The real estate department focuses on professional real estate management and service provision. This includes the development and management of properties as well as their upkeep. Furthermore, the department works with a variety of clients for the lease, rent, or sale of various establishments and facilities. The department holds several positions including receptionists, administrators, front office manager, licensed real estate agencies, director of the management division, and real estate finance and research analysts. The staff consistently works with in-house databases and systems to conduct services including transactions, contracts, property tracking, and others. Data analytics is a key concept in modern commercial real-estate development.
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The primary purpose of the department investing into a modernized facility management system is to improve the quality and capabilities of the service. It would allow for the application of data analytics into the department’s system which would allow to better manage and track properties, finances, and other relevant aspects for the industry. With the current system being outdated and lacking many innovative features, this real estate department is lacking a competitive advantage and unable to provide key data insights which benefit customers’ value from using the services. Additionally, software functionality can benefit from a range of other aspects including marketing, finances, legal, inspections, sales, and management.
The Facility Management System cost is approximated at $70,000 with a vendor being selected based on the best offerings and price after the approval of the business proposal. The system will take three months to fully implement and will have to be included in the annual department budget for 2019.
Key Challenges with Existing System
The existing system is an outdated partially web-based software system which presents numerous logistical and practical challenges in the real-estate management process and on various functions when working with clientele. Key challenges include:
- Slow loading and processing times of the software;
- Data must be entered manually, taking time from other activities or requiring dedicated personnel;
- Limited integration with other modern software or computer systems;
- Functionality does not include sufficient capabilities or data to fulfill the requests from either management or clients.
Key Requirements from New System
The new Facility Management System will offer a significant range of new features and capabilities that will be beneficial for the real estate department in all its areas of operation, encompassing front-end client services and back-end organizational needs. Some key features of the new system include:
- Full listing of property and assets, including built-in filters, management features, and condition;
- Automated and computerized maintenance and management software functionalities with multi-service control;
- KPI performance monitoring and tracking across a variety of goals;
- Integration with modern software such as Workflow Pro and CAD as well as databases such as Microsoft SQL and Oracle;
- Comprehensive database storage and outline with consistent details on listings, prices, images, floor plans, and other concepts.
- Mobile solutions and integration allowing real-estate agents to use the system on the go;
- Finance tools including graphical interface, multi-tiered cost structure, and a wide variety of matrix and reporting tools;
- Real-time digital dashboard with accessibility and user appeal;
- Document and planner management;
- Ability to design the client-accessible digital web resource with accessibility, listings, and functionalities such as financial calculators, reminders, signing contracts, and payments (FSI 2).
Key Benefits of the New System
The business and data analytics end of the real-estate operations will improve dramatically. The capabilities of the new system allow to accurately track data, analyze patterns, produce graphs and reports, and maintain financial accountability. Price changes, property status, and other relevant information will be monitored consistently. This will result in better resource and time management due to statistical analysis and integration with available data.
The FMS software will provide numerous quality of life improvements for the real-estate staff and operations. This will be done through centralization and optimization of all processes and services on one platform. It would reduce the need for manual input, complex searches, and lost information or documents. An accessible dashboard will be available to both staff and clients with full access to necessary information and traceability of any properties and payments. Reduced waiting and loading time will contribute to the speed of processing clients and overall improve relationships with clients.
It is difficult to estimate at this point the financial benefits that the system will bring, but due to the radical change in efficiency and quality of services, the monetary benefits will likely be high after initial costs. Significant waste occurs in terms of the existing system software, finding additional tools for any other functionalities, and reduced working time for the staff as they attempt to navigate the challenges of the old system. The new FMS will increase speed and efficiency in a centralized manner which will reduce maintenance costs and improve the financial output of the real-estate department that can process and attract new clients.
Cost of New System
Such comprehensive systems vary in cost depending on the vendors as some of the larger companies such as Accruent and IBM offer highly complex software that is specialized and offers many features. Fees may also differ depending on the size of the business and number of employees, thus determining the extent of functionalities and storage that will be utilized. The one-time cost for new firms is approximately $75,000 USD which includes:
- Set-up and implementation charges;
- Data migration and compatibility integration with other servers and services;
- Training, IT support, and additional material;
- Licensing fee for the software modules.
Furthermore, annual recurring costs will be charged as well dependent on utilization as well as standard fees:
- License renewal if necessary
- Server hosting costs
- IT support and maintenance dependent on a negotiated contract
- Additional fees, services, or paid features that the company may choose to procure during operations.
Costs will be reviewed and negotiated by the selection team at the latter stages of the process when a contract is agreed upon with the approval of the IT and management department heads.
This business proposal presents significant costs and will require management approval before proceeding forward. All stakeholders will be notified and close cooperation with real-estate agents and the department IT team will be required to achieve a smooth transition. A special procurement team will be formed consisting of members from various positions and teams in the department to select an appropriate system and vendor and receive feedback based on offered functionalities. In addition, to having employee support, this would also allow team members to already have some experience with the system to share with and support their colleagues. Meetings with vendors will be scheduled to examine the offered software and determine if it meets specifications required by the real estate department while offering innovative solutions to the key issues facing the current system. Furthermore, the Facility Management System will be evaluated in accordance with feedback from other businesses and based on the management’s perspective regarding the system’s practicability, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.
FSI. Concept Evolution: Base System. N.d., Web.