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4 Reasons Why Your Properties Should Be Smarter

The rise of the smart home came quickly. Just like any other amenity like swimming pools or gyms, a property equipped with smart technology increases the appeal and value to prospects. Giving customers the power to control their home from the comfort of their smartphone can set your service apart from competitors.   Attract Customers Millennials are the largest generation who are currently in the market for homes whether they’re buying or renting. According to Pew Research, they’re more tech savvy than any generation before them. A Coldwell Banker survey reported that 47% of millennials have smart technology in their home and Wakefield research determined that 86% of millennials want smart home technology when they rent. By equipping your properties with this technology, you can increase your number of prospective customers. If millennials aren’t your target demographic, smart technology can still be an effective way to get new customers. Pew also found that the generations before millennials are open to embracing technology in their daily lives as well. In 2019, 90% of Generation X, 68% of baby boomers, and 40% of the Silent Generation owned smartphones and used smart technology.   Cost-Effective Investing in smart technology can seem like a lot of money upfront but the investment works out to be cost-effective in the long run. Investing in smart technology is often more attractive to buyers. According to Coldwell Banker, the majority of homeowners would choose a house equipped with smart technology between two identical houses. John Burns Consulting found that buyers are willing to pay thousands of dollars more for homes with readily available smart tech or smart......
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How Artificial Intelligence is Beneficial to Property Managers

Innovation is happening all around us at an exponential rate. One the trendiest technologies right now is Artificial Intelligence. AI has been an element of science fiction for many years, but it has now become a reality. Artificial Intelligence (AI) commonly comes across as a scary force but in reality, it’s a tool that has a place in businesses and everyday life. As technology gets more complicated it can become difficult to understand the practicality of some developments. Harnessing the potential of AI can be incredibly beneficial to property management companies as well.  What really is Artificial Intelligence?  Artificial Intelligence is software that uses machine learning to perform tasks more effectively and efficiently than people. It can mimic human behavior and uses problem solving to provide the best results. How Can Property Managers Use Artificial Intelligence?: Analytics Artificial intelligence allows people and businesses to interpret massive volumes of data in very little time. Approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created every day and that data has potential for insights that could be very useful when it is analyzed and turned into intelligence. By using AI, you won’t need as much time and manpower to be spent burrowing through data. This helps to boost productivity without sacrificing other things that require attention. 79% of companies that implemented AI reported better insights and analysis. Marketing AI can assist marketing efforts and help to drive sales. A Capgemini study found that 75% of companies that leverage AI in some way increase their sales of new services by more than 10%. AI can be ......
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The Basics of Cybersecurity for Property Managers

Cybersecurity for Property ManagersAs data has made its way online into the digital sphere, it’s essential for everyone, from businesses to consumers, to understand how to fortify sensitive data. Protecting vulnerabilities against threats enables businesses to continue to operate without compromising their employees or their customers. What is considered sensitive data? Hackers typically are looking for what’s called “Personally Identifiable Information (PII).” This is information that can identify people and it is often sought out for identity theft. Hackers can be looking for PII like credit card data, social security numbers, or even bank records. They are typically looking for this data in conjunction with quasi-identifiers, like date of birth, address, race, and gender.  What constitutes a breach? A security breach occurs when there is unauthorized access to an organization’s protected and sensitive data. A security breach is different than a data breach. It isn’t until a cybercriminal bypasses security measures and actually steals information that a data breach has occurred. Who needs to be concerned about cybersecurity? Businesses that require a high level of personal information to operate are more vulnerable to potential cyberattacks because hackers target them more adamantly. Property management companies inherently have access to confidential and sensitive information so they can be a likely target for cybercriminals. According to the Huffington Post, 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, because 51% of small business owners no cybersecurity measures in place. What are the potential threats? Malware – short for “malicious ware,” malware was once the most common threat online. In ISACA’s 2019 State of Cybersecurity survey, malware accounted for 31% of all attacks which w......
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What You Need to Know About Business Intelligence

