Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Property Management
With the real estate industry growing in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific, the need for hiring a property management company and using property management software has become more of a necessity than a luxury.
Property management companies and software help properties and property owners to manage their units professionally and systematically. Unlike earlier where the property owner or a committee of members handled the property matters internally, a property management company takes away the load from the members and owners by taking care of end-to-end operations of the property.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the technology that configures computer software, or a “robot” to simulate human actions. RPA robots utilize the computer interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They can interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks.
How can RPA help in property management?
Property management is process-centric by nature. Manual processing of data can lead to errors and even become time-consuming especially in cases such as reimbursing the tenants when they leave the property. With Robotic Process Automation (RPA), property management companies can automate the processes and reduce the turnaround time, improve the efficiency of managing critical business processes such as financial reporting, and importantly, save cost on hiring people.
Here’s how RPA can help property managers in managing their different processes.
#1 – Offer Refunds to the Home Owners
In cases where the homeowners are to be reimbursed for overpayment, Accounts Receivable (AR) team gets notified. RPA helps the AR team to validate and adjust the amount to the homeowner’s ledger, send the request to the Accounts Payable (AP) team and enable the AP team to make the payment to the homeowner.
#2 – Sharing bank account statements for General Ledger reconciliation
Downloading bank statements from different banks, comparing and reconciling them with General Ledger can be quite a cumbersome process. RPA simplifies this process by uploading the downloaded bank statements on to a shared drive or into a financial application for reconciliation.
#3 – Coupon management
RPA helps in creating coupons for new homeowners. The settlement team requests the billing team to generate coupons. RPA assists in creating new requests and processing them. It also helps in the replacement and reimbursement process.
#4 – Intimating the property managers about the GL mismatch
RPA helps in comparing the GL code in templates with the budgets. In case of a mismatch, i.e. if the GL code is present in the template but not in the budget, the RPA can be directed to highlight it as an exception in the excel sheet and upload it on the share drive.
#5 – Updating the bank account information
When the bank account number or the account holder’s name is entered incorrectly in the proprietary tool of the property management company, RPA updates it by comparing the name and account number with the bank statements and sending it to the GL for correction.
#6 – Correcting the incorrect payment transfers
When the posting is done to the wrong account, the banking team informs the AR team about it. RPA validates the posting and posts in the homeowner ledger account. Once the posting is done, it intimates the bank to do journal entries and transfer funds.
RPA has successfully brought in operational excellence in property management companies in these ways. With RPA on their side, property management companies enjoy the benefits of scaling their business and growing their revenue, two key areas where the companies were unable to concentrate until now.
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