Hunting down the right data is a persistent activity in most asset managers’ daily lives. The problem with “running the numbers” is that the inputs you need are scattered throughout your organization, and are often inconsistent depending on who you ask. How much time do you waste compiling data and running reports?
For example, look at a day in the life of a typical associate asset manager that Vault.com has posted here. When his Chief Operating Officer asks him to do some financial modeling, it takes over an hour of digging through clunky accounting systems and outdated Excel spreadsheets. Plus, you know it's not the first time the COO asked the asset manager to crunch the numbers.
WHY ARE “THE NUMBERS” KEPT IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS?
It’s no secret that each building in a commercial real estate portfolio can be treated as its own “business”. This approach makes a lot of sense from an investment standpoint- the revenue received by one building and its specific expenses are critical metrics to understand whether it was a worthwhile investment. But that independence creates a fragmented ecosystem of individual property teams with their own workflows, documentation, and operational procedures.
Even in an operationally efficient organization, it’s common for one-off procedures to arise on an as-needed basis. For one thing, vendor contracts might be negotiated at the building instead of the portfolio level. Or, one-off expenses occurring at the building level may require a new data input for the accounting system. Newly acquired properties might cling to legacy accounting systems and different charts of accounts. These ad hoc practices, coupled with personnel being assigned to one building or one grouping of buildings often leads to severely segmented data.
When data is stored in siloed systems, different people end up “owning” different parts of the overall picture. Each may have different ways of tracking or entering the same data, making it difficult to create consolidated reports that roll up easily. The worst-case scenario is when they then become a bottleneck or gatekeeper because the information flows almost exclusively through them. A perfect storm occurs when they are out of the office and the data you need is trapped – forcing someone else to spend an egregious amount of time simply tracking information down that is critical for you to do your job.
THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS RIPE FOR CHANGE
The current real estate ecosystem leads to frequent delays in work and decision making. Because the only way to obtain essential information in the industry is to tediously hunt for it, unnecessary amounts of time and resources are wasted every day to determine where information may be kept and who controls access.
These delays have a cost - a very real cost - in terms of losing out on deals where you moved too slowly in due diligence, or failed to spot an expense that is running away. Without real time access to your information, missing out on that information is a reality that plagues real estate owners and operators every minute of every day.
This is an extremely complex and difficult problem highlighted by the amount of time that highly paid, intelligent real estate professionals are investing in tracking down information. There has been no solution to this persistent challenge other than more manual time and effort, until now.
ENTER COLLABORATIVE PERFORMANCE SOFTWARE
Collaborative performance tools reduce time invested in compiling information and speed up report production. These systems can:
- Streamline data collection from all property managers, asset managers, and the finance team
- Centralize data access for all team members
- Normalize data for better apples-to-apples comparison
Team collaboration enhances productivity for any data-driven task. The COO in the above example could still task his asset manager to run the data, or he could easily check the dashboard himself and let his asset manager focus on higher order tasks like relationship building and researching opportunities for value growth.
When all stakeholders can easily access data, teams can have more meaningful discussions on business-critical items such as operational efficiency or vendor procurement strategies. Areas for cost savings are pinpointed more easily, and asset managers can spend more time improving how they manage holdings. This adds value for the tenants and the investors.
Waypoint’s performance management platform makes it easy for asset managers to track and access the actual performance of their assets at any time without wasting time hunting for information. So, when things go awry - which does happen - you can push your team into action immediately by flagging opportunities or outliers directly in the application, right alongside the relevant information.
Forget emailing multiple reminders requesting data from multiple parties and digging through Excel spreadsheets. With tools like Waypoint, compiling a report takes a few minutes, not hours. Contact us to sign up for a demo.