Business IntelligenceEmerging trends are permanently changing the landscape of businesses. One of the most impactful developments is the significance of data which has led to the introduction of “business intelligence.” The impact of data is set to change the way business will be done, but business intelligence isn’t just data – it’s more than that. What is Business Intelligence? According to Forbes, business intelligence is “the analysis of a company’s raw data and analytics, to produce actionable takeaways.”  Business intelligence can include collecting data and turning that into an analysis that is used to determine insights about your operations. Why does Business Intelligence matter? The purpose of business intelligence is to review performance on a large scale or in a more focused view. It’s used to evaluate efficiency, productivity and the overall success of a business. Business intelligence can also help quantify uncertainty. According to 68% of businesses the goal of implementing business intelligence tools and strategies is to improve their return on investment (ROI). This kind of intelligence reduces operating costs and enables faster and better decision making. By tracking insights and developing strategies accordingly, businesses can target their services and improve their customer service with more precision. Leveraging data enables organizations to make strategic decisions that are more likely to deliver desirable results. How do you get Business Intelligence? Business intelligence doesn’t happen at a click of a button. Infrastructure must be in place prior to accessing developed insights. Data must first be accumulated, organized, and filtered. Leveraging technology can streamline this process.  Software can access large volume......
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4 Reasons Cybersecurity Matters More Than Ever

Cybersecurity has become a prominent topic of conversation as a result of the ubiquity of technology and the importance of data. Exploring cybersecurity options and implementing best practices can help to fend off modern threats. Implementing thorough security processes can show customers that your business is, not only, prepared but less vulnerable to looming cyberattacks. Because data is now integral to how we operate as organizations and individuals, cybersecurity is essential to the well-being of your business. Here are 4 Reasons why you should be focusing on cybersecurity: Cost A data breach can have a huge financial impact on businesses, and it can cause significant loss. IBM reported in 2019 that the cost of a data breach has increased by 12% over the 5 years prior. The report also found that in the long term that cost will typically carry into carry to the next few years. Responding to breaches effectively can help to minimize the financial strain breaches cause companies. IBM determined that being able to identify a breach as soon as possible can reduce and eliminate the associated costs.  Customers As consumers grow more vigilant about privacy, the quality of cybersecurity and internal controls can affect your customer retention. PWC found that only 25% consumers believe that companies “handle their sensitive personal data” responsibly. And 85% of customers said they will not do business when they have security concerns. An effective way to manage customer concerns and win their trust is by giving customers control of how much information they’re sharing. Businesses should also communicate their comprehensive security practices in a simpl......
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3 Reasons Businesses Want Chief Data Officers

A Chief Data Officer (CDO) is a relatively new C-Suite position that sometimes overlaps with responsibilities of a Chief Information Officer. Nearly 64% of leading corporations have hired a CDO since 2018. CDOs are growing in prominence and relevance in correlation with the growth and prominence of data in business. There is some variance in what businesses expect from their CDO, but the position indicates a shift in business stressing that data is an essential part of modern businesses and needs to be represented at the highest level. What does a Chief Data Officer do? The CDOs responsibilities depends on the nature and size of your business. Typically, a CDO will oversee any data related endeavors including data management, data governance, and data strategy. In most cases your CDO reports to your Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief Operations Officer (COO).  Innovation Deloitte research designates the CDO as the “catalyst” for innovation within an organization. A CDO has the ability to change and elevate business by leveraging data and analytics. They can use carefully developed insights to know when to harness technology and software to elevate business strategies to become more agile and competitive. Chief Data Officers are meant to be disruptive. They have the ability to look at how a business is and has been operating versus how it could be operating.  Growth & Profitability The skills that a CDO and more data-oriented business practices can reduce operating costs. Deloitte found that data driven business models “improve customer experience, increase loyalty and retention, and reduce the overall cost to se......
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The 5 Main Elements of Internal Controls

Security and privacy are growing concerns for businesses, customers, and the general public alike. Implementing internal controls in your organization is an effective way of mitigating and monitoring potential security risks. As you decide what controls would work best for your business, consider these five main elements of internal controls. Control Environment The control environment, according to Deloitte, is the “set of standards, processes, and structures that provide the basis for carrying out internal control across the organization.” These controls are set at the top of the management hierarchy and dictate how information, tasks, and software is engaged with on a daily basis. The control environment sets the tone for how business is expected to be conducted from boards, senior management, and executives, down to administrators. Essentially the control environment comes down to the attitude upper management has towards internal controls. A strong sense of privacy and security gives way to a better control environment. Risk Assessment Risk assessment is the identification of possible risks, understanding their probability of actualizing, and their adverse effects on business objectives. Risk assessment can give insight into potential risks and vulnerabilities and help in determining how to mitigate and combat those uncertainties. The ability to anticipate risks and successfully get ahead of them enhance security efforts. Control Activities As per Deloitte, the third element of internal control is “control activities.” Control activities are the actual strategies implemented to enhance security. This can be technology, procedures, and mechanisms that are used to control data internally. Control activities are used to......
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1099-MISC Form: The Basics for Property Managers

