From XU Magazine, 
Issue 25

Why now is the right time to harness your clients’ data to power growth

The COVID-19 crisis has stressed the importance of using integrated property management software to gain insight into how the market and your clients’ portfolios are performing so you can become a valued advisor, not just statutory compliance.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Why now is the time to grow

“I'm going to say something controversial, I think any time of recession can be a time of growth,” said Steven Kuhn, Head of Software at Azets, during the latest Re-Leased Webinar Turning data into your most valuable asset. The webinar was hosted by Re-Leased, a property management software platform designed for commercial and mixed portfolios.

“When things are too easy for too long, we become complacent and it effectively causes wastage in any form of business,” says Steven 

As many countries head into a second or third lockdown and the World Bank forecasts a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020, now is a great time to reflect on Steven’s message, that we need to become more efficient. Operating environments are fundamentally changing, making financial clarity and control more important than ever. Accountants have a valuable opportunity to help clients operate efficiently and set them up for success by ensuring they have access to the data they need.

Why data is your most valuable asset 

"What gets measured, gets managed,” is Peter Drucker’s famous quote, and in the current environment, measuring the right things is more important than ever. Businesses need to do all they can to manage the widespread uncertainty and volatility from the COVID-19 crisis.

“Relying on gut-feel and instinct doesn’t really work too well if you are in a situation that hasn’t happened before,” says Tom Wallace, CEO and Founder of Re-Leased.

Data has the power to better inform your clients’ key decisions, and give you the insights needed to establish trends. The only way you can see a short or long-term trend is by looking at data daily, weekly, and monthly.

“You need to know the rhythm of your business,” says Steven 

“When there is any variance in data or trends, you need to know what caused that spike. If you know what caused that spike it is very easy to know whether it is short or long term.”

You can establish the importance of data by asking your property clients the following:

  • Do you understand how your portfolio is performing at all times?
  • How do you compare to the market?
  • Can you easily share results and insights with those who matter most?

If your clients are not sure of the answers to your questions, you have identified a huge opportunity for adding value and solidifying your position as a key business advisor. 

To help answer some of these questions, Re-Leased recently launched CREDIA, a free to access intelligence and analytics platform designed to provide greater transparency and insight into the health of the commercial real estate market. The CREDIA Index shares statistics on occupier performance, leasing trends, and national averages to benchmark against the wider market and asset classes.

How to use data to grow

There is a lot of work to be done between having access to data and being able to use data to make decisions. This boils down to two critical steps:

  1. What do your clients want to achieve: This allows you to determine required outputs by focusing on measures that will be the most influential in allowing your clients to achieve their goals.
  2. What do your clients need to input: In order to create a report, you need to standardise the way you and your clients input data that will be used in the report.

Setting up good data reporting systems is time-consuming. However, thanks to the connected cloud a lot of this work has already been done. Accountants who implement fully-integrated vertical solutions for their clients can fast-track their ability to provide data-led advice. Industry-specific, integrated apps that plug directly into Xero give you access to well thought out fields and inputs that work to standardise clients data, creating measurable KPIs that are accessible for decision-makers. Re-Leased provides this functionality by connecting with Xero. 

“The benefit of Re-Leased is that it does a lot of the heavy lifting for you already,” says Steven.

“So it allows you to standardise within this vertical, how data is input, how you do maintenance, how you upload costs and jobs on repairs to a cloud platform, and then it gives you tangible KPIs on the output without having to go through a lot of that work because it is already set.”

“Instead of wasting your brainpower reading excel spreadsheets, you can actually look at 10,000 items that have been analysed and make far better decisions,” says John Geoghegan, Re-Leased and Xero customer.

The number of real estate businesses adopting new technology and using data to manage their businesses has been growing rapidly. This is evidenced by the 45% increase in the number of tenancies managed on the Re-Leased platform since 1st January 2020. 

“It is no longer just ‘nice to have’ technology to run your business safely, securely, and remotely. It is now a ‘must-have’,” says Tom.

Accountants should not miss this important opportunity to make a long-lasting, positive impact on their client’s businesses by taking ownership of the numbers to become a trusted business advisor. Businesses need advice when finding the right technology stacks and leveraging the data made available, and accountants are perfectly placed to provide this.

Why leave it there?

Add value to your property clients, find out more about Re-Leased property management software

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