RealPage® Attracting Small to Mid-Sized Commercial Property Managers with Affordable Enterprise-Level Software
For too long, commercial property managers of modest size have competed on an uneven playing field. They’ve been unable to justify the cost of the enterprise-level software the big players use to speed and simplify processes, automate reporting, streamline accounting and reduce time-draining busy work.
But that’s all about to change. Because RealPage has applied its expertise in property management technology to engineer a comprehensive software suite that puts world-class software in reach of small to mid-sized commercial PMCs — helping them operate with big-league accuracy and efficiency. Please read on to learn more, and be sure to visit our website at https://www.realpage.com/commercial/.
“It was never our intention to become just another player on the commercial side,” says Perry Levine, Industry Principal for RealPage Commercial. “I don’t believe anybody can match us feature for feature in commercial these days.”
That’s a big claim for a software suite priced in reach of small and mid-sized commercial property managers. But Perry says that with its history and expertise in web-based property management software, RealPage had a huge head start in creating a solution that would outshine competitors in terms of performance and price.
It all starts with RealPage Financial Suite, an accounting system that works seamlessly with RealPage Commercial. The Financial Suite includes a powerful collection of enterprise-level applications that will have your accountants rejoicing, as it pulls property, corporate and investment accounting together into a single, simple, integrated system.
The Financial Suite includes timesaving budgeting and forecasting tools that eliminate busy work. Job cost accounting tracks expenditures on capital projects by dollar or square foot. And because the suite handles your corporate and investment accounting in addition to operational accounting, your accountants don’t have to jump between solutions.
Those wishing to outsource financials can count on RealPage’s SmartSource accounting team. They’re standing by to relieve you of the costs and hassles of training an accounting team of your own so you can keep your focus on strategic initiatives. This is often a great decision for mid-market firms without the size to justify an in-house accounting department.
One-click financial close management
Sadly enough, most companies still use 33-year-old Excel to create month-end and year-end work papers. This means hours of copying and pasting trial balance data from the accounting system into spreadsheet tabs, reconciling the subsidiary ledgers to the trial balance and attaching supporting documentation.
A February 2017, article in Accounting Today implied the dire need for a solution:
“Old habits, including business processes, die hard — and for many organizations, the monthly close is the perfect example. While other accounting functions have applied technology to streamline and automate recurring tasks, the monthly close process has remained mired in inefficiencies.”
While some vendors have released software that helps automate closes, it’s a half-solution at best, since what’s been missing is integration with the accounting system.
In contrast, RealPage Commercial can execute workpapers at the click of a mouse, eliminating the error-prone manual back and forth between an accounting system and sub-ledgers. The data is placed in the appropriate sub-ledgers and reconciled to the trial balance, and all supporting documents are attached to the related sub-ledgers.
Workflow management is also incorporated, for tracking and documenting the flow from preparer, to reviewer, to approver. It enables preliminary and final packages to be generated throughout the month for interim or ongoing reconciliation, with color-coded data tabs indicating whether or not they are reconciling.
Unlike Excel, PMCs shows owners and auditors a verifiable review process — one with compliance and internal controls. The result is a complete history of closes, with all data, workflows and documentation in one place — not in someone’s laptop, but integrated right into the accounting system where it’s secure and accessible. And at the end of the year, it’s easy to make all of this available to the auditors, owners or lenders who need to see it. There’s no need to waste time pulling reports together.
Whether or not it’s the most significant differentiator, the software’s reporting feature is what most often causes property managers’ jaws to drop when they consider the consequences for their jobs. Perhaps it’s because there’s nothing more central to what they do day-in and day-out: wrangle information, put it in a form that’s useful, analyze it, distribute it and make decisions based on it.
RealPage Commercial makes it incredibly easy for managers to customize their dashboards to display the particular KPIs and other data that’s pertinent to their roles, and to run savable financial and operational reports for their own use or for distribution to other stakeholders — including owners and investors. You can run custom searches that slice and dice data any way you want it. As a bonus, Excel reporting is built-in for those who need it.
Effortless lease administration
Those with hands-on duties administering leases will also find their jobs transformed. Ready-to-go lease boilerplates with easy drop-in of the necessary language enable users to set up new leases in a matter of minutes — with no need for outside help. Setup includes user roles and permissions assignments, insuring access to information is carefully controlled and data is protected. You can easily add custom fields to accommodate special language requirements for a particular client. And a complete history of all modifications to a lease is maintained, so that at any time, you can pull up a record of every change made to the lease during its lifecycle.
Since RealPage Commercial handles billing for all types of commercial properties — including office, industrial and retail — you can put the calculator back in the drawer. Automated billing calculations include CPI increases, percentage rent, recovery billing, late fees, recurring charges and straight-line rents.
Accurate CAM recoveries
RealPage Commercial takes the complexity out of complex CAM (Common Area Maintenance) recoveries, with a robust recovery billing engine that handles base years, gross ups, minimums and caps, expense inclusions and more. It displays all missed billings on execution of the calculations. You reduce errors and oversights and save money in your recovery bill-backs.
Retail sales tracking
Property managers who lease to retail establishments are applauding the addition of sales tracking functionality to RealPage Commercial.
Many property managers with retail tenants track their sales in order to better adjust rental rates to ups and downs in their numbers. Tracking sales can help property managers verify requests for rent relief from tenants reporting slumps, and during high times charge overages that allow sharing in their success. Landlords also use sales figures to plan and balance their mix of retailer types and associated rental rates.
But the hassles of tracking sales — particularly for property managers of malls and other properties with many retail tenants — have caused some to do without it.
RealPage’s software enables easy tracking within the software, eliminating the need for spreadsheets and other old-fashioned means of keeping up with sales. The software can handle segmented sales (food vs. liquor, for example, or health and beauty vs. clothing), as well as perform calculations for payouts of sales overage bonuses to property managers.
Sleek new tenant portal
While the rest of the world has moved towards online self-service, client interaction in commercial property management has remained stubbornly hands-on and high-maintenance. A recently-added tenant portal promises to address this anachronism.
Now tenants can visit a sleek, intuitive portal to view account and contract details, payment status and history and any other information property managers wish to make available for easy access. The portal is not only a great convenience for tenants— who are accustomed to online access in other areas of their personal and business lives — but also for property management firms, who are now relieved of countless phone calls and emails.
What’s more, due to new ACH payment enablement, for the first time, tenants wishing to avoid the hassles and expense of writing checks can easily pay their rent online.
The portal is a win on every side. There’s a direct benefit to property managers in being relieved of a burden. But there’s also an indirect benefit in the form of a tenant perk that helps strengthen tenant satisfaction and loyalty.
It couldn’t be easier…
A recent redesign has brought a sleek new look, simple navigation and easy customization to RealPage Commercial. Menus have been consolidated and related functions grouped together in order to speed up and streamline daily tasks. Despite the amazing power now in the hands of mid-sized PMCs, RealPage Commercial is astonishingly easy to use.
We invite you to see for yourself — learn more about RealPage Commercial and set up a free demo here.