Anyone who is actively engaged in the business of leasing, renting, and managing real estate is required to provide 1099 forms. The most commonly used version of the 1099 form is the 1099-MISC. What is the 1099-MISC? The 1099-MISC is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form categorized as an “information report” that businesses must provide to non-employees who have earned at least $600 in compensation from that business that tax year. Who receives the 1099 form? Businesses must provide this tax form to independent contractors, freelancers, and sole-proprietors. Trades this can include are carpenters, landscapers, web designers and others like them. No employer should be providing one of their own employees with a 1099 form. Employees of a business should be receiving W-2 forms instead.Businesses should also be filing 1099 forms with the IRS. What payments should be reported on a 1099 form? The amount reported on a 1099-MISC should not include personal payments, it only entails business-related transactions. Vendors that are incorporated (Inc.) do not require a 1099 form. Money paid for retail merchandise, freight, and storage should not be included on a 1099 form. What information is required on a 1099 form? The form must include the funds your business has paid and the recipient’s address. The 1099 form must also include a Tax ID Number (TIN) for the recipient of the 1099. The two main identification numbers that can be used as a Tax ID Number is their Social Security Number (SSN) or their Employee Identification Number (EIN) which can also be referred to as a federal tax identification number. How do yo......
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What You Should Know About Barriers to Entry

A barrier to entry is an obstacle a business must incur to enter a marketplace. Barriers to entry can vary from one industry to the next. The property management industry boasts an overall low barrier to entry which enables higher market saturation. Because of relatively easy entrance into the industry, there are over 280,000 property management companies operating in the US and more than 31,000 are active in Canada, meaning the number of industry competitors in North America exceeds 300,000. What are Some Different Barriers to Entry? Cost: The capital investments required for start ups to acquire the bare minimum necessities to establish themselves within the marketplace. Legislation: Government mandates that establish legal requirements to who can enter an industry. Depending on regional laws in the US and Canada, some property managers require licensing while in other regions they do not. Legal Barriers: Patents and copyright laws can limit start ups from mimicking technology or software capabilities of competitors by granting organizations exclusive rights, eliminating their ability to enter that marketplace. Marketing: High spending on marketing and advertising by other businesses can create a roadblock to new organizations trying to establish a unique brand identity, which can make it difficult to market their service or product without replicating others. Monopoly: When one business has a domination over an entire industry, it leaves little to no space for a newcomer to succeed because the company with a monopoly has a dominant and loyal customer base. Vertical Integration: Businesses depend on vendors and suppliers to enable production of their service or product. Vertical integration......
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5 Reasons Software Implementations Fail (and How to Overcome Them)

According to research conducted by Gartner, 75% of all software implementations fail. A new software ERP that fails to go live means that the time and money invested into selecting a system was wasted and the process needs to begin again. It also leaves teams who were excited for the additional support in their roles disappointed. Here are the 5 main obstacles encountered during software implementations, and tips for how your organization can overcome them: Research Before signing the deal with a software vendor, property management companies should invest time into researching each platform available to them. In addition to evaluating the pros and cons of the functionality of an ERP system, decision makers should look at the team behind the software. Consider what tactics they leverage for implementation, training, data migration, and support to assess how it aligns with your business model. The best property management software providers will be flexible with their style of implementation to best serve your organizations specific needs. Planning In 2016, 74% of ERPs Implementations resulted in cost overruns, which means that many organizations did not strategically plan and budget for the adoption of their software system. Cloud-based ERPs are certainly cost-effective, often they save organizations from unnecessary operating costs resulting in increased profitability, if planned for correctly. Before commencing implementation, determine who you will need, what resources you will need, and how often you will need them. Communicate with your software vendor for their suggestions and plan accordingly. Before budgeting, evaluate what the exact costs for leveraging the......
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