Real estate companies and especially Housing Associations handle an immense amount of content. Throughout the week, personnel pass financial data, demographic information, and confidential contracts back and forth so often that shoring up the document management processes can have a huge impact on their operation. Intelligent information management (IIM) platforms like M-Files are transforming the way these organizations manage their content.
MRI Software asked real estate companies to name their single biggest challenge in providing requested information, and more than half (55%) stated the largest factor was an inability to consolidate data between departments. It affects productivity in a big way. Yet, it’s just one of myriads of challenges that can be mitigated by IIM.
Find Information Instantly — No Matter Where It’s Stored
Content chaos can hinder the productivity of any organization, and this is especially true for Housing Associations and Real Estate companies. As an industry, it’s still heavily reliant on paper-based information. Not to mention, due to frequent mergers and acquisitions in the Housing Associations sector, employees end up having to adopt inherited systems and processes, which inevitably means they spend time and resources trying to find information in new data repositories.
With IIM you can bring all of these siloed repositories into one platform that will let you find information instantly no matter where it sits. Imagine how much faster you could find tenant information if you only had one place to search? With metadata tags, you can find information in several ways. Take a tenancy agreement, for example; you can search for it based on what property it’s for or the tenant’s name or even the address of the property. Think of it like a powerful search engine that’s searching through information based on what it is and not where it is. Reducing time spent on trying to find the right information means you can spend more time helping your tenants.
Accelerate Approval Processes without Compromising Compliance
Paper-based and manual processes mean not only are approval procedures slow, but they can comprise compliance. Think back to all the times you’ve lost track of where a contract is in the approval cycle. Is it the latest version? Is it saved in the right place? Have you ensured you’ve followed all the correct procedures and kept personal data safe? Human error is hard to mitigate but technology can lend a helping hand.
With IIM you can create automated workflows to help you keep track of approvals, control permissions and access to information and send reminders if tasks aren’t completed. Setting up workflows for gas or safety checks, for example, means you can create assignments 30, 60 or 90 days before they’re due to expire. Meeting regulatory obligations is part and parcel of the platform. Automating your processes frees up time that could be spent on more value adding activities like ensuring your tenants are looked after.
Improve Efficiency — Work and Access Information on the Go
Mobile and offline working is now becoming the norm; however, most Housing Associations are still lagging behind in the use of solutions that allow this new way of working. If a project manager or asset manager is doing a home visit, then they might scribble notes down in a notepad, then run back to the office to update notes on a system.
With the ability to record notes from a tenant visit instantly from a mobile device, employees can kick off assignments or workflows immediately and automatically. No more user error or forgetting to enter information after the fact — like remembering to send a tenancy contract the next week or chasing down important documentation. They can also find and relay information instantly, as they will have access to all relevant documents on the go, thus providing better service to tenants.
Check out this on-demand webinar where we join forces with Cadcorp to explore the benefits of having a holistic view of all your property data.