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Computers key for future of management.

In the highly competitive field of residential property management in the 90's, the use of computers is critical for meeting the necessity of increasing productivity while holding.

A fully integrated, computerized system makes it easier to provide building owners with the information they need - in a fraction of the time it used to take.

Many residential management firms that don't have in-house computer facilities are finding it difficult to retrieve such important data as maintenance bills and current rent rolls.

At American Landmark, we use a system that customizes financial statements for each residential building, according to the owners' needs and specifications. It gives us the speed and flexibility to provide detailed reports to building owners and co-op or condominium boards on virtually a moment's notice.

If a condominium or co-op board wants to hold a meeting immediately, it needn't use last month's financial statements, or wait until the end of the month for up-to-date figures.

This system also allows the property's accountants to make financial statements meaningful to the owners' specific needs. For example, some owners prefer to list workers' compensation under insurance costs, while others want it recorded as a payroll expense.

Tenant, vendor and general-ledger-account histories also are available for immediate evaluation. This includes expenditure reports for insurance, service contracts, management fees, repairs and maintenance, and utilities and labor.

The flexibility of the system is such, that any of dozens of reports can be printed on short notice (one to two hours), and sent, by modem, to remote PCs at the individual properties.

Using a computer also can prevent errors that may not have been caught otherwise. For instance, the system will not allow purchase orders to be entered if they exceed the budget available.

In addition, separate security codes are needed to again access to certain areas of the computer system, such as accounts receivable and accounts payable.

Another advantage of computers is their ability to cut down on paper flow. They allow property managers to eliminate the processing and retrieval of mountains of paper, offering instead the option of storing files electronically. With costs being reduced geometrically for optical-character-recognition technology (the ability of computers actually to read the type on a page) and laser disc storage, the solution to the paper logjam is on the horizon.

The expense of investing in computer system that is specifically programmed for use by property managers pays off in reduced manpower, security, simplicity and accuracy.

Computers help provide the kind of customized management service that is necessary nowadays. Owners and boards are more sophisticated, and expect more from management. Computerization is a strong response to those expectations.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Hagedorn Publication
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Review and Forecast, Section I; residential property management
Author:Brecher, Oskar
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 24, 1992
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