. They tend to be standalone systems at best, having to be fitted in to more modern business management systems. They generate separate reports and have a long administrative tail. The new real estate development software is a true business tool, not a sort of freak show of weird software and mysterious inter-operational capabilities.

It’d be quite inaccurate to say that development is a matter of spreadsheets alone, which seems to be the main ideological motif behind the old systems. There are, after all, a few other things happening in any property deal or venture. Accountancy has its place in the process, but it’s definitely not the whole story. Nor is the legal angle. Titles and related matters are very important, but again, not the big picture.

Old style administration simply isn’t efficient enough any more. The multiple issues involved in any form of property tell a tale which needs to be understood.

This is a very much abbreviated list of the typical primary functions in a basic property transaction involving putting up a single new building:

  • Property valuation
  • Feasibility studies
  • Development plans
  • Development applications
  • Financial planning
  • Credit and risk management planning
  • Business planning
  • Architecture
  • Construction
  • Multiple contracts
  • Materials
  • Zoning
  • Approvals

Under the old system, all of these are multiple streams of operations up to and including the reporting process. Each function is carried out separately and basically collated at the management end at various times. It’s about as efficient as it looks, a virtual dog’s breakfast. Worse, there’s no single big picture until all of these processes are assembled together. Management will at various times have to go looking for current information. There’s no guarantee of currency in the old system. This is a progressive process, and management may not have a readily available source of current information available when required.

The new systems- Single stream, accessible information
The new approach, not entirely surprisingly, is the exact opposite. The various functions still have to be carried out, but with a big difference- They’re all on the same page, from day one. Information is available from startup, not after the labors of Hercules or games of hide and seek with the finance information. The single stream effect is a critical improvement in efficiency. It’s the difference between flying to the other side of the world and walking.
New types of software include:

  • Property valuation software
  • Real estate software
  • Property software
  • Real estate investment software
  • Property investment software
  • Commercial real estate software
  • Development feasibility software
  • Corporate consolidation software

These software packages and systems are also customizable. They can be created in the right form for any business. Whether a business builds hotels or retirement homes, they do the job on the big picture as well as the detail.

The comparison really is between chalk and cheese- A dried up, fragmented old system or a system built to taste. It’s well worth looking at the new property software. If you’re looking for increased efficiencies, lower admin costs and better functionality, they’re all on the market, now.

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