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5 ways to make your property clients love you

Sam Howie 20 October 2016

Software is fundamentally changing the world of property management. And whether you can help your clients adapt to automation will determine whether you deliver them real value, or not.

But it isn’t the only way to strengthen client relationships.

Here are five ways you can make your property clients love you:

1. Introduce them to the power of the cloud

Cloud-based accounting has been a boon for bookkeepers — with Xero leading the way.

Coming to the rescue! Cloud-based technology will help your clients manage their property portfolios more effectively. If they’re still using Excel spreadsheets, alarm bells should be ringing.

The cloud will give your clients the freedom to manage themselves from anywhere, any time. With cloud capability, clients stay in control of both their property and teams — the business can collaborate and stay informed, using any device.

All of which saves money — because cloud packages are subscription-based, you don’t have to tie up working capital in software, hardware and maintenance.

Plus, enthuses Nick Frost, KPMG Audit’s head of technology, by moving into the cloud, accountants can offer clients customizable add-on products.

2. Provide services that deliver real value

Apps like Receipt Bank and Re-Leased, for example, should help you streamline, integrate and automate — increasing efficiency.

But to deliver real value, you should think outside of the box, too. The Transferwise app will help with international transfers; FixFlo with managing repairs; InventoryBase will make tenant inspections easier. And you could even consider Airbnb and SpareRoom, which let property owners lease rooms on a short-term basis.

All of these whizzy gadgets will help bookkeepers become essential advisors, rather than only number-crunchers.

3. Become a business coach

Indeed, to make your property clients love you, you must become a business coach, not just a bean counter, notes Alex Dontoh, Professor of Accounting at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

He says: “The accounting profession has expanded dramatically beyond its traditional role of recording transactions, preparing financial statements and providing audit and assurance services.”

“Today’s accounting professionals are required to understand and advise on complex business strategies.”
You should have the right tools in place so that you can provide valuable insights into clients’ businesses, such as comparative analyses on which suppliers are more cost effective across the portfolio, and which properties are performing better per square foot based on location.

4. Implement data-driven decision-making

The clearest example yet of this evolution is how accountants are delivering value through clever data analysis.
By crunching data, accountants can guide clients to make better management decisions. And ones that are justifiable based on intelligent analysis, not gut feeling, adds Professor Juergen Branke at Warwick University.

These insights are now discovered in real-time. With a live view of their financial flows and forecasts, clients can keep an eye on their liquidity.

Real-time visibility also enables concurrent forecasting and comparative analysis, helping property managers eliminate the guesswork and see what could be coming around the corner. Hope is not a strategy.

5. Save your client time

Data analytics dashboards like Re-Leased will also free up time, letting your clients focus on what really matters — helping owners and residents.

Too much time spent on repetitive tasks can take away from managing people and properties. You should help clients automate as many processes as possible.

For accountants, software such as Xero will minimize dreaded administrative tasks and the time it takes to complete bookkeeping. Automation, adds Richard Anning, head of IT faculty at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, will let accountants spend more time on improving the quality of their work.

A Guide To Property Management Software

Good software will save you time and ultimately money — which could make all the difference to your clients’ portfolio.

Find out how software can help your practice with Re-Leased’s Buyer’s Guide to Property Management Software.