Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Budget Preparation - What Tools Are You Using?
As budget season is upon all of us, the rental and condo market is inundated with marketing messages from vendors promising a savings in money. In this economic climate, perhaps there is no stronger message. Yet like many preoccupied with turning red numbers to black; many managers, board trustees and board members "don't have time" to explore a professed money-saving product. Time is exactly what we all need and what we need to save, in addition to the dollar. In the July/August 2009 Issue of CAI's Common Ground, there is a very concise article on preparing the budget for your community with tips on how to be efficient, like; allow ample time, do your homework, establish priorities, keep homeowners informed, or be flexible. While this is valuable information for one's budgeting, it's also a valuable mantra to your community's operations and communications. In fact, the more often buildings and communities focus on efficiency in their day-to-day operations, the easier the entire budgeting process can become. There aren't too many tools that focus primarily on streamlining and organizing communication and operations in a property. We've all heard of programs or software that tracks leasing, or deals with accounting, or manages rent payments. While these can be essential to any property, too-often communities rely on sticky notes, binders, clipboards, Outlook...or even just their memory. In 2001 with the innovation of BuildingLink, came a new and robust platform in the residential property management scene. Now operating in over 800 buildings worldwide; supporting millions and millions of tracked tasks, recorded packages, work order logs, condo documents, intelligent records and graphs; BuildingLink has become a de-facto standard in many of the top properties on the market. For example, you can't hop on the Craigslist's housing section, without seeing some rentals or condos with a "automatic package notification system." That's BuildingLink. Moreover, this new kind of web-based tool as streamlined accountability for any board--high rise, low-rise, town home. In a matter of seconds, a board member could easily pull data on the daily operations in their own community--answering budget questions that could save their community thousands of dollars. As we move into the budgeting climate for 2010, consider utilizing a tool like BuildingLink and streamlining not only your cash flow, but the time you save in crunching those numbers.