29 Apr

SaaS: A New Acronym for the PM(Property Management) Industry

Well the property and facility management industry is inundated with acronyms: PM, FM, ROI, NOI, MLS, IREM, CCIM, BOMA, TI, LO, LOI, you get the drift. But now the industry is being exposed to terminology and acronyms that the tech world and many others, hopes will change the industry forever. The term is SaaS, or Software As A Service. In other words, an automation that is online and can be called a tool or portal. With SaaS, everyone is delivered the same software via a browser that you use for FREE or with a subscription, just like any other subscription service.

The point of SaaS is to actually provide service that enables you to automate or streamline the current process or method you are using today in your offices and improve service delivery and/or reduce your labor and overhead. For example, we all have heard of Lock Box, Multiple Listing Services (MLS), and Online Banking. Now the next generation of online technology has started with a multitude of products and tools that are above and beyond those traditional shared software, now online, products. The products vary from website portals that deliver template formats for property websites to payment processing and bill paying. Everything consumers have been enjoying at home for years! In addition, all of the Cloud products, such as document storage, email and online productivity applications are basically SaaS services as well. With the Property Management industry fraught with overhead and a multitude of remote sites, SaaS and Cloud should be on any companies radar as an alternative.

It is very exciting to find blogs, such as Software Advice where you can read about the Property and Facility Management industry and its migration to this evolution by our industry with technology. It is about time we get our act together and reduce our redundancy, provide 24/7/365 service to our customers, create standards, eliminate the pain of training, pool our resources, create economies of scale, and improve our accuracy. The author of the blog, Chris Thorman is a member of several groups I belong to on LinkedIn and I offered to share his basic and easy to understand article at his Software Advice blog for software advice to the Property Management Industry.

Consider joining our family of LinkedIn groups:

PFMI (Property and Facility Management Innovators)
http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1858850

–Vendor Bidding Lab (beta) subgroup of PFMI
http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=2238793

–PFMC(Property Facility Management Companies) subgroup of PFMI
http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=2644670

Rooftop Gardening
http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=143300

Certified Property Managers (CPM Group)
Need to be listed in IREM Membership Roster.
http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=138868

Join me at Maven Research too: https://www.mavenresearch.com/join/4G4Y4QmB

25 Jun

Ringing Phone is Your Wake Up Call

How healthy is your Organization’s Core? Every time you hear a ringing phone, think about it.  I would bet that if you attended any Realcomm event over the past 3 years, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you did not attend, you MUST attend next year. Get out the coffee can and start saving your money. If your company cannot afford it, pay your own way. Visit www.realcomm.com for more information.

The well being of your corporate infrastructure depends on it! To survive your organizations core must now run 24/7/365. There is no more 9 to 5. It is obsolete terminology.  There is no time for processes to cease or take a break. Today is a 24/7/365 world and the pace is getting faster and more efficient. Is your infrastructure gaining speed or losing speed? Are you hearing ringing around your offices? If so, you need to focus and reduce those ringing phones.

Think about investing small sums by trading the wasted labor expense it takes for a permanent solution that can be used over and over again. Consider the growth opportunities if you can do more with less.  This is not about eliminating people at all. It is about retraining people and realigning people. Grow the business itself, not for the sake of growing the labor pool, as many of us have done in the past.

Our industry is jam packed with business intelligence and we need to discover and unearth it. Our industry holds the key to a massive opportunity for somebody, and that somebody should be you!  The data we all share and the information we all have is vital and it is being unearthed.

Everyone is now relating to one another 24/7/365 via the internet.  People no longer want to wait for your office to open at 9:00 a.m. That is almost silly to even think of today.  What is your own reaction to waiting or being told “No”? Ask yourself that question every time your phone rings. A ringing phone should truly be the bell that goes off in your head. If there is a will, there is the internet.  If you need something you go online and just get it.

You must invest in your Organizational Core. Automate tasks, digitalize Documents, minimize paper, embrace technology, and embrace the change. The challenge for us as an industry is three fold:  ego, money and awareness.  Ego for those that believe their way is better; money for those who have the money now and do not want to lose it (ie, large software companies that will soon be obsolete); awareness for those that do not know about the movement.

There are a few organizations pioneering industry wide standards that you need to be aware of:

Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate – (OSCRE) – http://www.oscre.org   “Deliver global standards for exchanging electronic real property information and drive their adoption”

Multifamily Information and Transactions Standard – (MITS) – http://www.mitsproject.com/ “MITS is an industry-wide effort by the apartment sector to develop common data standards and extensible mark-up language (XML) protocol to facilitate data and systems integration.

Realcomm – http://www.realcomm.com,  Jim Young, Founder. The intersection of Commercial Real Estate Corporate Real Estate, & Technology.

Each of these organizations are progressive, consciously and consistently providing the cutting edge to our industry. Your Organizational Core is depending on you.  Keep your core healthy and consider any and all the baby steps that are available to embrace the new ways.  Almost all of our mundane and redundant efforts can be automated. Going forward make a pact with yourself to think about your Organization’s Core and whether or not your decisions and actions are working towards a healthy core. Test yourself and watch what is physically going on around you and every time you hear that ringing phone, think of it as your wake up call.